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Who’s Afraid of the Philharmonic?
A musical laboratory with the chief researcher Martha Issová. The topics usually examined include: why is classical music called “classical”? Can it be played just for fun or in an elevator? The programme is based on a musical part but also on a spoken word that will be given in Czech language only. The programme will not be supplied with English s
author and director
Czech Student Philharmonic
In spite of his age, the conductor and horn player Ondřej Vrabec (born 1979) is one of the most seasoned Czech artists. Though the majority of his recent musical activities is represented by conducting, he benefits from his rich artistic experience derived from intensive concert career of a soloist, chamber and orchestra player dated long before the threshold of his adulthood. He joined the horn section of the Czech Philharmonic at the young age of seventeen to be definitely appointed its solo horn player two years later.
He is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory (horn – Bedřich Tylšar, conducting – Vladimír Válek, Hynek Farkač, Miriam Němcová, Miroslav Košler) and of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (conducting – Radomil Eliška, Jiří Bělohlávek, František Vajnar and others). He has complemented his studies with frequent master courses (such as the London Master Classes and HornClass); the most precious impulse for forming his artistic approach was the cooperation with the elite of the world wind instrument school (Sergio Azzolini, Maurice Bourgue) and the artistic support of several prominent contemporary conductors (Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Jiří Bělohlávek, Benjamin Zander, among others).
Ondřej Vrabec was the absolute winner of the Competition of Conservatories in Ostrava and a finalist of several other chamber music competitions (Concertino Praga, Mozart Society Competition, etc.) In 2007, he ranked fourth in the Prague Spring International Conducting Competition and won an honorable mention from the jury as well as two other special awards for the most successful Czech participant. In 2015, he was a finalist of the Tokyo International Conducting Competition and earned an honorable mention. As a soloist he has performed with many Czech and foreign orchestras (such as the Czech Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Chamber Orchestra, Solistes Européens Luxembourg, NCPA Orchestra Beijing, Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice Philharmonic Orchestra, Rzeszow Philharmonic and Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra) under the direction of world-famous conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Edo de Waart, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ian Volkov and Lü Jia. He also often gives solo recitals.
He is an active chamber musician (especially with the Brahms Trio Prague and the PhilHarmonia Octet and formerly with the Maurice Bourgue Ensemble, the Juventus Quintet and the Czech Philharmonic Horn Club). He has made many recordings for Czech Radio and released a number of gramophone titles. The profile compact disc of the Brahms Trio Prague, realized in a unique manner under the music and sound direction of Ondřej Vrabec himself, has met with many positive responses of critics both at home and abroad. A reviewer of the prestigious American Fanfare Magazine called this recording of Trio in E flat major, Op. 40 by Johannes Brahms “the best I know...”
As a conductor, Ondřej Vrabec regularly collaborates with leading Czech orchestras including the Czech Philharmonic, where he is the Assistant to the Chief Conductor. As such, he was actually the most frequently performing conductor of the Czech Philharmonic after Jiří Bělohlávek. He also conducted some foreign orchestras (such as the Japan Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra, Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Košice, Galeria Wind Orchestra Tokyo, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, State Philharmonic Oradea, Uzhgorod Philharmonic and Lviv Virtuosos Academic Chamber Orchestra) and has appeared at international festivals such as the Prague Spring, Mitte Europa, and Český Krumlov. He is a permanent member of the team of conductors of the Ostrava Days International New Music Festival, one of the biggest contemporary music events around the globe. His opera performances include world premieres of operas Lists of Infinity by Martin Smolka and Encounter by Mojiao Wang and also two complete productions ofLe nozze di Figaro at the Opera in Ústí nad Labem and at the Prague Comedy Theater. Together with the legendary choreographer Yuri Vámos he prepared a ballet version of The Midsummer Night Dream for the National Moravian-Silesian Theater. He led the Prague Philharmonia’s historic first tour to South Korea (2011) and China (2012–2013).
In association with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra he has recorded three CDs, namely the complete symphonic works by British composer Andrew Downes (Artesmon / Czech Philharmonic), Planets by Gustav Holst and Symphony No. 2 by Arthur Honegger (Octavia Records, Japan). He has recorded a DVD Metamorphoses from his tour with the Czech Philharmonic Collegium and the popular group Čechomor (Album of the Year 2002 – Universal Music) and a CD with concertos for violin and viola by Karl Stamitz with Gabriela Demeterová (Supraphon). He also leads rehearsals of the Czech Philharmonic on behalf of world-famous maestros (Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, Jiří Bělohlávek).