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Czech Philharmonic • Karen Gomyo
Young American violinist Karen Komyo will make her debut with the Czech Philharmonic under the leadership od Chief Conductor Semyon Bychkov. She will perform Mozart’s violin concerto No. 3. Symphony No. 2 by Beethoven is also on the programme. Due to restrictions there is a change in dates of concerts. Every day we will play at 6 pm and 8.30 pm.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 3 in G Major, KV 216 (24')
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36 (35')
Concert without intermission.
Karen Gomyo violin
Semyon Bychkov conductor
Rudolfinum — Dvorak Hall
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.
New dates and programme
Due to Czech government regulations restricting audience in concert halls to 500 people we decided to divide the subscription concerts on 7th – 9th October into two programmes played during one evening, specifically at 6 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.
Concerts are sold out. If you bought a ticket, on Monday you will receive an electronic link which will allow you to choose your preferred time. You will then get a new e-ticket for 0,- CZK for the selected time. The original ticket will guarantee your seat in the concert hall, you will thus need to show both tickets when entering the Rudolfinum – your original ticket and your new e-ticket.
Some musicians are already in quarantine and we had to split the orchestra in two to make sure that the second half will be able to step in if someone from the first half has to quarantine. This is why we had to replace the planned programme with pieces by Mozart and Beethoven suitable for smaller orchestra. We are sorry but we feel that this is still better than cancelling concerts.
Preludes will take place an hour before the subscription concerts as usual in the Suk Hall, that is at 5 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
We are sorry for any inconveniences. Please, feel free to contact our customer service via e-mail info(zavinac)czechphilharmonic.cz or phone +420 227 059 227. We are happy that we can play for you.
Born in Tokyo and beginning her musical career in Montréal and New York, violinist Karen Gomyo has recently made Berlin her home. A musician of the highest calibre, the Chicago Tribune praised her as: "…a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity".
Karen’s 2019/20 season features European debuts with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with Cristian Macelaru, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with Jonathan Nott, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern with Pietari Inkinen, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Gergely Madaras and Dresdner Philharmoniker with Roderick Cox.
Other recent European appearances include Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Radio France, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Danish National Symphony, and in March 2019 Karen opened the Dubai Proms with the BBC Symphony and Ben Gernon. At present Karen makes her debut at the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with Semyon Bychkov.
Already well established in North America Karen has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Detroit, San Francisco, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, and Washington D.C. Further afield her popularity in Australasia continued over the last few seasons as she toured with New Zealand Symphony and also appeared with West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth, Tasmanian Symphony and in recital at the Sydney Opera House. In Asia she maked her debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Strongly committed to contemporary works, Karen gave the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Concerto No. 2 Mar’eh with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington under the baton of the composer, as well as Pēteris Vasks’ Vox Amoris with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds. In May 2018 Karen performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ new Chamber Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen to great critical acclaim. The work was written specifically for Karen and commissioned by the CSO’s ‘Music Now’ series for their 20th anniversary.
“This was a testament not only to Mahler, but also to Mr. Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic... this was a moving and intelligent reading of the Resurrection, dramatic in the opening and finale, sweet and playful in the inner movements, and sublime in the setting of Urlicht...”
The New York Times
Semyon Bychkov's tenure as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic was initiated with concerts in Prague, London, New York and Washington marking the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence in 2018. Since the culmination of The Tchaikovsky Project in 2019 – a 7-CD box set released by Decca Classics and a series of international residencies – Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic have been focusing on the symphonic works of Mahler with performances and recordings scheduled both at home and abroad.
During the 2021/22 season, Mahler’s First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Symphonies will all be heard internationally including on tour at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria during the summer. The Czech Philharmonic’s 126th season’s subscription concerts in October will open with Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. In the spring, a Czech Festival at Vienna’s Musikverein featuring Smetana’s Má vlast – recorded by Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic during lockdown - alongside works by Kabeláč, Dvořák, Martinů and Janáček will be followed by an extensive European tour including concerts at the Philharmonie in Berlin, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and two concerts at London’s Barbican Centre.
Especially recognised for his interpretations of the core repertoire, Bychkov has also worked closely with many extraordinary contemporary composers including Luciano Berio, Henri Dutilleux and Maurizio Kagel. In recent seasons he has collaborated with René Staar, Thomas Larcher, Richard Dubignon, Detlev Glanert and Julian Anderson, conducting premières of their works with the Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Highlights of the new season include the German première of Larcher’s Piano Concerto with dedicatee Kirill Gerstein in Berlin, the Czech première of Bryce Dessner’s Mari and the world première of Anderson’s Prague Panoramas, also presented in Prague. The three new works are amongst fourteen commissions initiated by Bychkov at the start of his tenure with the Czech Philharmonic.
In common with the Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov has one foot firmly in the culture of the East and the other in the West. Born in St Petersburg in 1952, Bychkov emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has lived in Europe since the mid-1980's. Singled out for an extraordinarily privileged musical education from the age of 5, Bychkov studied piano before winning his place at the Glinka Choir School where, aged 13, he received his first lesson in conducting. He was 17 when he was accepted at the Leningrad Conservatory to study with the legendary Ilya Musin and, within three years had won the influential Rachmaninov Conducting Competition. Denied the prize of conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic, Bychkov left the former Soviet Union.
