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Helping with the Czech Philharmonic II • Benefit Concert
The Czech Philharmonic organise another benefit concert, this time to help öld people endangered by covid-19 infection. The concert from the Dvořák Hall in the Rudolfinum will be broadcast live on the Czech TV art channel and on our Facebook on Saturday 28th March at 8 pm.
Tota pulchra es Maria (arr. Miloš Bok)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major
Hans Leo Hassler
Canzona (arr. Verne Raynolds)
The Four Seasons (selection)
Largo from Symphony No. 9 "From The New World"
(arr. by Radek Baborák for French horn ensemble)
Serenade for Strings
1st, 3rd and 5th Movement
Andante for Horn and Organ
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Finale from Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings
Postludium from Glagolitic Mass
Moteto Ecce sacerdos Magnus (arr. Miloš Bok)
Josef Špaček violin
Jan Mráček violin
Jiří Vodička violin
Radek Baborák French horn
Aleš Bárta organ
Ivo Kahánek piano
Václav Luks conductor
Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Jakub Hrůša conductor
Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall
Concert will be broadcasted on ČT art and streamed on facebook pages of the Czech Philharmonic and other partners.
Concert will be broadcasted on ČT art and streamed on facebook pages of the Czech Philharmonic and other partners.
violin, artistic director of the project
Praised for his remarkable range of colours, his confident and concentrated stage presence, his virtuosity and technical poise as well as the beauty of his tone Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation. His performances of a wide range of repertoire demonstrate his “astonishing articulation and athleticism” (The Scotsman) and “a richness and piquancy of timbre.” (The Telegraph).
He appears with orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
Josef Špaček collaborates with eminent conductors such as Jakub Hrůša, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck, Valery Gergiev, Thomas Adès, Krzysztof Urbański, James Gaffigan, James Conlon, Maxim Emelyanchev, Jiří Bělohlávek, Thomas Søndergård, Cornelius Meister, Michael Sanderling, David Zinman, Eliahu Inbal, Tomáš Netopil, Paul Daniel, Marc Albrecht, Aziz Shokhakimov, Christian Vasquez, Jahja Ling and Lio Kuokman.
He equally enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music and is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, the Kronberg Academy, the Evian Festival, the Kaposfest and at Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., 92Y in New York, La Jolla in San Diego, the ChamberFest Cleveland and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival).
His chamber music partners include Gil Shaham, Kian Soltani, James Ehnes, Clemens Hagen, Gerhard Oppitz, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Máté Szücs, Miroslav Sekera, Tomáš Jamník, Sharon Kam, Kristóf Baráti, Zoltan Fejervari and Suzana Bartal.
Supraphon released a highly praised recording of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, coupled with the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. The Sunday Times wrote: “The violinist’s individual, deeply considered and virtuosic account of Dvorak’s solo part is the highlight of this keenly conceived programme”, adding that “in this repertoire, Špaček is second to none today.”
It was the “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, “Recording of the month & of the year” of MusicWeb International and it received 5* in Diapason. Other recordings to date are a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera (Supraphon), works for violin solo and violin and piano by H.W. Ernst (Naxos) and an early CD with the complete Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
Josef Špaček studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. 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.
He has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. The orchestra named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016. He will leave this post by the end of the 2019/20 season in order to devote himself exclusively to his solo career. Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday. He lives in Prague with his wife and their three children. In his spare time he enjoys cycling.
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.
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.
The horn player and conductor Radek Baborák is one of the most outstanding figures on the classical music scene. Since beginning his solo career over twenty-five years ago, his extraordinary musical performances have enthralled audiences in the most important cultural venues around the world. He has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle, Neeme Järvi, James Levine, Vladimir Askhenazy, James de Priest and Marek Janowski.
Baborák is a regular guest at prestigious festivals such as the Salzburger Osterfestspiele; Maggio musicale, Fiorentino; the White Nights Festival, St. Petersburg; International Music Festival, Utrecht; Julian Rachlin and Friends, Dubrovník; Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival and Prague Spring.
His concerts have been broadcast by television and radio stations including Euro Arts, BR, ARD, NHK, ČT, RTVE and he has made recordings for EMI, Supraphon, Exton, Arte Nova, Artesmon and Animal Music.
Radek Baborák has performed as a soloist with the following orchestras: the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, Bach Akademie Stuttgart, Radio France Lyon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande Geneva, Philharmonique de Strassbourg, Finnish Radio Orchestra Helsinki, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philhramonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, Mozarteum Salzburg, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Mito Chamber Orchestra, Saito Kinen Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, RTVE Orchestra Madrid and Arthur Rubinstein Lodz Philharmonic.
Baborák is especially popular in Japan; since 1994 he has been on regular tours in the country. Over a period of ten years, Baborák has recorded more than twenty CDs for the Japanese label Octavia Records (Exton, Cryston).
