Czech Philharmonic • Giovanni Antonini

Two orchestras will take turns on stage during this programme: the Czech Student Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic. The junior ensemble will begin with a Mozart symphony and will experience working with the outstanding conductor Giovanni Antonini, who will also be the soloist in a concerto by Telemann.

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  • Duration of the programme 1 hour 40 minutes


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K 550 (35')

— Intermission —

Georg Philipp Telemann
Concerto in C major for recorder, strings and basso continuo, TWV 51:C1 (16')

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 41 C major, K 551, “Jupiter” (31')


Stefano Barneschi violin, concertmaster

Giovanni Antonini conductor, recorder

Czech Youth Philharmonic  

Czech Philharmonic

Photo illustrating the event Czech Philharmonic Giovanni Antonini

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

Studentské vstupné

Dress rehearsal

Dress rehearsal

Price from 290 to 1400 CZK Tickets and contact information

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“To me, Prague is a magical place, and I take every visit there to give a concert as a special opportunity. I am doubly looking forward to this visit because I will be conducting not only the great Czech Philharmonic, but also the Czech Student Philharmonic. As an orchestra with a long tradition, the Czech Philharmonic is now opening up to new ways of interpreting the classical repertoire. And young musicians are the future of classical music. Their energy and desire to learn are the engine that drives music, and they set an example for other young people that they draw to concert halls”, wrote Maestro Antonini.


The partner of the concerts of the Czech Youth Philharmonic is the VZP.


Stefano Barneschi  violin

Born in Milan but with strong Tuscan roots, he studied violin at the Civica Scuola di Musica under the lead of Carlo De Martini graduating in 1991. In the same year he joined the young baroque ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, starting a long career and playing in the most important festivals and musical seasons all over the world, performing with many prestigious artists including Isabelle Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Giuliano Carmignola, Christophe Coin, Giovanni Sollima, Cecilia Bartoli, Julia Lehzneva. In 2001 he became concertmaster of the ensemble.

His recognized expertise in this role has brought him to lead many ensembles specialized in playing on historical instruments such as Anima Eterna Brugge, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, La Scintilla, I Barocchisti, Il Pomo dʼOro, La Divina Armonia. Heʼs regularly invited as concertmaster by the Kammerorchester Basel. In October 2019 he made his debut as concertmaster of the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala in Milan performing Handel’s Giulio Cesare conducted by Giovanni Antonini.

He has recorded for Teldec, Naïve, Decca, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Winter&Winter, Passacaille, Amadeus, Alpha and many other labels.

He plays a 1830 violin by Giacinto Santagiuliana.

Giovanni Antonini  conductor, recorder

Born in Milan, Giovanni Antonini studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica and at the Centre de Musique Ancienne in Geneva. He is a founder member of the Baroque ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, which he has led since 1989. With this ensemble he has appeared as conductor and soloist on the recorder and Baroque transverse flute in Europe, United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Japan and Malaysia. He is Artistic Director of Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Poland and Principal Guest Conductor of Mozarteum Orchester and Kammerorchester Basel.

He has performed with many prestigious artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Giuliano Carmignola, Isabelle Faust, Sol Gabetta, Sumi Jo, Viktoria Mullova, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Emmanuel Pahud and Giovanni Sollima. Renowned for his refined and innovative interpretation of the classical and baroque repertoire, Antonini is also a regular guest with Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouworkest, Tonhalle Orchester, Mozarteum Orchester, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, London Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

His opera productions have included Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Bellini’s Norma with Cecilia Bartoli at Salzburg Festival. In 2018 he conducted Orlando at Theater an der Wien and returned to Opernhaus Zurich for Idomeneo. In 2019 he conducted Giulio Cesare for La Scala, and returned there in 2021 for Così fan tutte. He also returned to Theater an der Wien in 2021 with Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo. In the 2022/2023 season, he returns to Bamberger Symphoniker for Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin for Pugnani’s Werther, Czech Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

