Czech Philharmonic • David Robertson

Among the several Czech Philharmonic commissions for music by Czech and foreign composers is a new work by Miloš Orson Štědroň. We wanted to give one of the orchestra players the opportunity of appearing as a soloist.

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Igor Stravinsky
Symphonies of Wind Instruments (12')

Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major (19')
Miloš Orson Štědroň
Bimetal – Concerto for two trombones and orchestra (world première) (20')

George Gershwin
An American in Paris (16')


Ivo Kahánek piano

Lukáš Moťka trombone
Robert Kozánek trombone

David Robertson conductor

Photo illustrating the event Czech Philharmonic • David Robertson

Rudolfinum — Dvorak Hall

Dress rehearsal
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Among the several Czech Philharmonic commissions for music by Czech and foreign composers is a new work by Miloš Orson Štědroň. We wanted to give one of the orchestra players the opportunity of appearing as a soloist. When the composer presented the piece, we were twice pleased. Firstly, there were two soloists instead of one, and we also liked the idea of showcasing the wide range of performance skills of both our first trombonists, Robert Kozánek and Lukáš Moťka.

David Robertson is one of the few top conductors who is willing to devote precious time in his busy schedule to learning a brand new work. His vast experience with contemporary music, his knowledge of the music by Olivier Messiaen, and his role as the director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain have made Robertson an exceptionally versatile and sought-after artist. He has been appearing regularly with the Czech Philharmonic in recent seasons and his concerts are always characteristic for their interesting programme. He has put Štědroň’s new work alongside Gershwin’s popular and evocative composition An American in Paris and has entrusted the opening of the concert to the wind section of the Czech Philharmonic. As the soloist in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D Major, he has invited the Czech pianist Ivo Kahánek, whom he had heard on a recording of Dvořák and Martinů with Jakub Hrůša and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. So you can look forward to a Czech soloist in an international programme, the common elements of which are tone colour and the striking use of the effects that the modern orchestra has to offer.


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.

Lukáš Moťka  trombone

Lukáš Moťka

He studied at the Pavel Josef Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž, Czech Republic, with Rudolf Beran, the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts with Professor Jaroslav Kummer and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with Mgr. Jiří Sušický. On top of that, he complemented his education at Konservatorium Privatuniversität Wien with Gabriel Madas. He won the 1st prize and was named the overall winner of the Czech Conservatories Competition as well as the International Brass Competition in Brno. He was among the semi-finalists of the Hungarofest Competition in Hungary, Lieksa Brass Week in Finland and ARD International Music Competition in Germany. He took the 3rd prize at the Markneukirchen International Competition (Germany) and the 2nd prize with the laureate title at the Prague Spring International Competition.

He played in the Moravian Theatre Olomouc Orchestra for two seasons and was the solo trombonist of the Brno National Theatre Orchestra for four seasons. He currently is the solo trombonist of the Czech Philharmonic, teaches at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague as well as many interpretation courses both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

He is a popular soloist and has performed with the Czech Philharmonic, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and Vogtland Philharmonie Greiz/Reichenbach. He plays chamber and jazz music (with the Czech Philharmonic Jazz Band) and has premiered pieces by contemporary composers, including Juraj Filas, Ladislav Kubík and Pavel Slezák.

Robert Kozánek  trombone

Robert Kozánek

He studied at the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž (Czech Republic) and graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in 2002. He attended Professor Michel Becquet’s masterclass organised by the Czech-French Academy of Music in Telč (Czech Republic) in 1998 and completed a six-month stay at the Guildhall School of Music in London with Professor Simon Wills in 2001. He was named the laureate of international competitions in Geneva (Switzerland, 1998), Gdansk (Poland, 1999), Markneukirchen (Germany, 2002), Jeju (South Korea, 2002), Lieksa (Finland) and Helsinki (2003).

He is the principal trombonist of the Czech Philharmonic and became the section leader in the 2014-2015 season. As a soloist, he has performed with PKF – Prague Philharmonia, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and other Czech orchestras. He has recorded three solo CDs and some twenty more with various chamber ensembles. He has taught at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno since 2003 and was appointed associate professor in 2011.

David Robertson  conductor

David Robertson

David Robertson – conductor, artist, thinker, and American musical visionary – occupies some of the most prominent platforms on the international music scene. A highly sought-after podium figure in the worlds of opera, orchestral music, and new music, Robertson is celebrated worldwide as a champion of contemporary composers, an ingenious and adventurous programmer, and a masterful communicator whose passionate advocacy for the art form is widely recognized. A consummate and deeply collaborative musician, Robertson is hailed for his intensely committed music making.

Building upon his dynamic association with The Metropolitan Opera, Robertson conducts the Met’s 2019/2020 season opening production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, directed by James Robinson, and featuring Eric Owens and Angel Blue. On the podium for all fourteen performances of the opera, through early February 2020, David Robertson also returns to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to complete his 2019 valedictory season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director with American and French music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Robertson will continue to conduct the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in future seasons as the city undertakes a major renovation of its beloved Sydney Opera House.

