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Concert for Friends of the Czech Philharmonic

The Concert for Friends of the Czech Philharmonic is already a traditional format in the orchestra's season, and this time, too, the orchestra is preparing an unusual programme for which it has invited both traditional and non-traditional performers.

Duration of the programme 1 hour 40 minutes


Edvard Grieg
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (30')
Allegro molto moderato
Allegro moderato molto e marcato – Quasi presto – Andante maestoso

— Intermission —

„Rachmaninoff Will Survive“
Composed programme of compositions and arrangements by the duo Igudesman & Joo (50')
Rach-Pag Fantasy
Rachmaninoff by Himself
They Call Me Sergei
Flight of the Bumble Hornet
Big Hands
Staying Dead or Alive


Olga Kern piano
Lucy Landymore drum and percussion
Aleksey Igudesman violin
Hyung-ki Joo piano

Robert Kružík conductor

Česká filharmonie

Photo illustrating the event Concert for Friends of the Czech Philharmonic

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

The event has passed
Proce from 150 to 1200 CZK Tickets and contact information

Reservation of seats for current subscribers:
until 3 June 2024, 20.00
Sale of individual tickets for subscription concerts:
from 10 June 2024, 10.00
Ticket sales for all public dress rehearsals:
from 11 September 2024, 10.00

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.: +420 227 059 227

Customer service is available on weekdays from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.


The concert is recorded by Czech Television.

Aleksey Igudesman (violin) and Hyung-ki Joo (piano) combine humour, classical music and pop culture references in their unique comic show. The duo has millions of views, legions of fans and enthusiastic reviews from experts. For their Prague concert, they have prepared a special programme called "Rachmaninoff Will Survive" - and it is clear as day which composer they and the Czech Philharmonic will subject to their merciless yet respectful scrutiny.


Olga Kern  piano

Olga Kern

Pianist Olga Kern has established herself as one of the leading pianists of her generations. Born in a family of musicians, she jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than fifty years.  

Prize winner of Concertino Praga competition at the age of eleven; First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at seventeen, Ms. Kern is a laureate of many international competitions. In 2016 she served as Jury Chairman of both the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she also holds the title of Artistic Director. Ms. Kern frequently gives masterclasses and since September 2017 has served on the piano faculty of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Beginning with the 2019 season, Ms. Kern was appointed the Connie & Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music at the Virginia Arts Festival. Ms. Kern was honored with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York City in 2017. 

Recent and upcoming highlights include performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, St. Louis, Dallas, Palm Beach, Milwaukee, Austin and Toledo, the National Symphony of Washington DC, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Dublin symphony and many others; or the US tour with the Royal National Scottish Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, National Philharmonic of Russia and Warsaw Philharmonic.

In 2017/2018, she served as Artist in Residence with the San Antonio Symphony and went with the Chinese National Youth Orchestra on their tour to China. In 2019 she helped celebrate Leonard Slatkin’s 75th Birthday in a series of special concerts with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. She will appear in recitals and concerts in Orford, Sunriver, Fort Worth (Cliburn), Carmel, San Francisco, Dallas, Pecs, Budapest, Lisbon, Milan, Sicily, and Calvia. In the autumn of 2022 Olga Kern has hosted her Third Triennial Olga Kern International Piano Competition. In the coming seasons, she will serve on the jury of many international competitions. 

Ms. Kernʼs discography includes her Grammy Nominated recording of Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations and transcriptions (2004), Brahms Variations (2007) and Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010), the Tchaikovsky piano concerto with the Rochester Philharmonic, a CD of Russian composers including works by Balakirev; live recording CD of Chopin concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic; Rachmaninoff cello sonata with Sol Gabetta and the CD of Brahms and Shostakovich Quintets with Dali Quartet. She was featured in several documentaries including the award-winning films about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, “Playing on the Edge”; “They came to play” and “Olga’s journey”.

