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The Czech Phil: Live in your living room IV • Tomáš Netopil

Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Tomáš Netopil will conduct the orchestra in the last concert of the pre-Christmas series. Trumpeters Stanislav Masaryk and Walter Hofbauer nad violinist Josef Špaček will appear as soloist during the evening. Music by Vejvanovský, Mendelssohn and Dvořák is on the programme.

Duration of the programme 1 hour 35 minutes


Pavel Josef Vejvanovský
Sonata Vespertina A8 (4')

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (30')

Antonín Dvořák
Symphony No. 6 in D Major, Op. 60 (41')


Stanislav Masaryk trumpet
Walter Hofbauer trumpet

Josef Špaček violin

Tomáš Netopil conductor

Marek Eben presenter

Photo illustrating the event The Czech Phil: Live in your living room IV • Tomáš Netopil

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

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Tickets and contact information

Concert will be broadcasted on ČT art and streamed on facebook pages of the Czech Philharmonic and other partners on 20th December at 8.15pm. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland it will be available only on Takt1.

Concert will be broadcasted on ČT art and streamed on facebook pages of the Czech Philharmonic and other partners on 20th December at 8.15pm. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland it will be available only on Takt1.


Stanislav Masaryk  trumpet

Born in Slovakia, Stanislav Masaryk (1993) has been playing the trumpet since the age of nine. As an exceptional student aged 13, he joined the class of JUDr. Michal Janoš at the Bratislava Conservatory and was enrolled there in the following year. He later continued at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava with Mgr. art. Rastislav Suchan ArtD. He finished 2nd in the Slovak Conservatories Competition in 2009 and took the 1st prize in 2012. In 2015, he won the Yamaha Scholarship Award. He was awarded the 1st prize and the title of the overall winner at the International Competition for Wind Instruments Brno 2017 among more than 60 trumpet players from the Visegrad Four countries.

He joined the hot-jazz orchestra Bratislava Hot Serenaders (led by trumpeter Jurej Bartoš) in 2009. In 2012–2015, he was a member of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 and 2018, he was the first trumpeter of the National Theatre Opera Orchestra in Prague. During that time, he started regularly collaborating with the Czech Philharmonic. He also occasionally plays as a guest in the Slovak Philharmonic and is currently the first trumpeter of the Slovak National Theatre Opera Orchestra.
As a soloist, he has performed with the Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Chamber Orchestra of Bohdan Warchal, Košice State Philharmonic, Cappella Istropolitana, State Chamber Orchestra Žilina, the chamber as well as the symphony orchestra of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and the Slovak Youth Orchestra.

He has joined the Czech Philharmonic as the first trumpeter in September 2020.

Walter Hofbauer   trumpet

At the age of 26, the trumpeter Walter Hofbauer has already captivated music critics with his outstanding artistic performances and to achieve exceptional results and recognition. He comes from the Czech town Třešť and was raised in a musical family. At age 8 he began studying trumpet with Evžen Mašát, and he soon won first prize at several nationwide competitions. In September 2009 he entered Jiří Jaroněk’s studio at the Prague Conservatoire, and he soon became the overall winner of the conservatoire competition. Already as a second-year student, he played first trumpet in the orchestra of the Prague Conservatoire at the opening concert of the Prague Spring Festival under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek, the chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. Two years later, he won the audition for the Orchestral Academy of the Czech Philharmonic. He graduated from the conservatoire in 2015, and that same year he was admitted to the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he continued his studies under the guidance of Vladimír Rejlek. As a laureate of the Concertino Praga International Radio Competition, he appeared at the Rudolfinum as a soloist with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and he became a full-time member of that orchestra in 2014. Since the 2017/2018 he has also been a member of the Orchestra of the National Theatre.

Josef Špaček  violin, guest artist

Josef Špaček

“Working with Josef Špaček is amazing. He is a wonderful person with good heart. You can feel this in his playing, which is gracious, teeming with emotion. And his technique is marvellous. He is one of the greatest solo violinists of the present time,” says the conductor Manfred Honeck, under whom the young virtuoso has regularly given concerts, in the Czech Television documentary Devět sezón (Nine Seasons) The 2023 film provides an interesting account of Špaček’s life, also shedding light on his nine-year tenure as the Czech Philharmonic’s concert master.  

Although not having been a member for four years, Josef Špaček has not ceased to collaborate with the Czech Philharmonic, pursuing numerous joint projects. And even though appearing as a soloist with celebrated orchestras worldwide and as a chamber player at the most prestigious concert venues, he continues to perform in Czech towns and remote villages. 

