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Czech Philharmonic • Smetana's Litomyšl National Festival
In accordance with tradition, the season of the Czech Philharmonic will culminate with two performances at the Smetana’s Litomyšl National Festival. In the first evening, the orchestra will be led by its Principal Guest Conductor Tomáš Netopil, and concertmaster Jiří Vodička will appear as the soloist in violin concerto by Dvořák.
Festive Overture in D Major, Op. 4
Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68
Jiří Vodička violin
Tomáš Netopil conductor
Litomyšl — Litomyšl Castle
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.
Tomáš Netopil served his eight season as General Music Director of the Aalto Musiktheater and Philharmonie Essen in 2020|2021. This season, the operas he plans to conduct in Essen include Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Die Zauberflöte, The Bartered Bride, and Arabella. In recent seasons, he conducted Salome, Così fan tutte, Rusalka, Lohengrin, Die Walküre, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Pique Dame, and Der Rosenkavalier. During his tenure, he has recorded highly acclaimed Suk’s Asrael, Martinů’s Ariane and Double Concerto, plus Mahler Symphonies Nos. 6 and 9.
In summer 2018, Tomáš Netopil created the International Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž offering students both exceptional artistic tuition and the opportunity to meet and work with major international musicians. In summer 2020, in association with the Dvořák Prague Festival, the academy established the Dvořák Prague Youth Philharmonic with musicians from conservatories and music academies, coached by principal players of the Czech Philharmonic. Tomáš Netopil has held a close relationship with the Dvořák Prague Festival for some time and was its Artist in Residence in 2017, opening the festival with Essen Philharmoniker and closing the festival with Dvořák’s Te Deum and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. This new undertaking consolidated this relationship still further. An inspirational force in Czech music, Tomáš Netopil also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. In early spring 2018 he led the orchestra on an extensive UK tour and conducted Má vlast in the opening concert of the 2018 Prague Spring Festival, which was televised live. In the 2020|2021 season, his planned engagements with them included conducting their 130th anniversary celebrations of Bohuslav Martinů, their 2021 New Year concert, and at the Smetana’s Litomyšl Festival in June 2021.
Operatic highlights include Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (La clemenza di Tito, Rusalka, The Cunning Little Vixen, La Juive, The Bartered Bride, and Busoni’s Doktor Faust), Vienna Staatsoper (his most recent successes include Idomeneo, Der Freischütz, and a new production of Leonore) and the Netherlands Opera (Jenůfa featuring Annette Dasch, Hanna Schwarz, and Evelyn Herlitzius). His upcoming plans as a guest conductor include The Makropoulos Case at Grand Théâtre de Genève and Jenůfa for Hamburg Opera.
On the concert platform, Netopil’s planned engagements in 2020|2021 included Orchestre National de France, Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Varsovia. His highlights of recent seasons included Zürich Tonhalle as well as engagements with Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de Montpellier, RAI Torino, and Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.
Tomáš Netopil’s discography for Supraphon includes Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (the first ever recording of the original 1927 version), Dvořák’s complete cello works, Martinů’s Ariane and Double Concerto, and Smetana’s Má vlast with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
In 2008–2012, Tomáš Netopil held the position of Music Director of the Prague National Theatre. Tomáš Netopil studied violin and conducting in his native Czech Republic, as well as at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm under the guidance of Professor Jorma Panula. In 2002, he won the 1st prize in the Sir Georg Solti Conductors Competition at the Alte Oper Frankfurt.