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.

  • Duration of the programme 1 hour 30 minutes

Programme

Anton Bruckner
Tota pulchra es Maria (arr. Miloš Bok)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major

Hans Leo Hassler
Canzona (arr. Verne Raynolds)

Antonio Vivaldi
The Four Seasons (selection)

Antonín Dvořák
Largo from Symphony No. 9 "From The New World"
(arr. by Radek Baborák for French horn ensemble)

Antonín Dvořák
Serenade for Strings
1st, 3rd and 5th Movement

Camille Saint-Saens
Andante for Horn and Organ

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Finale from Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings

Leoš Janáček
Postludium from Glagolitic Mass

Anton Bruckner
Moteto Ecce sacerdos Magnus (arr. Miloš Bok)

Performers

Josef Špaček violin
Jan Mráček violin
Jiří Vodička violin
Radek Baborák French horn
Aleš Bárta organ
Ivo Kahánek piano

Horn Chorus

Collegium 1704
Václav Luks conductor

Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Jakub Hrůša conductor

Photo illustrating the event Helping with the Czech Philharmonic II Benefit Concert

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall


Tickets and contact information

Concert will be broadcasted on ČT art and streamed on facebook pages of the Czech Philharmonic and other partners.

Throughout the Czech Philharmonic’s history, two features have remained at its core: its championing of Czech composers and its belief in music’s power to change lives. Václav Talich (Chief Conductor 1919 - 1941) pioneered concerts for workers, young people and voluntary organisations as early as the 1920’s. The philosophy continues today. In these difficult times the orchestra organize another benefit concert. The aim is to raise money for elderly people in the Czech Republic. In solidarity with freelance musicians across the country, several of them were invited to attract public attention to their situation.

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Performers

Josef Špaček  violin, guest artist
Josef Špaček

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. He appears with prestigious orchestras and collaborating with eminent conductors. He equally enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music and is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe, Asia and the USA. 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. By the end of the 2019/2020 season he served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.

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 world’s orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, St Louis Symphony, Symphony of Florida, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Romanian Radio Symphony, Lappeenranta City Orchestra (Finland) as well as the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK), Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava and almost all Czech regional orchestras.

Jan Mráček had the honor of being invited by Maestro Jiří Bělohlávek to guest lead the Czech Philharmonic 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. He has been a concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic since 2018.

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.

Jan Mráček plays on a Carlo Fernando Landolfi violin, Milan 1758, generously loaned to him by Mr Peter Biddulph.

In 2021 he received Jiří Bělohlávek Award from the Czech Philharmonic.

Jiří Vodička  violin
Jiří Vodička

Jiří Vodička is one of the most illustrious Czech violin soloists. Thanks to his extraordinary talent, he won prestigious competitions at an early age (Kocian International Violin Competition in Ústí nad Orlicí, Louis Spohr International Violin Competition in Weimar, Germany, Beethoven’s Hradec, and the Slovak competition Čírenie talentov). He also won the first and second prizes at the world-famous international competition Young Concert Artists, held in Leipzig and New York. At age 14 he was given a special exception allowing him study at a university. Under the guidance of the renowned teacher Zdeněk Gola, he earned his Master’s Degree at the Institute for Artistic Studies in Ostrava in 2007.

He regularly appears as a soloist with the top orchestras at home and abroad, he is invited to the most famous classical music festivals, and his concerts are broadcast regularly on Czech Television and Czech Radio. In 2014 on the Supraphon label he recorded his debut solo album “Violino Solo” with some of the most difficult compositions for violin solo. The CD got great reviews in this country and abroad. Besides solo playing, he also performs chamber music. In 2020 he founded the Czech Philharmonic Piano Trio with two other soloists (Martin Kasík – piano, Václav Petr – cello). In 2021 they won the Vienna International Music Competition. Their video recordings are regularly seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers on social media.

Since 2015 he has also held the post of concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic. In 2019 he was honoured by the prestigious Prague Classic Awards. He also teaches at the Prague Conservatoire and the University of Ostrava.

