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Just two years earlier, Joseph Szigeti played Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto in Prague after its rather lukewarm reception at the premiere in Paris. The jaded French public wanted to be shocked in those days, and Prokofiev’s concerto seemed too romantic to them. Today, this concerto and the Glagolitic Mass are regarded as gems of twentieth-centu
The Fiddler’s Child, a ballad for orchestra based on the poem by Svatopluk Čech
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19
Glagolitic Mass, a cantata for solo voices, mixed choir, orchestra, and organ
Jana Šrejma Kačírková
Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno
Jana Šrejma Kačírková graduated from the Prague Conservatory in 2006. During her studies she won a number of awards at the International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. In 2006 she became a guest of the National Moravia-Silesian Theater in Ostrava and since 2010 she has been a permanent member of the opera ensemble. Since 2016 she has become a permanent member of the National Theatre Brno. She is a permanent guest of the South Bohemian Theater in České Budějovice. She made her guest appearance in František Xaver Šalda Theatre in Liberec, Josef Kajetán Tyl Theatre in Pilsen and the National Theater in Prague. In 2015 she made her debut at the stage of the Slovak National Theatre and at the Revolving theatre in Český Krumlov.
Jana Šrejma Kačírková has made her appearance at prestigious international festivals. She has been singing under the baton of many famous conductors such as Tomáš Brauner, Oliver Dohnanyi, Jakub Klecker, Tomáš Netopil, Mario De Rose, Alfonso Scarano and many others.
She has been twice awarded by the Thálie award – in 2012 and in 2013. She has won three South Bohemian Thálie awards as well as the honorary “Libuška” prize at the Opera 2013 Festival. In 2013 she was appreciated by Annual award of the Opera Plus magazine.
Petr Altrichter is one of the most distinguished Czech conductors, and he has earned an illustrious reputation for the dynamism and depth of his interpretations of symphonic music. He was raised in a musical family and played musical instruments from a young age. Having graduated from the Conservatory in Ostrava as a French horn player and conductor, he continued his studies at the Janáček Academy of the Performing Arts in Brno in orchestral conducting under Otakar Trhlík and František Jílek and choral conducting with Josef Veselka and Lubomír Mátl. After completing his studies in Brno, he worked as a choirmaster and conductor with the Brno Academic Choir, and contributed to the winning of many prizes at foreign choral competitions and festivals (Middlesbrough, Debrecen…).
Altrichter attracted international attention in 1976, when he won second prize and a special prize of the jury at the renowned International Conducting Competition in Besançon, France. Based on this achievement he began to work with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra as an assistant of Václav Neumann, which started his artistic career. Not long after that, he began to receive invitations to conduct orchestras abroad. After working with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, in 1988 he became the principal guest conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra and in 1991 he was appointed its chief conductor. With that orchestra, he made frequent foreign tours to Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Germany, France, and other countries. At the same time he also closely collaborated with the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, with which he often gave performances abroad introducing many gifted young soloists (such as Isabelle van Keulen and Radek Baborák).
From 1993 to 2004 he also worked as the Music Director of the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Constance, Germany, with which he gave concerts regularly at the Tonhalle in Zurich and at the KKL in Lucerne, and also toured Switzerland and Italy. Having made his U.K. debut with the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival in 1990, Petr Altrichter made his London debut with the English Chamber Orchestra 1993. He then conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994 to a great critical acclaim. He was subsequently appointed its Principal Conductor, a post he held from 1997 until 2001. With this orchestra he appeared at the 2000 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and made several highly-praised recordings on the orchestra’s own label, RLPO live.
In 2001 Altrichter was invited to become the Chief Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, and he remained there for seven years, returning to the orchestra with which he had been associated since his student days and which he continues to guest conduct up to this day. He is also a regular guest of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he has maintained a steady artistic relationship since his beginnings there as an assistant conductor, and of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he recorded an award-winning CD with Antonín Dvořák’s music. Since the 2018/2019 season, he has been a permanent guest conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he has been working for many years.
In 2015 he toured Germany with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and in late 2015 and early 2016, he toured China with the same orchestra. At the beginning of the 2017/2018 season, he conducted the Czech Philharmonic at the Dvořák Prague International Festival and later toured very successfully in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan with the same orchestra. In the spring of 2017 he toured Japan with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 he toured the United Kingdom with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. In May 2019 he will be touring with the Czech Philharmonic in China.
