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Associate Artist & Concertmaster
In Czech Philharmonic since July 2011
Fast emerging as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation, Josef Špaček studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in May 2012, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand (2009), the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark (2008) and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York (2011). He holds the post of the Czech Philharmonic concertmaster and has a successful solo career.
He has cooperated with ensembles across Europe, the USA and Asia, such as PKF – Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Bamberger Symphoniker, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. He has worked with late Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, who was his avid supporter, Semyon Bychkov, Valery Gergiev, Jakub Hrůša, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Thomas Søndergård, Thomas Sanderling and others. He continues to appear as a soloist of the Czech Philharmonic for concerts both in Prague and on tour.
Josef Špaček gives recitals and takes part in chamber music festivals across Europe (at the Rudolfinum in Prague, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Evian Festival in France, Kaposfest in Hungary and Schloß Elmau in Germany) as well as Asia and the USA (among others at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., La Jolla, San Diego, ChamberFest Cleveland and Nevada Chamber Music Festival).
In 2015, the Czech record label Supraphon released highly praised recordings of violin concertos by Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček and the Fantasy by Josef Suk with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek (among others “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, “Recording of the month and of the year” of MusicWeb International and 5* in Diapason). In 2013, Josef Špaček recorded his debut CD for Supraphon featuring works for violin and piano by Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček and Sergei Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera. His first CD, released in 2006, includes a complete recording of the Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe and he recorded works by H. W. Ernst for Naxos in 2010.
The Czech Forbes Magazine named Josef Špaček one of the most important young Czechs on its “30 under 30” list.
He plays circa 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.