With Il Giardino Armonico Antonini has recorded numerous CDs of instrumental works by Vivaldi, J. S. Bach (Brandenburg Concertos), Biber and Locke for Teldec. With Naïve he recorded Vivaldi’s opera Ottone in Villa, and for Decca he has recorded 2 volumes of Händelʼs works with Julia Lezhneva. With Alpha Classics (Outhere Music Group) he released various albums including La Morte della Ragione, exploring his interest in renaissance music through collections of sixteenth and seventeenth century instrumental music. With Kammerorchester Basel he has recorded the complete Beethoven Symphonies for Sony Classical and a disc of flute concertos with Emmanuel Pahud entitled Revolution for Warner Classics.

Antonini is Artistic Director of the Haydn2032 project, created to realise a vision to record and perform with Il Giardino Armonico and Kammerorchester Basel the complete symphonies of Joseph Haydn by the 300th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The first twelve volumes have been released on the Alpha Classics label with two further volumes planned for release every year.

The Czech Youth Philharmonic  

In the modern history of the Czech Philharmonic, when the first steps were being taken towards an educational programme, the idea arose in 2006 – while Václav Riedlbauch was still the executive director – of giving symphonic concerts for student audiences, i.e. for a new generation of listeners. And who would be playing? The Czech Philharmonic, of course! The problem was that the orchestra was already so busy that their participation in such concerts was out of the question. So the choice fell to the former Prague Student Orchestra, an ensemble with many years of tradition of a youthful, enthusiastic approach to music. This worked wonderfully, because the students in the audience saw their peers on stage. For these concerts, the ensemble took the name Czech Student Orchestra. Bound by their love of music, these musicians gave performances from 2006 to 2010 under the leadership of the conductor Marko Ivanović, playing such works as Janáček’s Sinfonietta, Dvořák’s New World Symphony, Cello Concerto, and Te Deum, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet ballet suite.

When new management took over in 2011, the Czech Philharmonic greatly expanded its educational activities, and that was an opportunity for renewal of the student orchestra’s activities, renamed as the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. The idea is to give the rising generation of musicians – mostly students at music schools, whether grammar schools with a music emphasis, conservatoires, or academies of music – the regular opportunity of rehearsing and performing great symphonic, concertante, and choral works. Over time, the efforts turned towards creating a permanent orchestra that would support its members in the perfecting of their ensemble playing and in the creation of long-term relationships and mutual understanding. The Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra musicians also serve as “bearers of light” in relation to their peers by showing them that young people can love classical music and can present it enthusiastically to others.

Since the 2013/2014 season, the orchestra has been performing regularly at concerts of the Czech Philharmonic’s educational series Four Steps to the New World (under the baton of Marko Ivanović), and at the series Penguins at the Rudolfinum (with Vojtěch Jouza) and Who’s Afraid of the Philharmonic? (with Ondřej Vrabec). In April 2019, the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra appeared with Ida Kelarová and the Čhavorenge children’s choir at Šun Devloro concerts – musical celebrations of International Romani Day. In November 2019, the orchestra played under the baton of Robert Kružík at the Students’ Day Concert with the participation of Joachim Gauck and Petr Pithart.

In June 2020 the conductor Simon Rattle came to Prague insisting that he did not want to conduct just the Czech Philharmonic, but also “some orchestra with young people”. When the choice fell to the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, that was an enormous challenge for its members. Sir Simon enjoyed working with the young musicians, and he was unsparing in his praise: “The Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra reminds me of the orchestra of the Verbier Festival, which is made up of the best music students from all around the world, led by players from the Metropolitan Opera. That’s the level they are on.” Those are nice, flattering words, but they also mean an enormous obligation for all of the young musicians, as far as their future is concerned. Each individually and all of them together have it within their reach through the power of their common bond to remain diligent and conscientious in their preparation and to concentrate as attentively as possible. In the autumn of 2020 they were able to play just two concerts with Josef Špaček in the dual role of soloist and conductor. “I would really like to work with them again sometime; they were so attentive and kind! I had an incredibly good time with them,” said Josef Špaček afterwards.

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