Programme

Dvořák Collection III Dvořák Collection III

After presentation of Dvořák’s odd-numbered symphonies in chronological order, the Dvořák Prague Festival continued last year with the even-numbered symphonies. This year’s ‘Dvořák Collection III’ is presenting all of the composer’s symphonic poems and concert overtures. Sounding in exemplary performances by the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Jakub Hrůša will be the complete symphonic poems based on K. J. Erben’s A Garland as well as the rarely-played A Hero’s Song. Then Jiří Bělohlávek will lead a performance of all three koncert overtures in the series Nature, Life, and Love.

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Recital Recital

An inseparable component of the Dvořák Prague Festival is always a substantial profile recital by one of the most outstanding performers of our time. During the festival’s history thrilling solo recitals in the Dvořák Hall have been given for instance by singers such as Joseph Calleja and Adam Plachetka, and pianists like Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the unforgettable Evgeny Kissin. Appearing this year in a major festival recital with a demanding program of the complete Transcendental Études by Liszt will be an heir to the glorious epoch of great Russian pianists, Boris Berezovsky.

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Czech Philharmonic Czech Philharmonic

The Dvořák Prague Festival is proud to be a partner of the Czech Philharmonic, an orchestra that in its inaugural concert in 1896 was conducted by Antonín Dvořák. Concerts of the Czech Philharmonic give lovers of classical music an opportunity to hear works by Dvořák and other Czech composers in renditions by musicians who bear his lyricism and ardour in their genes. The Czech Philharmonic will appear in this year’s festival twice under its chief conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, playing mainly music by the Czech composers Dvořák, Janáček, and Martinů, with Hilary Hahn appearing as soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. Under the baton of Jakub Hrůša, the most internationally-renowned of Bělohlávek’s pupils, the orchestra will play all of Dvořák’s symphonic poems in the framework of ‘Dvořák Collection III’.

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On the Trail of Dvořák On the Trail of Dvořák

It has now become a tradition for festival guests on the eve of the festival’s commencement to set out ‘On the Trail of Dvořák’. These excursions take them to places that were critical in Dvořák’s life, which on the last Sunday before the festival’s festive opening come alive with music and a vivacious expert explanation by the festival’s musicologist, Dr. David Beveridge.

With its excursions ‘On the Trail of Dvořák’ the Dvořák Prague Festival is paying overdue homage to the legacy of the most widely-admired Czech composer.

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Chamber Series Chamber Series

Curated by Daniel Hope

Each year the Dvořák Prague Festival presents a series of chamber concerts, designing its programmes in close cooperation with a musician of international renown who imprints on the series an unmistakable style and atmosphere. This prestigious role has now been taken on for the first time by an artist from abroad, populariser of musical events, the violinist Daniel Hope. He has invited to the chamber series players of such lustrous names as cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, serving as Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, last year’s curator of the chamber series Ivo Kahánek and the young violinist Jan Mráček who scored a triumph on the festival’s 2015 Debut Day. The main venue of the chamber series is the St. Agnes Convent, with the opening and closing concerts given in the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall.

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World-Class Orchestras World-Class Orchestras

This year the Dvořák Prague Festival will welcome three of the world’s most esteemed symphony orchestras with their charismatic chief conductors: the Staatskapelle of Dresden under Christian Thielemann, the London Symphony Orchestra with Gianandrea Noseda, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia from Rome with maestro Antonio Pappano. Nikolaj Znaider will appear as soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, while cellist Jiří Bárta will play Dvořák’s Concerto in B minor and Gil Shaham the Violin Concerto of Tchaikovsky. Rounding out the roster of orchestral ensembles from abroad will be two chamber orchestras of world renown: the Kremerata Baltica with Gidon Kremer and, as part of the chamber series, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Daniel Hope.

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D-Day D-Day

Two debuts with profile performances in the Dvořák Hall in one evening. A major ‘D-day’ is approaching for two rising stars of concert stages of the world, sharing in thein Czech debuts and their first performances in the Dvořák Prague Festival. After last year’s triumphs by violinist Jan Mráček and Frederico Colli, performing this year will be two extraordinary ‘discoveries’ on the international scene, pianist Louis Schwizgebel and violinist Benjamin Beilman, whose concert opening with solo numbers will klimax with joint performances of Dvořák’s Sonatina in G major and the Sonata in A major by César Franck.

‘D-Day’ in the Dvořák Prague Festival is always on Friday and is also a ‘Casual Friday’, when one can come in informal attire to savour classical music in topflight performances by future stars.

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Spiritual Concert Spiritual Concert

After a musical feast of festival concerts lasting more than two weeks and before the gala orchestral climax, the Dvořák Prague Festival gives listeners an oportunity for calm reflection. Sounding in the monumental space and acoustics of St. Vitus Cathedral will be sacred music in an intimate, inward meditation. After last year’s performance of Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, this year we’ll hear Renaissance music juxtaposed with music by John Tavener (died 2013, ranked today alongside Pärt) in superb interpretations by the Tallis Scholars, a British vocal ensemble led by Peter Philipps, in cooperation with the Lukáš Vasilek’s Martinů Voices. Tavener’s Requiem Fragments will form the climax of this spiritual concert in the Dvořák Prague Festival.

 

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Dvořák Matinee Dvořák Matinee

The Dvořák Prague Festival’s Saturday Dvořák Matinee at 11 AM is a platform for presentation of works by Dvořák in unusual performances. This year the Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World’ will sound in a fresh interpretation on period instruments by the renowned ensemble Anima Eterna with its chief conductor Jos van Immerseel.

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Family Day Family Day

The Dvořák Prague Festival’s Family Day is a day for sharing the joy of music in the open air and for an entertaining presentation in the Rudolfinum, acquainting children and their parents with the inspiring figure of Dvořák and with the Prague that he knew. Family Day will climax with the return of a duo of musical comedians who brought down the house in their festival premiere two years ago. Igudesman & Joo are coming back, this time with Mozart...

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