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Tuesday, September 12, 8.00 pm

Programme

Johannes Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80Antonín Dvořák: Symphonic Variations, Op. 78, B. 80Bohuslav Martinů: Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, H. 207Richard Strauss: Suite from the opera Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59

The renowned Essen Philharmonic will present a combination of Czech and German repertoire under the baton of one of the most successful Czech conductors of the present time, Tomáš Netopil, who is active on concert stages both at home and abroad. A combination of typically German precision with Slavic ardour will yield an uncommon listening experience, further enhanced by performance in a work of Bohuslav Martinů by the Pavel Haas Quartet, a Czech-Slovak ensemble whose recordings have won many international honours including a prize from the Gramophone Awards—the ‘Oscars of classical music’.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 22.00

Artists

Essen Philharmonic

The Essen Philharmonic is one of the oldest orchestras in Germany. Founded in 1899, it soon acquired its own concert hall, upon whose festive opening in 1904 it performed Richard Strauss’s Sinfonia domestica under the baton of the composer. Two years later it gave the premiere of Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, again under the composer’s own direction. Since its origin more than a century ago the ensemble has earned an outstanding reputation: music critics have repeatedly deemed it the ‘orchestra of the year’ in Germany, and numerous superb conductors have lifted their batons to lead it, from Otto Klemperer through Bernard Haitink to Krzysztof Penderecki. As is customary in German-speaking countries, the ensemble serves as both a symphonic and an operatic orchestra, performing in Essen’s Aalto-Musiktheater. Apart from normal operatic performances, each season it gives about thirty orchestral concerts, and some of its members also play in chamber groups. The orchestra also appears regularly in concert halls abroad, and engages in music education projects for youth.

Tomáš Netopil

Tomáš Netopil ranks among the most successful Czech conductors on the international musical scene. After graduating in violin from the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž then in conducting and choral directing from Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, he continued his education at the Royal Academy in Stockholm. A great leap in his career was victory in the Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt am Main in 2002. From 2009 to 2012 he was chief conductor of the National Theatre Opera in Prague, and since 2013 he has held the post of Music Director of the Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra of Essen, Germany. He works with numerous renowned orchestras such as the Staatskapelle of Dresden and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has appeared as a guest in the famous Semper Opera in Dresden, and has conducted repeatedly in the Salzburg Festival. During the past two seasons he has scored triumphs in the Vienna State Opera with Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Tomáš Netopil - conductor

Pavel Haas Quartet

One of the most esteemed chamber ensembles of the present time, the Pavel Haas Quartet was founded in 2002. Since its inception it has worked closely with Professor Milan Škampa, violist of the legendary Smetana Quartet. During the fifteen years of its existence the ensemble has earned an outstanding international reputation. In 2004 it won the Vittorio E. Rimbotti Prize in Florence, then the following year it triumphed in the Prague Spring International Music Competition, and soon thereafter it won the prestigious 'Premio Paolo Borciani' in Reggio Emilia, Italy, which prize included tours of the United States, Japan, and Europe during the 2005-06 season. In 2006 the ensemble was named a 'Rising Star' for the 2007-08 season by the European Concert Hall Organization, which brought with it performances on renowned stages ranging from the Konzerthaus in Vienna to Carnegie Hall in New York. The quartet has recorded six albums featuring music by Janáček, Dvořák, Haas, Beethoven, Smetana, Schubert, and Prokofiev, all of which have won prestigious international honours.

Pavel Haas Quartet

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.