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Czech Chamber Music Society • Peter Jarusek, Veronika Jaruskova, Dalibor Karvay

The last appearance by this year’s curator Peter Jarůšek is a concert featuring two nonets by Oli Mustonen, Shostakovich’s Octet, and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence. Joining members of the Pavel Haas Quartet are top chamber players from this country and abroad.

Subscription series II | Duration of the programme 1 hour 35 minutes | Czech Chamber Music Society


Olli Mustonen
Nonet No. 1 for Strings (16')

Dmitri Shostakovich
Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11 (10')

Olli Mustonen
Nonet No. 2 for Strings (15')

— Intermission —

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
String Sextet in D minor, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence” (35')


Dalibor Karvay violin
Fedor Rudin violin
Veronika Jarůšková violin
Marek Zwiebel violin
Pavel Nikl viola
Simone Gramaglia viola
Peter Jarůšek cello
Michaela Fukačová cello
Petr Ries double bass

Photo illustrating the event Czech Chamber Music Society • Peter Jarusek, Veronika Jaruskova, Dalibor Karvay

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

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Dalibor Karvay  violin

The Slovakian violinist Dalibor Karvay started playing the violin at the age of three under the guidance of his father, later graduating from the Žilina Conservatory (Bohumil Urban) and Vienna Conservatory (Boris Kuschnir). He is a winner of many international competitions, including the Young Musicians meeting in Córdoba (1996), Tibor Varga competition (2003), David Oistrakh competition in Moscow (2008), and a recipient of the Eurovision Grand Prix – Young Musician of the Year (2002) or the “New Talent” award at the International Tribute of Young Interpreters (2005).

Next to his active concert career as a soloist of the world’s famous orchestras and a sought-after chamber musician, Karvay has been a violin professor at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna since 2014 and in 2020 he was appointed the first concert master of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. 

Karvay now plays on a violin by Antonio Stradivari “ex Benecke” from the year 1694 lent out by the Österreichische Nationalbank. Karvay’s long and devoted quest for his ideal violin was documented in the international film Stradivari – Search for Perfection.

Fedor Rudin  violin

“A brilliant display of artistry on the violin”, says the Kölner Stadtanzeiger about Fedor Rudin. An international award-winning violinist (top prizes at the Premio Paganini and George Enescu competitions), Rudin is considered one of the most versatile soloists of his generation with his affinity for different genres and a very varied repertoire.

In the 2022/2023 season, Fedor Rudin makes his debuts with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Kirill Karabits), Norwegian Radio Orchestra (Petr Popelka), South Denmark Philharmonic (Johannes Wildner) and Prague Philharmonia (Tomáš Netopil). With the Deutsches Kammerorchester, he debuts at the Berlin Philharmonie. During the latest concert seasons, he made his debuts as a soloist with the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSB) under conductors such as Vladimir Jurowski and Lorenzo Viotti.

Fedor Rudin plays a violin by Lorenzo Storioni (Cremona, 1779) from the German Musical Instrument Fund, a generous loan from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben in Hamburg.

Veronika Jarůšková and Petr Jarůšek  violin, cello

Veronika Jarůšková and Peter Jarůšek are members of the Pavel Haas Quartet, an internationally acclaimed chamber ensemble that the violinist Veronika Jarůšková founded in 2002. The quartet appears at the world’s most important concert halls (London’s Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, New York’s Carnegie Hall etc.) and has recorded nine albums that have won many prestigious prizes awarded by international critics (Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine Award, Diapason d’Or de l’Année etc.). The BBC Music Magazine listed the Pavel Haas Quartet among the top ten string quartets of all time. The cellist Peter Jarůšek is also in demand as a teacher of chamber music masterclasses around the world, and he will soon be working at such schools at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Together with their long-time friend and colleague, the Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg, Veronika Jarůšková and her husband Peter Jarůšek have gone beyond quartet playing in recent years, playing the piano trio literature as well. The result is a new ensemble of top-quality musicians who have already appeared at several prestigious international festivals (East Neuk Festival in Scotland, West Cork Music in Ireland, Schubertiade in Austria, and the Dvořák Prague Festival). In the coming months, the ensemble not only will give its debut concert at London’s Wigmore Hall, but also will record Dvořák’s complete piano trios on the Supraphon label.