Radek Baborák  french horn
Radek Baborák

The French horn player and conductor Radek Baborák is one of the most prominent classical music figures internationally. Since making his solo debut in 1989, he has been collaborating with the world’s leading orchestras, important soloists and ensembles, and top conductors. After having played principal French horn in orchestras for many years (with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, and Czech Philharmonic) and having gained much experience in the field of chamber music and in the artistic leadership of ensembles (Baborák Ensemble — Orquestrina, Czech Horn Chorus, Afflatus Quintet), in 2008 he began devoting himself to a parallel career as a conductor in the tradition of instrumentalists who have chosen to realise their artistic visions and dreams by conducting their own performances. Baborák’s main mentor and model in this has been Maestro Daniel Barenboim, whom Baborák has assisted with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Baborák has also played as a soloist under Barenboim’s baton, taken part in Boulez Ensemble chamber music projects, and taught as a professor at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin.

The initial impulse for Baborák stepping onto the conductor’s podium was an invitation from the musicians of the Mito Chamber Orchestra to stand in for their indisposed chief conductor, Maestro Seiji Ozawa, during a tour of Europe in 2008. Baborák became Ozawa’s pupil, and their work together climaxed at the jubilee 100th concert of the MCO, at which Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was heard—Radek Baborák conducted the first two movements, and Seiji Ozawa conducted the third movement and finale.

In 2011 Baborák took the initiative in founding the Czech Sinfonietta, a festival orchestra that he conducts. He is also the chief conductor and since 2013 the artistic director of the Prague Chamber Soloists. In 2017 he was appointed as chief guest conductor of the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra. Radek Baborák’s repertoire includes music of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras as well as works by composers of the 20th and 21st centuries including Na'ama Tamir Kaplan, Toshio Hosokawa, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Antti Sakari Saario. He has given the world premieres of works by Jean-Gaspard Páleníček, Lukáš Hurník and Aleš Březina and of his own compositions. In 2021 he became the chief conductor of the West-Bohemian Symphony Orchestra.

Ivo Kahánek  piano
Ivo Kahánek

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. He is universally recognised as one of the foremost interpreters of Romantic piano music and is a particular specialist in Czech repertoire (awarded e.g. by Dispaison d’Or). He possesses a rare gift of creating an immediate and compelling emotional connection with his audiences. Kahánek came to public attention after winning the Prague Spring International Music Competition in 2004 and performing at the 2007 Proms Festival with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek. He has collaborated with the most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic (Sir Simon Rattle), the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, and many others. He 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.

Jakub Hrůša  principal guest conductor
Jakub Hrůša

Born in the Czech Republic, Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Music Director Designate of The Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Music Director from 2025), Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

He is a frequent guest with the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Vienna, Berlin, Munich and New York Philharmonics; Bavarian Radio, NHK, Chicago and Boston Symphonies; Leipzig Gewandhaus, Lucerne Festival, Royal Concertgebouw, Mahler Chamber and The Cleveland Orchestras; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. He has led opera productions for the Salzburg Festival (Káťa Kabanová with the Vienna Philharmonic in 2022), Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra National de Paris, and Zurich Opera. He has also been a regular guest with Glyndebourne Festival and served as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour for three years.

His relationships with leading vocal and instrumental soloists have included collaborations in recent seasons with Daniil Trifonov, Mitsuko Uchida, Hélène Grimaud, Behzod Abduraimov, Anne Sofie Mutter, Lukáš Vondráček, Lisa Batiashvili, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Gautier Capuçon, Julia Fischer, Sol Gabetta, Hilary Hahn, Janine Jansen, Karita Mattila, Leonidas Kavakos, Lang Lang, Josef Špaček, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Klaus Florian Vogt, Yuja Wang, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Alisa Weilerstein and others.

As a recording artist, Jakub Hrůša has received numerous awards and nominations for his discography. Most recently, he received the Opus Klassik Conductor of the Year nomination and the ICMA prize for Symphonic Music for his recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, both with Bamberg Symphony. In 2021, his disc of Martinů and Bartók violin concertos with Bamberg Symphony and Frank Peter Zimmermann was nominated for BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone awards, and his recording of the Dvořák Violin Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and Augustin Hadelich was nominated for a Grammy Award. His recordings of Dvořák and Martinů Piano Concertos with Ivo Kahánek and the Bamberg Symphony, and Vanessa by Samuel Barber from Glyndebourne both won BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2020.

Jakub Hrůša studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where his teachers included Jiří Bělohlávek. He is President of the International Martinů Circle and The Dvořák Society. He was the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize, and in 2020 was awarded both the Antonín Dvořák Prize by the Czech Republic’s Academy of Classical Music, and – together with Bamberg Symphony – the Bavarian State Prize for Music.

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