Concertmaster & Associate Artist
Josef Špaček is the youngest violinist in the history of the Czech Philharmonic to serve as Concertmaster and in January 2016 was named “Associate Artist” in recognition of his importance to the Orchestra. Studying initially with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory, Josef Špaček later moved to the US where he studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, and Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
The title “Associate Artist” was awarded to Josef Špaček to enable him to develop his growing solo career, whilst continuing his relationship with the Orchestra both as concertmaster and soloist, at home and on tour. Last season, in addition to his role as associate concertmaster, Josef Špaček was soloist in concerts with Jiří Bělohlávek, Semyon Bychkov and Valery Gergiev. His recent recording of the Dvořák and Janáček Violin Concertos paired with Suk’s Fantasy conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek was released by Supraphon and named “Recording of the week” by The Sunday Times in the UK, “Recording of the Month and of the Year” by MusicWeb International, and received a 5* review from France’s Diapason. Earlier discs include works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera (Supraphon); works by H.W. Ernst (Naxos); and the complete Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
In addition to his commitment to the Czech Philharmonic, Josef Špaček is in much demand as a soloist around the world. Recent highlights include his debuts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek; his Berlin debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Thomas Sanderling; his debut at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Søndergård; and his Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša. Additionally, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony in the US; Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino and James Conlon; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; Essener Philharmoniker; Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich; Orchestre National de Belgique, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga in Europe. Forthcoming engagements include the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Marc Albrecht as well as debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.
As a recitalist, Špaček is heard frequently in Europe, including at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and at Schloß Elmau, as well as in Asia and the US, most recently at Washington’s Kennedy Center, La Jolla and San Diego. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
Josef Špaček plays a violin made in 1855 in the workshop of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.