Altrichter has appeared as a guest conductor with many leading international orchestras, including Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. In the United Kingdom he has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestras he has guest conducted also include the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra in Riga, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen and the Odense Symphony Orchestra.
He is a frequent guest at festivals such as Prague Spring, Janáček May in Ostrava, Smetana’s Litomyšl, Moravian Autumn in Brno, and the Bratislava Music Festival. He has made guest appearances at major festivals in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Avignon, Athens, Cheltenham, Paris, Madrid, Chicago, Zurich, Lucerne, Seville, Palermo, and elsewhere.
The bulk of Petr Altrichter’s repertoire consists of Czech music (Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, and Bohuslav Martinů), Russian music (especially Dmitri Shostakovich), and the works of Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner. Outstanding soloists and performers from around the world (Garrick Ohlsson, John Lill, Tabea Zimmermann and others) value his flexibility in leading orchestral accompaniments, and they seek out collaboration with him.
Young czech Bass Jan Martiník was born in 1983 in Ostrava where he studied on Janáček Conservatory and on the University of Ostrava with Eliška Pappová. 2003 he won the International Singing Competition Antonín Dvořák in Karlovy Vary in the category Junior and was also rewarded with the second prize in the category "Lied". Jan Martiník is laureate of the International Competition Jelena Obraztsova, where he won the special prize for the best Tchajkovsky romance. 2007 he was finalist in Placido Domingo´s Competition "Operalia" and in 2009 in Cardiff Singer of the World, where he won the category "Song".
While studying at the university he appeared in roles at the NDM Ostrava, including Pistola (Falstaff), Leporello (Don Giovanni) and Truffaldino (Ariadne auf Naxos). At the National Theatre Prague he sung roles including Masetto (Don Giovanni), Larkens and José Castro (La fanciulla del West), Leporello (Don Giovanni) in the new production in Estates theatre.
From 2008 to 2011 Jan Martiník was a member of Komische Oper Berlin, where he sung roles including Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Colline (La bohème), Surin (Pique Dame) and Nachtwächter (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). In Volksoper Vienna he sung Betto (Gianni Schicchi), 1.Nazarener (Salome) as well as Zuniga in Carmen. Since 2012/13 Jan Martiník is a member of Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin, where he performes roles including Colline (La Bohéme), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Eremit (Der Freischütz), as well as Father Trulove (The Rake´s Progress).
In concerts the young Bass was working with well known orchestras such as Czech Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Brimingham Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as the King´s Consort and the Collegium 1704. Amongst other pieces of the concert repertoire he has performed Jesus in St. Matthews Passion, as well as the Aria Part, the Bass Parts in Mozart, Dvořák and Verdiʼs Requiem, Dvořák Te Deum, Beethovens 9. Symphony and Haydns Schöpfung. Jan Martiník is already known for his sincere interpretations of Schubertʼs Winterreise and Dvořák Biblical Songs.
The beauty of his voice matches with a splendid technique and a comical talent, which makes him one of the leading singers of the young generation.
The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno has earned a place at the very summit of the choral world. Conductors, orchestras and soloists, who have cooperated with the Brno singers, extol their qualities, while the critics acclaim particularly the ensemble's compact sound and broad range of means of expression.
The Choir, founded in 1990, is a regular guest at the most prestigious European festivals and appears on the most distinguished concert stages. The audiences are captivated by its level of professionalism as well as extraordinary musical feeling.
The man behind the Choir's accomplishments is Petr Fiala (1943), its founding father, Choir Master and Director. A graduate of the Brno Conservatory and the Janáček Academy of Fine Arts (where he studied piano, composition and conducting), Fiala is also a prolific composer (his output numbers some 180 pieces). He has been an active choir master and conductor for the past 45 years. In 2009 he was awarded the Order of Sts. Cyril and Methodius by the Czech Episcopal Conference, in recognition of his outstanding achievements as both conductor and composer, in 2013 he received the City of Brno Prize for his artistic activities. The Second Choir Master is Jan Ocetek (1972).
