1 / 6
Chamber Orchestra of the CP
Sebastian Bru, Jiří Vodička
The third programme of Series K presents three works by young composers: Mendelssohn wrote his Octet when he was just sixteen years old, Janáček presented his Suite for Strings before enrolling at the Leipzig Conservatoire, and the Concerto for Violin and Cello by Antonín Rejcha is one of that composer’s early works.
- Sun 23 Feb 2020 / 3.00pm
- Book online
Suite for String Orchestra
Double Concerto in D Major, Op. 3, for violin and cello
String Octet in E Flat Major, Op. 20
violin, artistic supervisor of the project
Chamber Orchestra of the Czech Philharmonic
The third programme of Series K presents three works by young composers: Mendelssohn wrote his Octet when he was just sixteen years old, Janáček presented his Suite for Strings before enrolling at the Leipzig Conservatoire, and the Concerto for Violin and Cello by Antonín Rejcha is one of that composer’s early works. Both soloists are young as well – concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Jiří Vodička and the Austrian cellist Sebastian Bru, a member of the Vienna Philharmonic. Upon its premiere, critics called Mendelssohn’s Octet “a miracle of nineteenth-century music”. Inspiration from Goethe’s Walpurgis Night, quotes from Handel’s Messiah, and the masterful use of polyphony are all permeated with youthful musical invention and brilliant compositional technique. Janáček originally gave the movements of his composition titles that had been in use for French dance suites: Prelude, Allemande, Sarabande, and Air, but he quickly abandoned them because his style as a composer was simply too original to fit in with labels from the old dance suite. At the midpoint of the programme is a concerto by the world traveller and extraordinarily gifted composer, teacher, and theorist Antonín Rejcha (Anton Reicha). This successful professor at the Paris Conservatoire who had been a student together with Beethoven, had taken lessons from Haydn, and had also given instruction to such greats as Berlioz, Franck, Gounod, and Liszt, was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, and he became a member of France’s National Institute of Sciences and Arts.
- Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra / Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
“It is the fulfilment of a dream we shared with Jiří Bělohlávek: after two years of preparations, we are ushering in regular concerts of the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. This name does not stand for one particular ensemble; instead it represents a project in which the orchestra members will be performing in various chamber groups,” said David Mareček, Chief Executive Officer of the Czech Philharmonic, in the spring of 2018. Jiří Bělohlávek was convinced that it was healthy for the Czech Philharmonic to play in a smaller ensemble. In a smaller orchestra, with a repertoire spanning the Baroque to the present, the musicians can hone the intonation, phrasing and collaboration of individuals within the whole. The Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, consisting exclusively of the members of the Czech Philharmonic put together for a specific occasion, has been officially established in the 123rd season. For its debut performances this season in front of the Prague public, it has chosen Reinhard Goebel, Jiří Rožeň, Ondřej Vrabec, Jana Brožková, Simona Šaturová, Josef Špaček and Uxía Martínez Botana. We can look forward to the bold plans for this new project in the following seasons of the Czech Philharmonic.
- Jiří Vodička / violin
Jiří Vodička, a concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, soloist and chamber musician, is one of the most prominent and most sought-after Czech violinists. He made a name for himself in childhood by winning prizes in many competitions such as the Jaroslav Kocian International Violin Competition, Prague Junior Note, and “Čírenie talentov” Competition in Slovakia. In 2002 he won first prize in the international violin competition Beethoven’s Hradec, and in the same year he was awarded a prize as the best pupil attending Václav Hudeček’s violin classes. He later performed with Hudeček in dozens of concerts throughout the Czech Republic. In 2004 he became the absolute winner of the International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists in Weimar, Germany. In 2008 he was awarded first and second prizes at the Young Concert Artist Competition, which took place in Leipzig, Germany and New York, USA, respectively. Jiří Vodička enrolled at the Institute of Art Studies at the University of Ostrava at the age of only 14. He studied there under Zdeněk Gola and graduated in 2007 with Master’s degree.
Jiří Vodička regularly performs as a soloist with many leading orchestras both in the Czech Republic (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, PKF – Prague Philharmonia, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra) and abroad (Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen). For many years he has been a soloist of the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra of China. He collaborated with the recently deceased conductor Jiří Bělohlávek and continues to work with other prominent conductors such as Jakub Hrůša, Tomáš Netopil and Semyon Bychkov.
In 2014 he recorded his debut solo album Violino Solo with Supraphon, featuring the most difficult compositions for solo violin. It received great critical acclaim in the Czech Republic and also abroad. Many of his concerts have been broadcast by Czech TV, Czech Radio as well as ARD broadcasting company of Germany.
As a chamber musician he performs with outstanding Czech pianists Martin Kasík, Ivo Kahánek, Ivan Klánský and Miroslav Sekera. In 2011 he was invited by the famous violinist Gidon Kremer to perform together with many world-famous musicians at his Kammermusikfest in Lockenhaus, Austria. He regularly appears at important festivals such as the Prague Spring, Janáček’s May, Hohenloher Kultursommer and the Choriner Musiksommer. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Smetana Trio, with whom he has recorded two CDs for Supraphon, which won the prestigious award of BBC Music Magazine and Diapason d’Or.
In 2015 Jiří Vodička became a concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic. He teaches at the Prague Conservatory and at the Ostrava University. He plays an Italian instrument made by Joseph Gagliano in 1774.
- Sebastian Bru / cello
- / Suita pro smyčcový orchestr
- Antonín REJCHA / Koncert pro housle a violoncello D dur op. 3
- Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY / Smyčcový oktet Es dur op. 20