In Fall 2019, David Robertson joins the newly formed Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council, an international body created to guide the young Chinese campus of the Juilliard School, complementing his role as Director of Conducting Studies, Distinguished Visiting Faculty. In the 2019/2020 season, Robertson continues his prolific collaboration with composer John Adams, conducting performances of his opera-oratorio El Niño with the Houston Symphony. In addition to numerous international musical endeavors this season, Robertson returns to the Staatskapelle Dreden and Czech Philharmonic, and conducts the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, and, in New York, The Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

In 2018, David Robertson completed his transformative 13-year tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he solidified the orchestra’s status as one of the nation’s most enduring and innovative. For the SLSO, he established fruitful relationships with a wide spectrum of artists, and garnered a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for the Nonesuch release of John Adams’ City Noir. Completing the historic Robertson-SLSO association, two final recordings were released in 2019: Wynton Marsalis’ Swing Symphony, with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, on Blue Engine Records; and Mozart Piano Concertos, No. 17 in G Major, K.453 and No. 24 in C Minor, K.491, with Orli Shaham, on Canaray Classics.

In addition to Sydney and St. Louis, Robertson has served in artistic leadership positions at musical institutions including the Orchestre National de Lyon, and, as a protégé of Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble InterContemporain, which he led on its first North American tour. At the BBC Symphony Orchestra, he served as Principal Guest Conductor. Robertson has served as a Perspectives Artist at Carnegie Hall, where he has conducted, among others, The Met Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He appears regularly in Europe with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, the Dresden Staatskapelle, and at the Berlin Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Proms, and the Musica Viva Festival in Munich.

Robertson’s longstanding relationship with the Met Opera includes the premiere of Phelim McDermott’s celebrated Spring 2018 production of Così fan tutte, set in 1950s Coney Island. Since his Met debut in 1996, with The Makropulos Case, he has conducted a breathtaking range of Met projects, including the Met premiere of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer (2014); the 2016 revival of Janáček’s Jenůfa, then its first Met performances in nearly a decade; the premiere production of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys (2013); and many favorites, from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro to Britten’s Billy Budd. Robertson has frequent projects at the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including La Scala, Théâtre du Châtelet, Bayerische Staatsoper (orchestra), the San Francisco Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera.

Robertson is the recipient of numerous musical and artistic awards, and in 2010 was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France. He is devoted to supporting young musicians and has worked with students at the festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, Lucerne, at the Paris Conservatoire, Music Academy of the West, and the National Orchestral Institute. In 2014, he led the Coast to Coast tour of Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA.

Born in Santa Monica, California, David Robertson was educated at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he studied horn and composition before turning to orchestral conducting. He is married to pianist Orli Shaham, and lives in New York.


Igor Stravinsky
Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Jednovětá Symfonie pro dechové nástroje (v originále nese francouzský titul Symphonies d´instruments à vent) Igora Stravinského (1882–1971) byla napsána „na památku Clauda Debussyho“, který zemřel roku 1918. Východiskem byla krátká skladba, chorál, zkomponovaný na výzvu časopisu Revue musicale k Debussyho uctění; Stravinskij se na tomto „Tombeau“ podílel spolu s Bélou Bartókem, Mauricem Ravelem a Manuelem de Fallou. Chorál Stravinskij o dva roky později, v době, kdy přesídlil do Francie, zapracoval do finální věty Symfonie pro dechy (roku 1934 získal francouzské občanství). K dalším větám využil některé ze skic, které vznikly v souvislosti s prací na jiných skladbách. V prvních desetiletích dvacátého století prodělalo podstatnou proměnu mimo jiné pojetí instrumentace. Skladatelé opouštěli hutný zvuk symfonického orchestru a soustřeďovali se na jednotlivé nástrojové skupiny. V jejich partiturách hrály podstatnou barevnou i strukturní roli koncertantně pojaté nástroje, ansámbly se proměňovaly v soubory sólistů.

Právě originální uplatnění dechových nástrojů bylo po dlouhá léta typické pro francouzské skladatele, a tak lze způsob sazby v Symfonii pro dechy považovat i za projev Stravinského obdivu k francouzské hudební tradici. Forma skladby symfonii neodpovídá – nejen jednovětostí, ale nenalezneme v ní ani sonátovou strukturu; označení odpovídá původnímu významu řeckého slovního spojení pro souzvuk. Ve skladbě se střídají témata různého charakteru včetně již zmíněného chorálu, který je inspirován ruskou ortodoxní liturgií, názvuků pastorální a taneční hudby ap. Symfonie pro dechy měla premiéru 10. června 1921 v Londýně. Roku 1947, kdy se stal Stravinskij americkým občanem, skladbu přepracoval pro 23 nástrojů, přičemž první verzi ponechal v platnosti.