The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno focuses especially on the performance of oratorios and cantatas. Its qualities are displayed in as many as 90 concerts annually, both in Czech Republic and abroad. The Choir performs with the world's best orchestras and conductors (e.g. Petr Altrichter, Jiří Bělohlávek, Jakub Hrůša, Jakub Klecker, Zdeněk Mácal, Tomáš Netopil, Ondrej Lenárd, Libor Pešek, Leoš Svárovský, Vladimír Válek, Juraj Valčuha, Christian Arming, Marc Albrecht, Hermann Baumer, Marcus Bosch, Stephan Blunier, Kees Bakels, Jean-Claude Casadesus,Dennis Russel Davies, Christoph Eschenbach, Gabriel Feltz, Ivan Fischer, Lawrence Foster, Enoch zu Guttenberg, Martin Haselboeck, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Manfred Honeck, Eliahu Inbal, Marek Janowski, Neeme, Paavo a Kristian Järvi, Dmitrij Kitajenko, Roman Kofman, Marko Letonja, Kurt Masur, Nicholas Milton, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Yannick Nézet-Séguin,Sir Roger Norrington, Jonathan Nott, Mathias Pintscher, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Yuri Simonov, Martin Sieghardt, Steven Sloane, Marc Soustrot, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mario Venzago, Walter Weller, Ralf Weikert, Simone Young, , and others). Although the Choir is a regular guest at numerous distinguished international festivals, home audiences are never neglected, as the Choir appears frequently also in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc, Litomyšl, České Budějovice, Český Krumlov and elsewhere across the Czech lands.
The Choir has recorded many CDs and received a number of accolades. In 2007 the singers from Brno were honored by two prestigious European Echo Klassik awards—as the '2007 Ensemble of the Year' (recognizing their rendition of Anton Bruckner's Motets) and for the'2007 Recording of the Year' (i.e. Franz Liszt's oratorio Christus). In 2008 the recording of Paul von Klenau's Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornetts Christoph Rilke was nominated for the prestigious Danish P2 Music Prize in the category '2008 Symphonic Recording of the Year', while in 2009 the recording of B. A. Zimmermann's Requiem für einen jungen Dichter was awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatenkritik. Moreover, accolades have lately not been limited to the European continent: the eminent Japanese Geijutsu Disc Review awarded the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno its prestigious 'Tokusen' Mark of Honor for the live recording of Dvořák's Requiem.
The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno cooperated in many interesting projects in 2013 – concerts in France - Salle Pleyel in Paris and Lille (with Orchestre National de Lille and Maestro Casadesus), summer festivals in Chaise Dieu and Vézelay, Rheingau Musikfestival with Verdi Requiem and Leoš Svárovský.
Further on concerts with Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann (R. Wagner "Liebesmahl der Aposteln") , concert in München Gasteig (R. Wagner "Rienzi"), Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle (Janáček "Glagolitic Mass"), Budapest Festival Orchester and Iván Fischer (Dvořák "Requiem"), RAI Torino and Juraj Valčuha (Verdi "Requiem"), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Verdi "Quatro pezzi sacri"), RSO Frankfurt and Mathias Pintscher (G. Mahler "Symphony No. VIII" and B.A. Zimmermann "Requiem für den jungen Dichter"), and Stuttgarter Philharmoniker under the leadership of Christoph König.
In 2014 – the Year of Czech Music – the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno had invitations to such interesting projects as Wagner Festival Wels (with Prof. Ralf Weikert), concerts in Vienna with Wiener Akademie ("Missa Solemnis" with Prof. Martin Haselböck), Prague Symphony Orchestra and Helmut Rilling, Budapest Festival Orchester and Ivan Fischer (Dvořák "Requiem, Rusalka"), RSO Frankfurt with Eliahu Inbal, Konzerthausorchester Berlin with Dmitrij Kitajenko (Rachmaninov "Bells"), Liége Royal Philharmonic and Christian Arming (Janáček "Glagolitic Mass"), Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich and Jun Märkl (Bruckner "Mass in E minor and Motets").
The choir performed 2014 also in Poland (Poznań ,Warszawa - "Missa solemnis" with Poznań Philharmonic and Jérémie Rhorer), Germany - Rheingau Musikfestival (Berlioz "Romeo and Juliet" with Leoš Svárovský).
