In collaboration with the Prague Spring International Festival, the Czech Philharmonic presents an all-Mozart gala on Saturday 23 May 2020. Led by Principal Guest Conductor Tomáš Netopil and Concertmaster Jiří Vodička, 39 members of the Orchestra will be joined by Mozart specialists Kateřina Kněžíková (soprano), Simona Šaturová (soprano), Adam Plachetka (bass-baritone) and Jan Martiník (bass). Proceeds from the concert will go to the People in Need Foundation (Člověk v tísni) specifically for those with economic problems caused by coronavirus and for the education of children. Filmed from the stage of the Rudolfinum in Prague, the performance will be available on the Czech Philharmonic's Facebook page from 8pm (GMT+1) via a live stream provided by Czech TV. Excerpts from Mozart’s most famous operas: Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Don Giovanni – which premièred in Prague in 1787 - and from Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) will feature alongside the Second Movement of the Flute and Harp Concerto with Czech Philharmonic soloists Andrea Rysová (flute) and Jana Boušková (harp), and the Fourth Movement of Symphony No. 41 Jupiter.
The series of benefit concerts presented by the Czech Philharmonic over the past weeks continue a philosophy that has been present throughout the Czech Philharmonic’s history: the Orchestra's 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 and the Orchestra's current initiatives include a comprehensive education strategy engaging with more than 400 schools across the country; continuing work with singer Ida Kelarová to give voice to the extensive Romany communities within the Czech Republic and Slovakia: as well as educational exchanges with the Royal Academy of Music in London.
The Czech Philharmonic’s first Covid-19 benefit took place on 28 March and was watched on Facebook by over 177000 people across the world. Organised together with Czech Savings Bank (Česká spořitelna) and Czech TV, the concert raised £250,000 (7.5 million crowns) for hospitals in Prague and Brno treating patients suffering from the most severe cases of coronavirus. A second benefit concert led by Jakub Hrůša, Co-Principal Guest Conductor with Netopil, followed on 25 April to raise funds for the charity ŽIVOT 90 taking care of elderly people in the Czech Republic.