Marek Zwiebel  violin

Marek Zwiebel studied the violin at the Košice Conservatory and at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. He further honed his skills at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and the Hochschule Luzern – Musik. While still a student, he gained experience collaborating with the Slovak Chamber Orchestra. He co-founded and was a member of the Zwiebel Quartet (active from 2001 to 2008), before joining the Quasars Ensemble, with whom he stayed until 2012, appearing at numerous music festivals. As a soloist, he has performed with a host of renowned orchestras and conductors, including Anu Tali, Neeme Järvi, Zsolt Nagy and Kevin Griffiths.

Since 2012, he has been a member of the Pavel Haas Quartet, giving concerts all over the world, collaborating with Boris Giltburg, Denis Kozhukhin, Maxim Rysanov and other instrumentalists, the Belcea Quartet, Quartetto di Cremona, Dover Quartet, etc. The Pavel Haas Quartet have made critically acclaimed recordings (Gramophone Award, BBC Award, Classic Prague Award, and other accolades).

Pavel Nikl  viola

Pavel Nikl studied viola under Zdeněk Novák at the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž and then at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Jan Pěruška and Milan Škampa. As a student, he took part in several masterclasses (Semmering – prize for the best performances of works by B. Bartók and B. Martinů) and won top prizes at international competitions (Czech Conservatoires Competition, Beethoven’s Hradec, J. Brahms International Competition in Pörtschach).

He has appeared as a soloist with the Prague Philharmonia, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic in Zlín, the Moravian Philharmonic in Olomouc, the North Bohemia Philharmonic in Teplice, the South Bohemia Philharmonic in České Budějovice, and other orchestras. In 2002 the focal point of his activity shifted to chamber music. He was one of the founding members of the Pavel Haas Quartet, which has won great international acclaim over the years for its concerts and recordings.

Pavel Nikl also teaches, and within the framework of the quartet’s activities, he has led masterclasses at universities in Europe, the USA, and Australia. Since 2016, after stepping down as violist of the Pavel Haas Quartet, he has been a professor of viola and chamber music at the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž. However, he continues to work in very close collaboration with the quartet. Besides the recordings of Dvořák’s quintets, which won a 2018 Gramophone Award, he appears with the quartet regularly in concert. As an experienced chamber player, he gets invitations to collaborate with other top musicians (Gil Shaham, Gerhard Oppitz, Kian Soltani, Josef Špaček, Michaela Fukačová, Fedor Rudin et al.). He also sits on Czech and international competition juries.

Simone Gramaglia  viola

Simone Gramaglia je všestranným instrumentalistou a intelektuálně založeným umělcem. Snaží se skloubit svou vášeň pro hudbu, filozofii a literaturu s nabitým kalendářem aktivního hudebníka (jako sólista i komorní hráč), pedagoga (Accademia Walter Stauffer v Cremoně, konzervatoře v Janově a Bari) a uměleckého ředitele (letní mistrovské kurzy Music With Masters, mezinárodní iniciativa Le Dimore del Quartetto, mezinárodní cena komorní hry Filippa Nicosii).

Jako zakládající člen Quartetto di Cremona se Gramaglia zaníceně věnuje komorní hře. Vystoupil již s řadou umělců či ansámblů, jako jsou například Luigi Attademo, Pavel Haas Quartet nebo Emerson String Quartet, a představil se ve světově nejprestižnějších koncertních sálech (Lincoln Center, berlínský Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw atd.).

Violu začal Simone Gramaglia studovat až v šestnácti letech – předtím se věnoval hře na klavír a zobcovou flétnu. Nyní hraje na violu z dílny Gioacchina Torazziho ca z roku 1680, ale byl také jediným italským violistou, který měl možnost hrát na violu „Paganini“ Antonia Stradivariho.