In 2015 the Choir performed with Beethoven Orchester Bonn and John Nelson ("Missa Solemnis"), the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Liebreich ("Peer Gynt"). Major project of the summer period 2015 was Verdi "Macbeth" production for Opernfestpiele Heidenheim (10 performances with Stuttgart Philharmonic and Marcus Bosch). The Choir also returned to Musica Sacra festival Nuernberg in June 2015 with two concerts.
The activities of the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno are generously supported by the Region of Southern Moravia, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the City of Brno. The Choir's general partner is Tescan Orsay Holding, Plc.
The Czech violinist Jan Mráček was born in 1991 in Pilsen and began studying violin at the age of five with Magdaléna Micková. From 2003 he studied with Jiří Fišer, graduating with honors from the Prague Conservatory in 2013, and until recently at the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna under the guidance of the Vienna Symphony concertmaster Jan Pospíchal.
As a teenager he enjoyed his first major successes, winning numerous competitions, participating in the master classes of Maestro Václav Hudeček – the beginning of a long and fruitful association. He won the Czech National Conservatory Competition in 2008, the Hradec International Competition with the Dvořák concerto and the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009, was the youngest Laureate of the Prague Spring International Festival competition in 2010, and in 2011 he became the youngest soloist in the history of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he was awarded first prize at Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition at the Vienna Konzerthaus. When the victory of Jan Mráček was confirmed, there was thunderous applause from the audience and the jury. The jury president announced, “Jan is a worthy winner. He has fascinated us from the first round. Not only with his technical skills, but also with his charisma on stage.”
Jan Mráček has performed as a soloist with the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra and Romanian Radio Symphony (both under Sascha Goetzel), Lappeenranta City Orchestra (Finland), Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK), Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra and almost all Czech regional orchestras.
Jan Mráček had the honor of being invited by Maestro Jiří Bělohlávek to guest lead the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in their three concert residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, and the European Youth Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda and Xian Zhang on their 2015 summer tour.
In 2008 he joined the Lobkowicz Piano Trio, which was awarded first prize and the audience prize at the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach, Austria in 2014. His recording of the Dvořák violin concerto and other works by this Czech composer under James Judd with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra was recently released on the Onyx label and has received excellent reviews.
In addition to his British debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in season 2017/2018 Jan Mráček made his American debut with the St Louis Symphony under Han-Na Chang, with the Symphony of Florida with James Judd, debuts in Dubai with the Vienna Concert Verein and in China with the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic under Manuel López-Gómez as well as recitals at festivals in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. In April 2017 he made his Swiss debut with the Tchaikovsky concerto as an Orpheum Foundation soloist in Zurich’s Tonhalle with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseyev. In July 2017 he performed with the Asian Youth Orchestra in Tokyo. In November 2018, Jan Mráček played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Prague Symphony Orchestra again under the direction of Vladimir Fedoseyev.
Jan Mráček plays on a Carlo Fernando Landolfi violin, Milan 1758, generously loaned to him by Mr Peter Biddulph.
The Choir’s Artistic Director and Choir Master is Petr Fiala (1943); he founded the Choir in 1990 and subsequently guided it to its present position as one of Europe’s elite choral ensembles. The Assistant Choirmaster is Jan Ocetek (1972).
Among plans of Czech tenor Ales Briscein are new productions of Eugene Onegin at the Komische Oper Berlin and of Janacek’s From the House of the Dead at Savonlinna Opera Festival, as well as concert performances of Jenufa underJiri Belohlavek with Czech Philharmonic in London and of Vec Makropulos alsounder Jiri Belohlavek at the BBC Proms. He will be on tour in Japan with State Opera Prague as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma, and in Hong Kong with National Theatre of Brrno as Alber Gregor in Vek Makropulos and with the Glagolitic Mass.
In 2017 he will give his role debut in the title role of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg in Graz and sing a new production Lohengrin at Prague National Theatre conducted by John Fiore.
In spring 2018 he will return to Munich State Opera for a new production From the House of the Dead, where he will perform the part of Filka Morozov.