Lucy Landymore  drums, percussion

Lucy Landymore is a British award winning multi-percussionist, drummer and composer. Lucy performs in arenas across Europe as drummer for the World of Hans Zimmer and can also be seen on the DVD Hans Zimmer Live in Prague. She also frequently joins the comedy duo IGUDESMAN & JOO as guest lead drummer and percussionist, performing in world class venues across Europe. Other artists Lucy has performed alongside include Andrea Bocelli, Mura Masa, NAO, Myles Sanko, Alex Wilson and Stewart Copeland.

Lucy studied drums and percussion at the Royal College of Music, simultaneously giving solo concerts across the UK in venues like St. John's Smith Square, the Victoria and Albert Museum or Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. A premiere of Lucy’s ensemble music was held in the Tonhalle Maag, Zurich in June 2018. Lucy has since toured her orchestral work Roo for orchestra, solo vibraphone and violin, in venues across Italy, Portugal and Austria, including the Vienna Konzerthaus for the New Year 2019. Her solo vibraphone piece, Vibr-ant, is now published by Universal Editions. Lucy is endorsed by Meinl Percussion and Protection Racket.

Igudesman & Joo  piano, violin

Millions of YouTube viewers can’t be wrong. Well, they can, but in this case they aren’t. On the contrary, with more than 50 million clicks, they’ve turned the inspired lunacy of musicians IGUDESMAN & JOO into an internet and international sensation.

In their unique and hilarious theatrical shows, Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo combine humour, classical music and allusions to pop culture. They’ve performed with some of the world’s most famous orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the L.A. Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and the Orchestra dellʼAccademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, to name but a few.

Equally at home in classical concert halls as in 18,000-seat stadiums, IGUDESMAN & JOO’s infectious zaniness and virtuosity has also inspired millions of college and high-school students, bringing a younger and wider audience to classical music at this challenging time for the industry.

Aleksey and Hyung-ki met at the age of twelve at the Yehudi Menuhin School in England, where they became friends over a portion of fish and chips. In 2004, following in the footsteps of luminaries Victor Borge and Dudley Moore, they began to create their ground-breaking shows. Since then, many of the worldʼs most renowned musicians have asked to be part of their musical mayhem, including Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Ray Chen, Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Viktoria Mullova, Vasily Petrenko, Julian Rachlin, and Yuja Wang. The two have also teamed up with John Malkovich, on the CD album, “You Just Have to Laugh” and Igudesman’s show, “The Music Critic” which they still regularly tour, as well as the former James Bond, Sir Roger Moore, with whom the duo has collaborated on several occasions for UNICEF.

As composers, IGUDESMAN & JOO have collectively released over 50 publications with Universal Edition and their works are played by musicians and children all over the world. They’ve received commissions from various orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Düsseldorf Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchestra Zürich, New York Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Individually, Aleksey Igudesmanhas worked with Academy®Award-winning Hollywood composer, Hans Zimmer, and Hyung-ki Joo was commissioned by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Joel, to arrange and record Joelʼs solo piano compositions on a CD which reached # 1 on the Billboard charts.

Hans Zimmer and Billy Joel not only admire the pair as serious musicians, but they also endorse them as entrepreneurs through “Music Traveler” – a platform and mobile app, conceived by Igudesman, which enables musicians to book rehearsal rooms and concert venues around the world. The duo also founded the production company “Only Hands Small Productions” to create original content for film and television.

In addition, many shows of IGUDESMAN & JOO can be watched on the streaming platform, “Music Traveler TV”, a platform that enables musicians to stream their concerts and performances to a wider audience.

In addition to their own productions, IGUDESMAN & JOO appear in numerous films, including the mockumentary Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Classical Music, Pianomania, Breaking Beethoven, and the award-winning Noseland.

Along with touring their duo shows A Little Nightmare Music, AND NOW MOZART, Play it Again, And Now Beethoven – as well as shows with symphony orchestras such as – BIG Nightmare Music, UpBeat, Happy Concert, Beethovenʼs Nightmare and others – IGUDESMAN & JOO also enjoy leading workshops and master classes while on the road. These encounters aim to leave students confident and inspired to break new grounds for the next generation’s own musical journeys.