Michaela Fukačová  cello

Michaela Fukacová is a Czech cellist, living in Denmark. She started playing the piano at the age of five; at fourteen, she took up the cello, winning the Beethoven Cello Competition only two years later. Among her many top international prizes was the prestigious 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

She has performed throughout Europe, the United States of America, Canada and Japan, playing numerous concertos with orchestras such as Czech Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK Japan, BBC Scottish Orchestra or Danish Radio Orchestra.

Among Michaela’s teachers were Bedrich Havlik, Sasa Vectomov, Erling Bløndal-Bengtson, André Navarra, Paul Tortelier, William Pleeth and Mstislav Rostropovich.

In 1994 she was awarded the Czech Grammy Classic for the Best Solo Performance of the year. Her recording of Peter Liebersonʼs concerto “Six Realms” won the Gramophone award in 2006 and was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy in the “Best Classical Album of the Year” category.

Michaela Fukačová plays a cello by Carlo Tononi (1726).

Petr Reis  double bass

Petr Ries graduated from P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž and the Music Faculty of the Academy of Music, Drama and Fine Arts in Prague, completing his study stay at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Dance in Paris as well.

He is a laureate of many competitions, including the Moravian Autumn in Brno (Czech Republic, 1998 and 2003), International Musikwettbewerb in Markneukirchen (Germany, 1999), Internationale J. M. Sperger Musikwettbewerb in Michaelstein (Germany, 2002) and the Talent of the Year 2002.

In 2004 Petr Ries joined the Czech Philharmonic as the associate principal double bass player. He is a popular soloist, recitalist and chamber musician (Pavel Haas, Zemlinsky, Bennewitz, Martinů quartets), currently performing with the Prague Chamber Soloists, Haydn Ensemble Prague and Czech Philharmonic Jazz Band.

He has taught at the International Conservatory Prague and several summer courses. He is a lecturer of the Orchestral Academy of the Czech Philharmonic.


Olli Mustonen
Nonet for Strings No. 1 & No. 2

Born in the metropolitan area surrounding Helsinki, Finland, Olli Mustonen is the awardee of the 2019 Paul Hindemith Prize and is known as a pianist-composer. He learned to play the harpsichord and piano from an early age and at the age of 8 he became a pupil of the famous Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, with whom he studied composition for 10 years. As a renowned instrumentalist known for his many solo recitals and performances with the world’s greatest orchestras, he specializes primarily in the piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven and Russian as well as Soviet progressive composers (his recording of Shostakovich’s Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues is highly acclaimed), which is also a source of inspiration for his own compositions. His music is essentially tonal and highly rhythmic and combines elements of Neoclassicism, Neo-Romanticism, as well as Minimalism. His compositions are also characterized by a play with the color of sound. Mustonen creates mostly chamber music, but in recent decades he has also begun to explore the sphere of orchestral works, producing three sinfonias, one of which is vocal.

Mustonen’s Nonet No. 1 for Strings dates from 1995 and is dedicated to the renowned British cellist Steven Isserlis. This impressive piece can be appreciated both in absolute terms and as music with programmatic interpretation. Indeed, the composer himself has given extra-musical meaning to each of the four movements in the form of the seasons, beginning with winter. Thus, in the slow first movement one can perceive the frosty winter landscape, in the second one, the already fully awakened nature after its winter rest, while the last two movements feature dramatic natural twists and turns that summer and autumn can bring about.

Nonet No. 2 for Strings was written five years after the first one, and is quite different in its expression. This piece is a testament to Mustonen’s use of a precise, pulsating rhythm with distinctive accents that are usually heard in Minimalist compositions. However, the slow third movement defies this description, being structured as a canon of individual instruments, conveying a simple, clearly rhythmic musical motif throughout. Mustonen dedicated the Nonet No. 2 for Strings to his parents.