Besides this he is guesting at many theatres and festivals of his home country in roles like Jiri in Dvorak‘s Jakobin, Ladislav in Smetana‘s Two widows, Prince in Rusalka, Conte di Albafloria in Martinu‘s Mirandolina, as Jaromér in Fibich’s Pád Arkuna, as Lukas in Smetana’s The Kiss, as Alfredo in La Traviata, in the title role of Lohengrin or 2015 as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma.
in 2015 he debuted in the part of Königssohn in Humperdinck’s Königskinder at Opera Frankfurt, performed Laca in Janacek’s Jenufa at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and sang Stravinskiy’s Les Noces in Rome. 2013/14 he guested in new productions of Così fan tutte at the Komische Oper and of Jenufa in Graz. 2013 he was heard as Andrej in Tchaikowsky’s Mazeppa at the Komische Oper Berlin and as Steva in Jenufa at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.
In summer 2012 he had a huge success in the title role of Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Tyrolean Festival in Erl under Gustav Kuhn and sang Smetana’s seldom performed opera Two Widows in Angers and Nantes.
In summer 2011 he debuted at Salzburg Festival in a new production Vec Makropulos conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and staged by Christoph Marthaler.
He also was heard in Nürnberg, Vancouver, Tokyo, Cyprus, Lille, Caen, Antwerp, Valencia, Vienna, London and Frankfurt.
Ales Briscein started his career as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte in Prague, where in the meantime he has sung many roles and where he is performing regularly.
For many years he regularly guested at Opéra de Bastille in Paris, where he was heard as, among others, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos, Kedril in From the House of the dead, Ein junger Diener in Elektra, Hirt/Junger Seemann in Tristan und Isolde, Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier, Janek in Vec Makropulos, Jeník in The bartered bride, Jaquino in Fidelio and as Kudriash in Kát‘a Kabanova.
Ales Briscein works with conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir Charles Mackeras, Valeri Gergiev, Jiri Belohlavek, John Fiore, Sylvain Cambreling, Kent Nagano, Tomas Netopil, Esa Pekka Salonen, or David Zinman
Ve výčtu nemnoha symfonických děl Leoše Janáčka najdeme také tři symfonické básně: Šumařovo dítě, Taras Bulba a Balada blanická. První z nich má podtitul „orchestrální balada“ a vznikla v roce 1913 podle stejnojmenné básně Svatopluka Čecha. Janáčka zaujal sociální námět předlohy a skladbu postavil na hudebním vyjádření dvou výrazových poloh – bolesti a vykoupení. Děj je jednoduchý: po zemřelém obecním muzikantovi (šumaři) zůstane malé dítě. Místní rychtář není ochoten vyřešit, kdo se bude o opuštěné dítě starat. Jedné noci přijde duch šumaře a dítě si odnese, aby ho ušetřil stejného utrpení, které zakusil na zemi jeho otec.
Glagolská mše Leoše Janáčka (1854–1928) má spletitou genezi a je i složitým edičním problémem. Ačkoliv skladatel začal skicovat patrně již v roce 1920, k intenzivní kompozici se dostal až v roce 1926. Partitura mše vyšla až po skladatelově smrti v roce 1929, přičemž tato verze „poslední ruky“ se v mnohém liší od verze, která zazněla na světové premiéře díla 5. prosince 1927. Dnes již přesně nedoložíme, kdy a proč jednotlivé změny Janáček učinil, ale z dochovaných materiálů je zřejmé, že to bylo především z vnitřního popudu, nikoliv kvůli neschopnosti tehdejších interpretů, jak se mylně traduje. Ať už byly pohnutky jakékoliv, důkladnou ediční prací se podařilo zrekonstruovat verzi díla předcházející těmto rozsáhlým změnám, tedy znění prvního provedení. Zásahy provedené krátce po premiéře se týkají především tří částí – Úvodu, Gospodi pomiluj a Věruju. V Úvodu Janáček zjednodušil složitou polymetrickou stavbu, v části Gospodi pomiluj nahradil původní pětidobý takt čtyřdobým a v části Věruju vyškrtl centrální část s akordickými tympány. To ale zdaleka nejsou všechny změny. Janáček totiž celé dílo po premiéře také doinstrumentoval. Verze „září 1927“ tedy přináší v úplnosti původní znění Glagolské mše, na rozdíl od dříve publikované tzv. originální verze, která vkládá do verze poslední ruky pouze některé efektní momenty z původní partitury. Ačkoliv Janáček po premiéře dílo zrevidoval a dovedl do dokonalého tvaru, premiérová verze v sobě skrývá jinou hodnotu: značnou spontaneitu, živelnost a syrový výraz.