Tomáš Brauner and Jiří Vodička will present a sparkling combination of classics
and modern works at the concerts in March 2019.
Important annoucement: due to the family issues, David Robertson will be replaced by a conductor Tomáš Brauner.
Concerto in E Flat Major (“Dumbarton Oaks”)
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63
Symphony No. 22 in E Flat Major, Hob I/22 (“The Philosopher”)
Sinfonietta La Jolla, for piano and chamber orchestra, H 328
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 Brauner belongs to the most sought-after conductors of his generation. At present, he is the Chief Conductor of the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra; since 2014 he has been the Principal Guest Conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Tomáš Brauner regularly collaborates with leading symphony orchestras such as the Prague Symphony Orchestra, PKF – Prague Philharmonia, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Moscow Radio State Orchestra, Orchestra of Colours Athens, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of Pardubice, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra of Olomouc, North-Bohemian Philharmonic Orchestra of Teplice and Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
He started his opera conducting career in 2007 in the J. K. Tyl Theater in Pilsen, where he premiered or prepared the production of a wide range of operas such as La Gioconda by Ponchielli, Don Giovanni by Mozart, Il Turco di Italia by Rossini, Maid of Orleans by Tchaikovsky, Jacobin by Dvořák, Faust by Gounod, Turandot by Puccini and Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea.
In 2008 he made his debut in the State Opera Prague with Verdi’s Othello and since then he has conducted many other operas (Don Quichotte by Massenet, The Barber of Seville by Rossini, La Bohéme and Tosca by Puccini, Nabucco by Verdi, The Magic Flute by Mozart, Carmen by Bizet, and the concert performance of Mignon by Ambrois Thomas).
In the National Moravian-Silesian Theater in Ostrava he prepared a new production of Nabucco and Ernani by Verdi, Maria Stuarda by Donizetti, Romeo and Juliet by Gounod, Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas, Káťa Kabanová by Janáček and others. In Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City he conducted Jenůfa by Janáček.
He also conducted ballets such as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky (National Moravian-Silesian Theater in Ostrava). In 2010 he prepared a new production of Hunchback of Notre Dame by Maurice Jarre (Opera Pilsen) and in 2011 Giselle by Adolphe Charles Adam in the State Opera Prague.
Tomáš Brauner appears as a guest at prominent international festivals such as the Bad Kissingen International Music Festival, Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch Parten-Kirchen (An Alpine Symphony with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra at the opening concert celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss), Prague Spring Festival, Smetanaʼs Litomyšl International Opera Festival and International Music Festival Český Krumlov.
Tomáš Brauner was born in Prague in 1978. He studied the oboe and conducting at the Prague Conservatory. In 2005 he graduated from the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he studied conducting with Radomil Eliška. He continued his studies at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna with Uroš Lajovic. In 2010 he became a prizewinner of the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens.
In the mid-1930s, a remarkable American music lover and patron of the arts, Robert Woods Bliss, commissioned a composition from Stravinsky to celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary in 1938. Stravinsky decided for the form of concerto. His Concerto in E flat major is better known as “Dumbarton Oaks”, the name of the Blisses’ mansion in the neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Stravinsky began to work on it in the spring of 1937 while vacationing with his family at the foothills of the French Alps, and completed it in Paris in March of the following year.
At the beginning the composition sounds as if it were from the Baroque era, but slowly there come dissonances and it is soon evident that it is a neo-classical (or more precisely neo-Baroque) work of the 20th century. Indeed, Stravinsky’s main source of inspiration was Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. There is no doubt that Stravinsky was a master of the compositional techniques of early music, especially as far as counterpoint and melodic line are concerned. In terms of harmony, form and expression, however, Stravinsky has created a completely original travesty of the music of past epochs, which is typical of him and which has fascinated many generations of listeners.
The Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev wrote Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 in 1933, when he resettled in the Soviet Union after living and working for many years in the United States of America and in Western Europe. At that time, he departed somewhat from the aesthetics of the interwar avant-garde, and at his own initiative he began writing more accessible, clearly organised pieces in addition to works of quality. Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto is a good example of his inclination to simplicity. Despite its clear message, it is a work of extraordinary imagination in terms of harmony and the dealing with themes. Prokofiev wrote the concerto at the same time as his most famous ballet, Romeo and Juliet. The similarities between both compositions are particularly noticeable in the heartfelt melody of the concerto’s second dance movement.
During the nearly thirty years that Haydn spent at the princely court of the Esterházy family, he produced a great number of compositions in which he successfully developed his compositional style. These include, in particular, symphonies intended for a specific occasion of court life. During 1764 he composed in total 11 symphonic works. One of them is Symphony No. 22 in E flat major nicknamed “The Philosopher”, which does not at all sound as mass-produced consumer goods. Haydn substituted the hitherto common oboes by English horns. They are heard in the exposition of the introductory theme, which they present in alternation with French horns. The title of the symphony seems to be derived from the slow opening movement in unusually moderate tempo. It is followed by the fast and dramatic second movement, although in classical cyclic compositions this usually comes in reverse order.
The Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů wrote Sinfonietta La Jolla for piano and chamber orchestra in 1950, when he was a composition teacher at the prestigious Princeton University in New Jersey. It is considered to be the last piece of Martinů’s neo-classical period, the beginnings of which can be detected in his music from the 1930s. It was commissioned by the Musical Arts Society of La Jolla, California. Although Sinfonietta La Jolla in three movements with the classical fast-slow-fast structure is designated as a composition for piano and orchestra, it is far from being a concerto work – the piano is not really a solo instrument here, but a distinctive member of the chamber ensemble providing it with a remarkable color of sound.
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