The Dvořák Prague Festival

From the very beginning the main goal of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival has been to promote the good name of Czech culture via the legacy of the works of Antonín Dvořák, his contemporaries, and his pupils. And because the sole measure of the festival's success is quality, only topflight soloists and conductors and the most internationally-acclaimed orchestras and chamber ensembles come together on the Dvořák Prague concert stages, presenting music by Dvořák and other composers of the world to an international audience. The centre of gravity of the festival's programming lies in music of the Romantic period, with excursions into the Classical style on the one hand and on the other to indisputable, time-tested works of the twentieth century and exceptionally the twenty-first.

Looking Back

Today, Dvořák Prague is one of the most popular music festivals of its kind in the Czech Republic. During 2008-2019, the event has hosted no fewer than 235 concerts, attracting over 172,000 listeners. The year 2020 has been marked by a worldwide pandemic, but in spite of all of the limitations, the festival offered its audiences another 24 live concerts between September 4th and 20th. Symbolically, almost all of the protagonists were Czech artists, many of them world famous. This made the festival a manifesto of faith in a better future, when artists will again be able to encounter their audiences without any kinds of limitations.

The festival's programming is organised into characteristic programme series (Dvořák Collection, Chamber Series, World Class Orchestras, Recitals, Debut Day, For the Future, On the Trail of Antonín Dvořák), and it is devoted to preserving Dvořák's legacy as a whole. Besides his most famous works, the programmes also include music from the first decade of the composer's career. This gives listeners a chance to understand better how Dvořák developed and sought ways to perfect his craft. And all of this is presented in the context of the music of his contemporaries, predecessors, and successors.

The long list of musicians who have brought masterful performances to Prague's audience includes Dmitri Hvorostovsky (vocal), Joseph Calleja (vocal), Pavel Černoch (vocal), Krystian Zimerman (piano), Maria Joao Pires (piano), Piotr Anderzsewski (piano), Anna Vinnitskaya (piano), Boris Berezovsky (piano), Jean Yves Thibaudet (piano), Evgeny Kissin (piano), Daniel Hope (violin), Vadim Repin (violin), Arabella Steinbacher (violin), Nicola Benedetti (violin), Midori Goto (violin), Janine Jansen (violin), Julian Rachlin (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gautier Capuçon (cello), Truls Mørk (cello), Sol Gabetta (cello), Alisa Weilerstein (cello), Jiří Bárta (cello), Christian Thielemann (conductor), Antonio Pappano (conductor), Daniele Gatti (conductor), Andris Nelsons (conductor), Paavo Järvi (conductor), Daniel Harding (conductor), Yannick Nézet-Séguin (conductor), Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor), Zubin Mehta (conductor), Fabio Luisi (conductor), Jiří Bělohlávek (conductor), the Ebène Quartet, the Bennewitz Quartet, the Chamber Orchestra Vienna - Berlin, the Pavel Haas Quartet, the Casals Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Filarmonica del la Scala, the Kammer orchester Basel, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, Boris Giltburg, Kian Soltani, Ivo Pogorelich, Gil Shaham, Lukáš Vondráček, Ivo Kahánek, Josef Špaček, Jan Mráček, and others.

The festival's orchestra-in-residence is the Czech Philharmonic, which gave its first concert in 1896 under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák, after whom the main concert hall at the Rudolfinum is named.

The concerts of the Dvořák Prague Festival take place at the Rudolfinum (main concert hall), the Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia (chamber series), the Cathedral of St Vitus, and venues associated with the life and music of Dvořák (Lužany, Nelahozeves, Vysoká u Příbramě, Zlonice, Pilsem, Sychrov Castle). There are also outdoor performances.