Programme

Dvořák Collection Dvořák Collection

The Dvořák Collection series is the backbone of Dvořák Prague’s programme. With this series, the festival pays tribute each year to the composer whose name it bears and whose works have appealed to lovers of beautiful music around the world for many decades and for nearly two centuries. In 2022, under the artistic direction and dramaturgical collaboration with the Pavel Haas Quartet, we have launched a comprehensive project featuring Dvořák’s string quartet performances. The quartets are a significant part of the master’s creative legacy and many of the 16 opuses have become the core repertoire of the world’s quartet ensembles. This is especially true of Dvořák’s most famous quartets. However, the idea of the project is to also expose listeners to less played pieces in order to trace the creative line that Dvořák followed and which led to the composition of his most famous quartets.

The Pavel Haas Quartet, ranked by the British magazine Gramophone as one of the ten most important quartet ensembles of all times, has chosen several renowned quartet “colleagues” with whom to continue the project in 2023. And so we can promise that in addition to the Belcea Quartet that we have already announced, other quartet ensembles will also appear on the festival stage, offering listeners and festival visitors unique and sophisticated views of the quartet gems composed by Dvořák.

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Chamber Series Chamber Series

The string quartets reveal the composer’s soul, and since 2022 edition they have also become the soul of the Dvořák Prague International Festival. The three-year project to perform all of Dvořák’s quartets, which is the basis of the Dvořák Collection series, is entering its second year. However, as the festival dramaturgy does not want to enter the same river twice, the curators of the Chamber Series, the Pavel Haas Quartet, and the festival management agreed on a different concept for the concerts at which the string quartets by Dvořák will be presented. While in 2022 the Chamber Series concerts were based purely on quartet works, in coming year’s edition the string quartet has become the interpretive basis of the overall concert programme. In other words, together with Dvořák’s quartet pieces, each concert will feature works by world composers who used the string quartet as the instrumental basis for a larger ensemble, whether this be quintets, sextets, combinations with non-string instruments, or connections with vocal arts and recitation. Either way, the Chamber Series is again conceived as a “stand-alone festival” within the larger festival event. And its entry parameters do not allow for attendees to expect and experience anything other than top results.

Each of the invited quartets have supplemented their “prescribed” piece by Dvořák with works that either correspond or contrast in nature with Dvořák's music. The next Chamber Series will also present six profile concerts featuring world chamber music greats with strong participation of representatives of the Czech quartet tradition. And chamber music fans will be treated to a “bonus” concert again. 

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World-Class Orchestras World-Class Orchestras

Every year, the Dvořák Prague International Festival prepares for its audience a journey through the sound map of the symphonic world in its World Orchestras series. Several consecutive concerts in one hall provide a unique opportunity to see that first-class orchestras do not sound the same, even in a globalized world. Once again, outstanding conductors and soloists will make their way to Prague.

This year’s dramaturgy returns to some of the ensembles that have received a truly extraordinary response throughout the history of the festival, both from the festival’s audience and the professional public. As of this moment, before the full festival programme for 2023 is published, which will happen during the month of March as usual, it is impossible to name all the ensembles that will play at Dvořák Prague next year. But we are delighted that among those we can already introduce is Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, which will be coming with its current principal conductor and one of the most in-demand conductors of our time, Paavo Järvi, the successor to the great conducting legend Neeme Järvi, who brought the 2019 edition of the festival to a spectacular close. And what perhaps makes us the happiest is that the festival’s dramaturgy has once again succeeded in fulfilling one of its long-term artistic-strategic intentions, namely the intention to bring together top Czech soloists with renowned foreign ensembles and conductors. After seeing Josef Špaček play with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Jan Mráček and Kateřina Kněžíková with the Bamberger Symphoniker, and Lukáš Vondráček with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, we will be able to enjoy Ivo Kahánek, Paavo Järvi and the Tonhalle Orchester joining forces. 

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Czech Philharmonic Czech Philharmonic

The Czech Philharmonic has been the resident orchestra of the Dvořák Prague International Festival for many years. Perhaps it could not be otherwise if we consider that on 4 January 1894, Antonín Dvořák himself conducted the very first concert of the then newly formed ensemble and performed, among other things, his New World Symphony. Moreover, the concert took place in Prague’s Rudolfinum, today’s Dvořák Hall.

The Czech Philharmonic had only one task during the 2022 Festival, which it accomplished with great success on three nights. The concert performance of Dvořák’s opera Rusalka was undoubtedly one of the major musical events of 2022. In 2023, this leading Czech orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world whose star is once again rising steeply on the international stage, will have three tasks. And it should be noted that they are very different in their own way. As a brief description of each of the three upcoming concerts, simple characteristics can be used: contrast, monolith, development. And since the publication of the complete 2023 festival programme is still a few months away, we will take the liberty of presenting the contrasting one of this series: Rachmaninov and Copland represent different poles of Dvořák’s creative perspective. And if we add the names of Boris Giltburg and Tomáš Netopil, we would like to think that we have something that will appeal to all listeners. 

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