Josef Špaček is a member of the exciting international Trio Zimbalist, giving performances all over the globe. He has regularly appeared in the Czech Republic with the cellist Tomáš Jamník and the pianist Miroslav Sekera, with whom he has created critically acclaimed albums. He has also made recordings with the Czech Philharmonic (featuring Janáček’s and Dvořák’s violin concertos, and Suk’s Fantasy), the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Petr Popelka (Bohuslav Martinů’s music).

Born in 1986 in Třebíč, Bohemia, Josef Špaček showed his exceptional talent at an early age. Music was a natural part of his childhood (his father has been a cellist of the Czech Philharmonic for over three decades, and his siblings played instruments too), as described by his mother in the book Špačci ve fraku. After graduating from the Prague Conservatory 
(under the tutelage of Jaroslav Foltýn), Josef went on to study in the USA, where he attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (his teachers included Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo) and The Julliard School in New York (tutored by Itzak Perlman). 

After completing his formal education, he returned to his homeland, where he was named the youngest ever concert master of the Czech Philharmonic. At the same time, he performed as a soloist and chamber player, garnering international recognition. A watershed in his career was victory at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, whereupon he began receiving invitations from the world’s most renowned institutions. Due to his having an ever more challenging and busy schedule as a musician – and to his family situation, especially following the birth of three children – he resigned from the post of concert master of the Czech Philharmonic so as to focus solely on being a soloist. Owing to his immense talent and great diligence, his childhood dream to become a famous violinist has come to pass.  

Tomáš Netopil  conductor

Tomáš Netopil

Since the 2018/2019 season, Tomáš Netopil has been the Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, with which he regularly prepares concert programmes at the Rudolfinum and on tours. The 2022/2023 season was his tenth and final as General Music Director of the Aalto Theater and Philharmonic in Essen, Germany. From the 2025/2026 season, he will take up the post of chief conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2018, Tomáš Netopil created the International Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž, offering students exceptional artistic instruction and the chance to meet and work with major international musicians. In the summer of 2021, in association with the Dvořákova Praha Festival, the Academy established the Dvořák Prague Youth Philharmonic with musicians from conservatories and music academies, coached by principal players of the Czech Philharmonic.

As evidenced by his engagement in Essen, Tomáš Netopil is a sought-after opera conductor. From 2008 to 2012, he was the music director of the Opera of the National Theatre in Prague. Operatic highlights beyond Essen include the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (La clemenza di Tito, Rusalka, The Cunning Little Vixen, La Juive, The Bartered Bride, and Busoni’s Doktor Faust), the Vienna Staatsoper (his most recent successes include Idomeneo, Der Freischütz, and a new production of Leonore), and the Netherlands Opera (Jenůfa). His concert highlights of recent seasons have included the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich as well as engagements with the Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai, the Orchestre National de Montpellier, and Concentus Musicus Wien.

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. During his tenure in Essen, he has recorded Suk’s Asrael and Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 6 and 9.

He studied violin and conducting in his native Czech Republic and at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm under the guidance of Professor Jorma Panula. In 2002 he won the inaugural Sir Georg Solti Conductors Competition at the Alte Oper Frankfurt. In his spare time, he likes to fly small planes.