By the time Bychkov returned to St Petersburg in 1989 as the Philharmonic’s Principal Guest Conductor, he had enjoyed success in the US as Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. His international career, which began in France with Opéra de Lyon and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, took off with a series of high-profile cancellations which resulted in invitations to conduct the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras. In 1989, he was named Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris; in 1997, Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne; and the following year, Chief Conductor of the Dresden Semperoper.
Bychkov’s symphonic and operatic repertoire is wide-ranging. He conducts in all the major houses including La Scala, Opéra national de Paris, Dresden Semperoper, Wiener Staatsoper, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Teatro Real. Madrid. While Principal Guest Conductor of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, his productions of Janáček’s Jenůfa, Schubert’s Fierrabras, Puccini’s La bohème, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov each won the prestigious Premio Abbiati. New productions in Vienna included Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Daphne, Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal, and Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina; while in London, he made his debut with a new production of Strauss’ Elektra, and subsequently conducted new productions of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten and Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Recent productions include Wagner’s Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival and Strauss’s Elektra at the Wiener Staatsoper.
On the concert platform, the combination of innate musicality and rigorous Russian pedagogy has ensured that Bychkov’s performances are highly anticipated. In the UK, in addition to regular performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, his honorary titles at the Royal Academy of Music and the BBC Symphony Orchestra - with whom he appears annually at the BBC Proms – reflect the warmth of the relationships. In Europe, he tours frequently with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Munich Philharmonic, as well as being a frequent guest of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Orchestre National de France and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; in the US, he can be heard with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras. This season, in addition to extensive concert commitments with the Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov's guest conducting engagements include further performances of Mahler’s symphonies with the Orchestre de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Berlin, Oslo and LA Philharmonic Orchestras, and Strauss’s Elektra at the Opéra national de Paris.
Bychkov made extensive recordings for Philips with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio, Royal Concertgebouw, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris. Later, his 13-year collaboration (1997-2010) with WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne produced a series of benchmark recordings that included works by Strauss (Elektra, Daphne, Ein Heldenleben, Metamorphosen, Alpensinfonie, Till Eulenspiegel), Mahler (Symphony No. 3, Das Lied von der Erde), Shostakovich (Symphony Nos. 4, 7, 8, 10, 11), Rachmaninov (The Bells, Symphonic Dances, Symphony No. 2), Verdi (Requiem), a complete cycle of Brahms Symphonies, and works by Detlev Glanert and York Höller. His recording of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin was recommended by BBC’s Radio 3’s Building a Library (2020); Wagner’s Lohengrin was BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Year (2010); and Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 with the Vienna
Philharmonic was BBC Music Magazine’s Record of the Month (2018).
In 2015, Semyon Bychkov was named Conductor of the Year by the International Opera Awards.
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 3 in G Major, KV 216
During his life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed five violin concertos, the first in 1773, the other ones in 1775. In them he capitalized on the experience from his trips to Italy, the knowledge of French music and the inspiration drawn from Josef Mysliveček, a Czech composer living in Italy. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 3 in G major, KV 216 was heard for the first time at the court of the Salzburg archbishop; it was probably performed by the court violinist Antonio Brunetti. The composition modeled after Vivaldi consists of three movements. Mozart borrowed the theme of the opening energetic Allegro from his opera Il re pastore; he did it not because he would lack inventiveness, but rather because this theme was more suitable for the violin than for singing. The enchanting Adagio with a dance central section played by woodwind instruments is followed by Rondeau, which quotes from at least one French folk tune. Mozart ends the whole concerto with his characteristic unpredictability: instead of an orchestral tutti, the listeners are bid farewell by the woodwind section in the weakened dynamics, evoking a feeling of disappearing music.
Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36
In the early nineteenth century, Beethoven was known to the Viennese public mainly as a pianist and a skilled improviser, but after the premiere of his Symphony No. 1. in C Major, he also began to earn a reputation as a composer. While composing his Symphony No. 2 (1801–1802), Beethoven was undergoing a crisis involving his physical condition. He was not healthy, and the problems had been manifesting themselves for several years. Without knowing the real cause of his problems, physicians had been prescribing various therapies, but they did not help. His hearing – the most important sense for a musician – was constantly worsening. In 1802 Beethoven wrote his brothers a letter later named after its place of origin, the "Heiligenstadt Testament". Heiligenstadt, now part of Vienna, remains an idyllic place. The despair of Beethoven’s words sharply contrasts with the peace and quiet and the undisturbed atmosphere of the place. He contemplated death, but he chose to live. We can sense this decision from the Symphony No. 2 in D Major. One period music critic descried the symphony’s defiant music as being like "a wounded dragon that refuses to die, but furiously thrashes about with its tail". This was the first symphony to contain a movement labelled as a "scherzo".