Programme

Dvořák Collection Dvořák Collection

The series Dvořák Collection is presenting performances of all of Dvořák’s major works. This year will conclude a two-year festival project with performances of all of his works for choir and orchestra. After last year’s performances of the Stabat Mater, Requiem, and Te Deum as well as such seldom-heard works as the Hymn to the Poem “Heirs of the White Mountain”, this year the Dvořák Prague Festival will be presenting the cantata The Spectre’s Bride, and for the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, there will be a performance of the unabridged version of the oratorio Saint Ludmila. Additionally, there will be a performance of an almost totally unfamiliar arrangement of Dvořák’s Lužany Mass for organ and strings. Again this year, the Dvořák Prague Festival will be presenting a true rarity in the repertoire – the cantata The American Flag, Dvořák’s only work based on a text in English. This extensive Dvořák Collection project will culminate with performances of his Festival Song and Psalm 149.

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World-class Orchestras World-class Orchestras

This year, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will be added to the list of prestigious orchestras to appear at the Dvořák Prague Festival. Together with the King’s College Choir, it will be performing Dvořák’s Lužany Mass and Schubert’s Mass in G Minor. Two years after its concert with Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle Dresden will be returning to the Dvořák Prague Festival from Saxony, this time with the conductor Manfred Honeck and the mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink in Dvořák’s Biblical Songs. Joining the list of foreign ensembles are the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with the curator of the festival’s Chamber Series Sharon Kam as soloist in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and the Camerata Salzburg with the violinist Janine Jansen, who will play the Serenade by Leonard Bernstein, who would have turned 100 this year.

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Chamber Series Chamber Series

Each year, the Dvořák Prague Chamber Series, a festival within the festival, bears the unique, personal stamp of its curator. After a succession of men, this year a woman will be the curator, the Israeli clarinettist Sharon Kam, who will put her heart and soul into the Chamber Series. She is one of the world’s most sought-after clarinettists, and she has prepared five chamber concerts for the Dvořák Prague Festival, which will bring together some of her regular chamber music partners, such as the violinist Isabelle van Keulen, the cellist Gustav Rivinius, the violist Ori Kam, and the Belcea Quartet from London, and leading Czech artists including the violinist Josef Špaček and the cellist Michal Kaňka, among others. As a bonus, the Chamber Music Series will present Sharon Kam as soloist with a guest appearance by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

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Great Soloists Great Soloists

Representing today’s greatest instrumentalists on a festival programme will be the formidable artist Krystian Zimerman, who will be playing the solo piano part in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 (“The Age of Anxiety”). After his triumphal recital in 2013, returning to the Dvořák Prague Festival is the pianist Evgeny Kissin, who will be performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto in E Flat Major accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic and the conductor Petr Altrichter. Representing the world’s young soloists will be the Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who will be giving a solo recital on the main stage at the Dvořák Prague Festival following her successes at the Lincoln Center in New York and at London’s Royal Albert Hall; the clarinettist Sharon Kam, who will introduce herself in a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields; and the violinist Janine Jansen, who will play Bernstein’s Serenade with the Camerata Salzburg.

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Debut Day Debut Day

“D-Day” at the Dvořák Prague Festival will be the second Friday of the festival, when two outstanding young soloists will be making their concert debuts. The foreigner making her festival debut will be the Korean violinist Bomsori Kim, a winner of the Wieniawski Competition in Poznan and a laureate of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Representing the Czech world of the performing arts will be the pianist Lukáš Klánský, the winner of a number of international competitions and one of the most prominent pianist of the younger generation. The two young artists will be presenting themselves on the programme both as soloists then performing together during the second part of the concert. At the festival, Debut Day is also the event’s “casual Friday”, where you can enjoy outstanding performances of the classics presented by future stars in informal dress.

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Recital Recital

Each year, the festival presents big recitals featuring today’s most prominent performers. Audience members have indelible memories of wonderful performances at the Dvořák Hall by such artists as the singers Joseph Calleja and Adam Plachetka or the pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the unforgettable Evgeny Kissin. Last year, it was perhaps the greatest Czech proponent of Chopin, Ivan Klánský. This year, following her successes at London’s Albert Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the series will be presenting another Decca Artist, the Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa. Among the works we can look forward to is Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

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Family Day Family Day

Family Day at the Dvořák Prague Festival is a day of shared joy of music in the great outdoors and of fun games that introduce Dvořák as an inspirational figure and Prague of Dvořák’s day to children and their parents. For the first time this year, Family Day will be taking place at the lovely premises inside and outside the Convent of Saint Agnes. The day will be filled with games, workshops, and music. The chief attraction will be an educational family adventure game played in the streets of Prague District 1, culminating with an early evening concert at the Convent of Saint Agnes.

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100 years of Czechoslovakia 100 years of Czechoslovakia

Dvořák’s oratorio Saint Ludmila is a monumental historical tableau that depicts in broad strokes the moment of the emergence of a new stage in the history of the Czech nation, uniting Christian symbolism with patriotic elements. It is ideally suited for performances on special occasions, such as this celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. The Dvořák Prague Festival will present the unabridged oratorio Saint Ludmila under the baton of Jakub Hruša with the Czech Philharmonic, choir, and soloists in the Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum. The performance will also be transmitted live on an outdoor stage at Jan Palach Square, where several Czech and Slovak choirs will join in the performance in the spirit of the Czech choral tradition with the silhouette of Hradčany in the background. The idea is inspired by a grandiose performance of Saint Ludmila in 1904 by a choir said to have comprised as many as 2,000 voices.

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Bernstein 100 Bernstein 100

Two concerts at the Dvořák Prague Festival will commemorate Leonard Bernstein, the ingenious conductor, pianist, and, above all, composer. Alongside Aaron Copland, he can be regarded as one of the main successors to Dvořák’s lineage of American composing. As part of the festival series World-Class Orchestras, Janine Jansen and the Camerata Salzburg will be performing Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium for violin, strings, harp and percussion alongside Dvořák’s Serenade. Yet another symbolically Czech-American festival evening will feature Dvořák’s cantata The American Flag as well as one of Leonard Bernstein’s most important orchestral works, the Symphony No. 2 (“The Age of Anxiety”). Playing the solo part in the symphony will be Bernstein’s favourite interpreter of the work, the pianist Krystian Zimerman.

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