Pavel Josef Vejvanovský
Sonata Vespertina à 8

From the family of a musketeer all the way to the court in Vienna – that is how one might simply summarise the life and career of Pavel Josef Vejvanovský, one of the most prominent figures of Czech music in the seventeenth century. We have little information about how his life began. Scholars have deduced his date and place of birth from later documents in which either he or his father appears. He was born either in 1633 in Hlučín, where his father was serving as a musketeer, or in 1639, by which time his father was commander of the guard at the palace of the Archbishop of Olomouc in Hukvaldy. It is certain that from 1656 to 1660, Vejvanovský studied at the Jesuit grammar school in Opava. That period was crucial for the direction his career would take. Thanks to the Jesuits, he gained experience as a musical performer and learned repertoire, and especially sacred music, and he began learning to play the trumpet. Moreover, two of his fellow students would later go on to be important composers and colleagues of Vejvanovský: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber and Philipp Jakob Rittler. After his studies, in 1661 Vejvanovský entered the services of Leopold Wilhem, Bishop of Olomouc, and he obtained the title of “field trumpeter”. Because he held what was basically a military rank, he underwent training in Vienna at the bishop’s expense. In 1664 Karel Liechtenstein-Castelkorn became the Bishop of Olomouc. He had an imposing palatial residence built in Kroměříž, where he created a musical ensemble of superior quality with Biber at its helm. In 1670, however, Biber “deserted”, leaving for the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg, so Vejvanovský took his place in charge of the music, and he carried out his duties conscientiously until his death in 1693. He was responsible for all musical events at the residence: obtaining repertoire, making copies, and rehearsing for performances. By no means did Vejvanovský compose everything that was played in Kroměříž. He made trips to Vienna for music, or he had new musical works sent to him, and he copied them. His personal music collection has been preserved, and there are more compositions in the diocesan archives. It was originally thought that he had also composed all of the works written in his hand. We are now aware of easily more than 50 compositions of his own (instrumental and sacred), while the rest is documentation of how varied and up-to-date the repertoire of music by other composers was in Kroměříž at the time. Thanks to his knowledge of that music, Vejvanovský also developed his skill at composing – the musical style that he absorbed bears elements of the Italian music that was so plentifully performed at the imperial court in Vienna.

The Sonata vespertina à 8 calls for two trumpets, two violins, three trombones, and basso continuo. Vejvanovský composed it in 1665, and today it is one of his best-known compositions. The title implies that it was intended either as special music for vespers (an evening worship service, vesperae in Latin) or for some other occasion taking place in the evening. The virtuosity of the trumpet parts demonstrates the masterful playing of Vejvanovský and of the unknown performer of the second trumpet part who played the sonata with Vejvanovský.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy composed eight works for one or more solo instrument and orchestra, but the only ones to find a lasting place in the repertoire have been his two piano concertos (G minor and D minor) and especially the Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, the composer’s second work in the violin concerto genre. The first of his violin concertos, the work of a prodigy just 13 years of age, was not performed until 1952 in a revision by Yehudi Menuhin, and it remains a kind of musical curiosity. By contrast, the Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 is not only one of Mendelssohn’s most frequently performed works, but also a staple of the concerto repertoire all around the world. Mendelssohn wrote it for his friend, the violinist Ferdinand David (1810–1873), with whom he consulted on the playability of certain passages and debated over the role of virtuosity in the piece. A second advisor was the composer Niels Gade (1817–1890), in whose opinions Mendelssohn placed great trust.

The concerto is in three movements all linked together into a single whole. Instead of the usual double exposition (one orchestral and one with the solo instrument), the first movement opens with the violin playing already by the second bar. Another unusual feature is the cadenza, which comes not at the very end of the movement, but instead after the development section, forming a sophisticated transition to the final section of the sonata-allegro movement: as the brilliant solo part continues, the orchestra launches into the recapitulation. After a presto coda comes the direct, melodic lyricism of the slow movement. The finale, also attached without a pause, is in rondo form. Mendelssohn spent nearly six years working on the concerto, which was finished in September 1844. It was first heard on 13 March 1845 in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as the soloist. Mendelssohn heard his concerto again at the Gewandhaus just a month before his death at the opening concert of the season on 3 October 1847. The performer was Joseph Joachim, then just 16 years old, and Mendelssohn predicted a great future for the talented youth.

Antonín Dvořák
Symphony No. 6 in D Major Op. 60

Allegro non tanto
Scherzo: Presto
Finale: Allegro con spirito

Antonín Dvořákʼs Symphony No. 6 in D Major, Op. 60 is sometimes given the epithet “Czech”. Written in autumn 1880, it is the work of a mature composer whose music had just started to achieve worldwide recognition. Characteristically free of conflict, full of optimism and joy, it reflects a happy period in Dvořak’s life, when he achieved the success he desired with audiences, performers, critics and publishers. The contented atmosphere is ushered in by the first movement, Allegro non tanto, in sonata form. The second movement, Adagio, is an ardent nocturne. It opens with a brooding theme, which returns three times in minor variations, thus giving the movement the form of a rondo. The third movement, a scherzo (Presto), echoes Dvořák’s favourite Czech dance, the furiant, and recalls his somewhat earlier set of Slavonic Dances. The movement is framed by strongly rhythmic music which contrasts with a relaxed trio in the middle section. Like the first movement, the finale, Allegro con spirito, is written in sonata form. It underlines the joyful atmosphere of the work, achieving a full symphonic breadth and ends with a graduated coda which leaves the audience in no doubt that this is a work written by someone experiencing joyous moments as he was composing.

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