Dmitri Shostakovich
Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11

Dmitri Shostakovich is a great master of Soviet music. While still a student at the Leningrad Conservatory, he eagerly followed the compositional practices of Western European modernism, as particularly evident in his Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues for piano, Symphony No. 4 in C minor, the ballets The Age of Gold and The Bolt, and the operas The Nose and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. The Moscow premiere of Lady Macbeth in 1936 brought a turning point in his career. It happened to be attended by Joseph Stalin, who subsequently initiated the first cultural-political attack against Shostakovich in the form of an article entitled Muddle Instead of Music published in Pravda newspaper. Another repression came in 1948 following the adoption of the infamous cultural doctrine formulated by Andrei Zhdanov and subsequent purges against Soviet composers. Both for internal and external reasons, Shostakovich then also composed patriotic works in order “to meet the needs of the Soviet people”, for which he was praised and awarded by the Soviet power. These compositions include Symphony No. 7 in C major “Leningrad”, which is a reaction to the siege of Leningrad in 1941, the cantata Poem of the Motherland (1947), and the oratorio Song of the Forests (1949), celebrating the forestry policy of the Soviet Union at the time. Shostakovich wrote a total of 15 symphonies, the same number of string quartets, 6 instrumental concerts and a number of other compositions. A specific part of his oeuvre consists of film scores for a large number of Soviet films.

Dmitri Shostakovich came to the attention of the musical public in 1925 with his graduation piece, Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10. This work, performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, received great critical acclaim, and 20-year-old Shostakovich, who had previously worked as a pianist-improviser for silent films, became a recognized composer literally overnight. In the 1920s it was still possible in the Soviet Union to follow avant-garde trends and search for new artistic paths. Many literary, artistic, cinematic and musical works were created that continue to fascinate us a century after their creation. The following decade, however, changed much. At the same time as Stalin consolidated power in the state, a unified cultural doctrine called Socialist Realism was introduced, which clipped the wings of many artists in their promising creative take-off. Shostakovich’s composition to be heard tonight comes from the period in Soviet history with more artistic freedom. Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11, were written in 1925 immediately after the above-mentioned First Symphony. The composition is dedicated to the memory of Shostakovich’s close friend, poet Vladimir Kurchavov, who had died too young. This two-movement work, in which Shostakovich masterfully employs a variety of string playing techniques, has an expressive, almost Expressionistic sound, which becomes almost haunting, especially in the scherzo.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
String Sextet in D minor, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence”

The most prominent Russian Romantic composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, graduated 60 years before Shostakovich from the same conservatory. His path to music was not a straightforward one. He first went to law school and then worked as a lawyer in the civil service, but his heart and indisputable talent constantly drew him to music, so he soon began to study with Anton Rubinstein at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in what was then the capital city of Russia. After graduation, upon the recommendation of his teacher Tchaikovsky began to teach music at the Moscow Conservatory, headed by Rubinstein’s brother Nikolai. However, teaching did not make him happy, he was just eking out his living as a fledgling composer waiting for his well-deserved success. From 1876 on, his patroness Nadezhda von Meck provided him with financial support, thanks to which he could devote himself fully to composition and performance of his works. At this time, he created his most famous compositions which brought him recognition in Russia as well as in Europe: the ballets Swan Lake (1876) and Sleeping Beauty (1889), the operas Eugene Onegin (1878) and The Queen of Spades (1890) and many other orchestral, chamber and vocal pieces. On concert tours, conducting his own works, he repeatedly visited Prague (1888, 1892), where he befriended his contemporary Antonín Dvořák.

String Sextet in D minor “Souvenir de Florence”, Op. 70 dates from 1890 and is therefore a late composition by Tchaikovsky. It is the only string sextet by this composer. Tchaikovsky dedicated it to the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Society in response to his becoming an Honorary Member. The work is subtitled “Souvenir de Florence” because Tchaikovsky began writing it while visiting Florence, Italy, where he was composing his opera The Queen of Spades. The sextet is a typical composition of the late Romantic style, close in structure and length to Tchaikovsky’s symphonies. The first movement is in sonata form and opens immediately with the main theme. The lyrical slow second movement has a contrasting middle section with distinct dynamics, leading to a hymnic conclusion. The third movement’s allegretto moderato features elements of Russian folk melodies and the sextet culminates with a fiery finale with voices performing in canon and a sweeping coda characteristic of Tchaikovsky.

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