An essential part of Radek Baborák’s musical life is chamber music. He founded and has been the leader of several ensembles: the Baborák Ensemble; the Czech Horn Chorus, which continues the 300 year-old tradition of horn playing in the Czech lands; and the Prague Chamber Soloists. He is a member of the Afflatus Quintet. Baborák plays in recitals with the pianist Yoko Kukuchi, with the organist Aleš Bárta and the harpist Jana Boušková. He is a member of Berlin-Munich-Vienna Octet and collaborates with the Berlin Baroque Soloists. As a chamber musician he is regularly invited to perform with outstanding musicians and personalities.
Radek Baborák had been a senior lecturer at the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini in Parma and holds the position of a guest professor at TOHO University Tokyo, Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia and teaches at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Prague. He has led horn courses in Germany and Switzerland.
Radek Baborák was born in Pardubice in 1976. During his studies at the Prague Conservatory (1990–1994) he won competitions in Geneva in 1993, Markneukirchen in 1994 and ARD in Munich in 1994. In 1995 he was awarded the Grammy Award Classic and the Dawidov Prize.
At the age of eighteen Baborák was appointed principal horn with the Czech Philharmonic, and he remained in this position for two years. In 1996–2000 he was principal horn with the Munich Philharmonic. In 2001 he signed an exclusive contract with the Bamberg Symphony. Baborák’s position with the Berlin Philharmonic in the years 2003–2010 represents the last chapter of his career as an orchestra player.
A musician of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness, Ivo Kahánek has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting artists of his generation and is the Czech Republicʼs most acclaimed pianist. He is universally recognised as one of the foremost interpreters of Romantic piano music and is a particular specialist in Czech repertoire. He possesses a rare gift of creating an immediate and compelling emotional connection with his audiences.
Kahánek came to public attention after winning the Concertino Praga and, in 2004, the Prague Spring International Music Competition. He was subsequently a prize winner at many other competitions (Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona, Vendome Prize in Vienna, Stiftung Tomassoni Wettbewerb in Cologne, Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Marienbad, and others).
After his successful debuts at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn and the Prague Spring Festival in Prague Kahánek was invited to perform Martinůʼs Fourth Piano Concerto (“Incantations”) at the 2007 Proms Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek. The performance was broadcast live by the BBC as well as the Czech National Radio station “Vltava”. This truly memorable Proms debut is currently available on Deutsche Grammophon as a digital download.
In 2014, Kahánek was selected by Sir Simon Rattle to perform two critically acclaimed concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic. He is only the second Czech pianist after Rudolf Firkušný to perform with this legendary orchestra. Ivo Kahánek performs regularly with the Czech Philharmonic and has also recently appeared with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Glasgow, Essener Symphoniker, WDR Cologne, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Brno Philharmonic and many others. He has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest conductors, including maestros Semyon Bychkov, Jakub Hrůša, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Rafael Payare, Pinchas Steinberg, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jiří Bělohlávek, Tomáš Netopil, Andrey Boreyko, Libor Pešek or Zdeněk Mácal. A passionate chamber musician, he has worked with other instrumentalists, including violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Alissa Weilerstein, violist Paul Neubauer, and the Pavel Haas and Tetzlaff Quartets, or the soprano Martina Janková and tenor Pavel Černoch.
In 2020 he will be touring the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, and elsewhere, presenting himself as a soloist in piano concertos by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín Dvořák, Bohuslav Martinů, and Béla Bartók accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic, the Essen Philharmonic, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and other orchestras. In addition, of course, he will be giving many recitals in cities including Berlin, London, Jeddah, Bratislava, and Prague. He will also appear at international festivals including the BBC Proms (London), the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, Smetanaʼs Litomyšl and in the subscription series of such orchestras as the Czech Philharmonic, the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice, and the Slovak State Philharmonic in Košice.
Ivo Kahánek has already released thirteen CDs on the Supraphon Music label (with which he has an exclusive contract since 2007) of works by Chopin, Dvořák, Janáček, Martinů, Klein, Kabeláč, Francaix, Ibert and more. A recording of songs by Martinů with singers Martina Janková and Tomáš Král was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or and the Selection of the month in the Opernwelt and Opera News magazines. His most recent recording of the piano concertos by Dvořák and Martinů, where he is accompanied by the Bamberger Philharmoniker under the baton of Jakub Hrůša, was selected as the recording of the month in the BBC Music Magazine, Choix de Classique HD, and it was also the recording of the week on BBC Radio 3. At the same time it was included in the nominations for the ICMA Award as well as the BBC Music Magazine Award. He also regularly appears on both Czech Radio and Czech Television.
Ivo Kahánek is a graduate of the Janáček Conservatoire in Ostrava, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
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.