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Sunday, September 13, 8.00 pm

Programme

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Selection of songs for bass and piano Johannes Brahms: Four Serious Songs Antonín Dvořák: Biblical Songs
  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 7.55 pm
  • End of concert: 9.30 pm

Annotation

This recital in the festival's 'Chamber Music Society' series will offer its audience a unique encounter of two great musicians: the acclaimed singer Jan Martiník will be accompanied at the piano by the equally distinguished musician Ivo Kahánek. Together they will perform selections from Dvořák’s Biblical Songs and a selection from the songs of an English composer from the first half of the twentieth century, Ralph Vaughan Williams. We'll also hear the Four Serious Songs by a great admirer of Dvořák’s, Johannes Brahms. Without a doubt this will be an unusually rewarding recital. 

Medallions

Ivo Kahánek

Pianist Ivo Kahánek is one of the most successful Czech performing artists of the present time. After graduating from Ostrava’s Janáček Conservatoire and Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, he furthered his education at London’s renowned Guildhall School and in master classes with Christian Zacharias, Alicia de Larrocha, and others. At the age of twenty-five he became absolute victor in the Prague Spring International Music Competition. In addition to giving solo recitals he appears with renowned orchestras like the Czech Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, and Cologne’s West German Radio Orchestra under outstanding conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pinchas Steinberg, and Jiří Bělohlávek. In 2007 he performed Bohuslav Martinů's Piano Concerto No. 4, ‘Incantation’, in the famous BBC Proms Festival in London’s Royal Albert Hall, and in November 2014 he became the second Czech pianist in history (after Rudolf Firkušný) to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Last year he served as curator of the Dvořák Prague Festival's chamber series.

Jan Martiník

Born in Ostrava in 1983, Jan Martiník studied at the conservatoire and the university there, and it was also in Ostrava that he obtained his first theatrical engagement, with the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre. In 2007 he advanced to the finals in Placido Domingo's ‘Operalia’ competition, and in 2009 he won first place in the category of Song in the BBC 'Singer of the World' contest in Cardiff. From 2008 to 2011 he was a regular soloist with the Comic Opera in Berlin. He is a frequent guest of the National Theatre in Prague, and has also appeared as a guest on opera stages in Košice and Erfurt among other venues. Since the 2012-13 season he has been a regular soloist with State Opera in Berlin. He has sung in concerts with the Czech Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the BBC Proms Orchestra, and the Czech ensemble Collegium 1704.

St. Agnes Convent

The Convent of St. Agnes in the 'Na Františku' neighbourhood of Prague's Old Town is considered the first Gothic structure not only in Prague but in all of Bohemia. It was founded by King Wenceslas I in 1233–34 at the instigation of his sister, the Přemyslid princess Agnes of Bohemia, for the Order of Saint Clare which Agnes introduced into Bohemia and of which she was the first abbess. The convent was preceded by a hospital. The 'Poor Clares' originated as an offshoot of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, and the convent was at one time known as the Prague Assisi. Agnes was an outstanding figure in religious life of the thirteenth century. Besides this Clarist convent she also founded the only Czech religious order – the Hospital Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star. She was canonized in 1989.