Photo illustrating page  Jakub Hrůša  Czech Philharmonic

Czech Philharmonic • Jakub Hrůša

Czech Philharmonic

In the music world, there have been polemical debates for years about how orchestras should plan their programming. The core of the dispute is over whether the programming directors or the performers should have the last word.

Subscription series B
Duration of the programme 1 hod 40 min


Leoš Janáček
The Wandering of a Little Soul, Violin Concerto (12')

Josef Suk
Triptych, Op. 35 (24')
Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale ‘Saint Wenceslas’, Op. 35a (8')
Legend of the Dead Victors, Op. 35b (9')
Towards a New Life, Op. 35c (7')
Bedřich Smetana
Triptych (47')
Richard III, Op. 11 (14')
Wallenstein’s Camp, Op. 14 (16')
Hakon Jarl, Op. 16 (17')


Jan Mráček violin

Jakub Hrůša conductor

Photo illustrating the event Czech Philharmonic Jakub Hrůša

Rudolfinum — Dvorak Hall

14 Apr 2021  Wednesday 10.00am
Final rehearsal
14 Apr 2021  Wednesday 7.30pm
15 Apr 2021  Thursday 7.30pm
16 Apr 2021  Friday 7.30pm
Price from 290 to 1400 Kč

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.:  +420 227 059 227


Customer Service office hours are on weekdays from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.:  +420 227 059 227


Customer Service office hours are on weekdays from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.

In the music world, there have been polemical debates for years about how orchestras should plan their programming. The core of the dispute is over whether the programming directors or the performers should have the last word. The programme of the fifth concert in Subscription Series B is an example of a programme put together by the conductor. He was guided by the sound effect of the compositions on the listeners and the core of the programme was determined by a long-term recording project. With Jakub Hrůša, the Czech Philharmonic is recording the complete orchestral works of Josef Suk, consisting of both large-scale and several shorter compositions, including the famous Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale 'St. Wenceslas' and the Sokol movement march Towards a New Life, with which Suk won an anonymous composition competition. Suk thus became the main composer of the evening and Jakub Hrůša was faced with the rather difficult task of building a logical yet musically attractive programme around Suk’s music.

Bedřich Smetana’s Swedish symphonic poems belong to his popular works and they are frequently performed abroad. The Suk as well as the Smetana triptych are also a clear demonstration of the characteristic features and stylistic differences of the two composers and they represent the best of Czech orchestral music. The number three, which accompanies us throughout the evening, also represents the three composers, opening with Leoš Janáček, whose Violin Concerto will be played by Czech Philharmonic concertmaster Jan Mráček, winner of the Fritz Kreisler International Competition in Vienna.


Jan Mráček  violin
Jan Mráček

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.

Jakub Hrůša  conductor
Jakub Hrůša

Born in the Czech Republic, Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.

He is a frequent guest with many of the world’s greatest orchestras. Recent performing highlights include debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, and NHK Symphony, to all of which he was immediately re-invited. In addition to his titled positions, he also enjoys close relationships with the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony.

As a conductor of opera, he has been a regular guest with the Glyndebourne Festival, conducting Vanessa, The Cunning Little Vixen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, The Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni, and La bohème and serving as the Music Director of Glyndebourne on Tour for three years. Elsewhere he has led productions for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Carmen), Vienna State Opera (The Makropulos Case), Zurich Opera (The Makropulos Case), and Opéra National de Paris (Rusalka). His relationships with leading vocal and instrumental soloists have included collaborations in recent seasons with Behzod Abduraimov, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Joshua Bell, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Renaud Capuçon, Isabelle Faust, Bernarda Fink, Martin Fröst, Julia Fischer, Vilde Frang, Sol Gabetta, Véronique Gens, Christian Gerhaher, Kirill Gerstein, Vadim Gluzman, Karen Gomyo, Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Barbara Hannigan, Alina Ibragimova, Janine Jansen, Karita Mattila, Leonidas Kavakos, Sergey Khachatryan, Denis Kozhukhin, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, Jan Lisiecki, Albrecht Mayer, Johannes Moser, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Kristine Opolais, Stephanie d’Oustrac, Emmanuel Pahud, Olga Peretyatko, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Josef Špaček, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Simon Trpčeski, Mitsuko Uchida, Klaus Florian Vogt, Yuja Wang, Frank Peter Zimmermann, and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider.

As a recording artist, recent releases have included Dvořák and Brahms Symphonies with Bamberg Symphony (Tudor), Suk’s Asrael Symphony with the Bavarian Radio Symphony (BR Klassik), and Dvořák’s Requiem and Te Deum with the Czech Philharmonic (Decca). In 2020, two of his recordings – Dvořák and Martinů Piano Concertos with Ivo Kahánek and the Bamberg Symphony (Supraphon) and Vanessa from Glyndebourne (Opus Arte) – won BBC Music Magazine Awards.

Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where his teachers included Jiří Bělohlávek. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle and the Dvořák Society, and was the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize. In 2020, he received both ICMA and Grammy® nominations, and was awarded the Antonín Dvořák Prize by Czech Republic’s Academy of Classical Music.


Leoš Janáček
The Wandering of a Little Soul, Violin Concerto

Podobně jako programní symfonie Dunaj, zůstal také houslový koncert „Putování dušičky“ (jiné dílo Janáčkova vrcholného období) nedokončen. V obou skladbách se Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) obrátil k velkým orchestrálním žánrům 19. století, jimž se předtím celý život vyhýbal; daný žánr v nich však pojal tak svébytným způsobem, že je proto řadíme mezi nejoriginálnější plody hudebního myšlení první poloviny 20. století. Na základě skladatelových náčrtů koncert v roce 1988 rekonstruovali muzikologové Miloš Štědroň a Leoš Faltus.

Autorský obsahový záměr skladby (koncentrované do jediné věty) vysvítá z několika indicií obsažených v rukopisných skicách, a můžeme jej snad vyjádřit jako přemisťování se duše skrze různé lidské (nebo vůbec živé) bytosti a tím je posvěcující, coby ona Dostojevského „jiskra boží“. Životní zkušenost několika setkání se smrtí – především milované dcery Olgy – se prolíná s upnutím se na vidinu věčného života, jíž mu ztělesňuje mladá Kamila Stösslová (obě zmíněné ženy důvěrně oslovoval „dušičko“), a zřejmě ji rozdmýchává pohled do tváře umírajícího člověka během londýnských demonstrací… 

Janáček začal na skladbě pracovat v roce 1927, zakrátko však ideu koncertu opustil a část zkomponovaného materiálu použil pro operu Z mrtvého domu. Instrumentačním specifikem Janáčkovy pozdní tvorby jsou mj. akordické tympány exponované v samém úvodu skladby; zvuk okovů v jejím závěru snad reprezentuje osvobozování se duše ze zajetí lidského těla.

Josef Suk
Triptych, op. 35
Bedřich Smetana
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