In autumn 2019, IGUDESMAN & JOO ventured into completely new territory with the publication of their first book. Save the World was released on 5.10.2019 by the Austrian publisher, edition-a, and describes how the world can be saved with creativity and humour. Shortly thereafter, the book-inspired show Saving the World was premiered at the Dortmund Konzerthaus and followed by a tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In 2020, the duo launched two shows celebrating their hero, Beethoven – And Now Beethoven and Beethovenʼs Nightmare – the latter with orchestra, a work commissioned by Oslo Philharmonic, WDR, NDR Radiophilharmonie and Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. Both shows are scheduled to be continually performed for seasons to come. Highlights from both programs were featured in the documentary, Breaking Beethoven, directed by Igudesman, and co-produced by German and Austrian television networks, WDR and ORF respectively, and the duo’s own media production company, “Only Hands Small Productions”.

Since 2021, IGUDESMAN & JOO are curators of a new concert series – STARs ‘n’FREEKs – at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. In these unique concerts, amazing talented musicians from all over the world, with special and often unusual skills, showcase their music, which in many cases, is only showcased on the streets or on the internet.

The recent cultural standstills did not hinder IGUDESMAN & JOO from continuing to create new shows and content, and currently in production are two programs, And Now Rachmaninov, as a duo show, and Rachmaninov Reloaded with orchestra to celebrate the big birthday of the genius Rachmaninov in 2023, and a new show teaming up with two queens of musical virtuosity, multi-percussionist and composer Lucy Landymore, and pianist and vocalist, Yu Horiuchi, for the show Mambo Jambo.

One can also tune into their livestream broadcast, How to Fail & Succeed, with new episodes every month on their YouTube Channel, Facebook and Music Traveler TV.

Aleksey Igudesman plays with a bow made by the Boston-based bowmaker, Benoit Roland, and on a Santo Seraphin violin from the year 1717, which is kindly loaned to him by ERSTE BANK. Aleksey Igudesman plays on handmade strings by Thomastik Infeld. Hyung-ki Joo is a Steinway Artist. Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo wear clothing by CLEOFE FINATI – Haute Couture 100 % made in Italy.

Robert Kružík  conductor

Robert Kružík belongs to the youngest generation of Czech conductors. Since January 2016 he has been in a long-term engagement of the Janáček Opera House of the National Theatre in Brno. At the time, he was also engaged by the Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava (2016–2019).

Since the 2018/2019 season he has been a permanent guest conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra; since the 2021/2022 season he has been the Chief Conductor of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic in Zlín. He is the laureate of the Jiří Bělohlávek Prize awarded to musicians under 30 years of age.

Kružík collaborates with many symphony orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic, MDR-Sinfonieorchester, Philharmonia Narodowa, Brno Philharmonic, PKF – Prague Philharmonia, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak State Philharmonic in Košice, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava, Czech Youth Philharmonic, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc, Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and South Bohemian Philharmonic.

He is also invited to important festivals such as the Prague Spring Festival, Smetana’s Litomyšl, St. Wenceslas Music Festival and the Eufonia Festival.

At the National Theatre in Brno, Kružík directed his interpretation of Rossini’s opera Le Comte Ory, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, Smetana’s Libuše (performed on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia), Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Martinů’s Greek Passion and Verdi’s Otello. His wide operatic repertoire includes Mozart, Smetana, Dvořák, Martinů, Janáček, Donizetti, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini and others.

Born in Brno, he started as a cellist and later graduated from the Brno Conservatory where, in addition to playing cello (with Miroslav Zicha), he also studied conducting (with Stanislav Kummer). He continued his studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague; his teachers in conducting were Leoš Svárovský, Charles Olivieri-Munroe and Lubomír Mátl, while his cello teacher was Miroslav Petráš. In the academic year 2012/2013 Kružík studied at the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland where he focused on both subjects.

Kružík performed with success at several cello competitions, such as the Prague Spring Festival, the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Interpretation Competition and Leoš Janáček International Competition. He broadened his experience and skills participating in master courses in cello performance under the guidance of Jiří Bárta, Michaela Fukačová and Raphael Wallfisch, and conducting with Norbert Baxa, Johannes Schlaefli and David Zinman.

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