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An 'overture' to the festival
Sunday, September 6, 2015, 4.00 pm
On the Trail of Dvořák


3.00 pm-3.45 pm: Vysoká u Příbramě, a guided tour of the memorial of A. Dvorak4.00 pm-5.00 pm: Třebsko, concert in local church5.15 pm-6.00 pm: Vysoká u Příbramě, visit to Dvořák's house known as 'Villa Rusalka' guided by a music historianAntonín Dvořák: Sonatina in G major, 2nd movement (Larghetto); Prelude in D major; Fugue in G minor; 'Tisíckrát pozdravujeme Tebe' (A Thousand Times We Greet Thee) arranged for organ; Humoresque in G flat majorAntonín Liehmann: Ave Maria

This year our excursions 'On the Trail of Dvořák' will take us to the area that became the composer's second home, to Vysoká u Příbramě and its environs, where we'll again hear Dvořák's music (a selection from his small works) and also a rarity: Ave Maria by Antonín Liehmann, a teacher and composer who had a major share in the young Dvořák's musical education.

  • Dress code: casual
  • End of concert: 18.30


Jan Mráček

Jan Mráček is one of the most striking figures among the young generation of Czech violinists. Playing his instrument from the age of five, he studied at the Music School of the City of Prague as well as the Prague Conservatoire. When only thirteen he appeared with Josef Suk on the stage of the Rudolfinum in the series 'Josef Suk Presents Young Talents'. He has scored triumphs in many competitions, including second prize in the Prague Spring Competition of 2010, becoming at nineteen the youngest-ever holder of a prize for violin in the history of this event. He collaborates regularly with the violinist Václav Hudeček, and since 2012 has been serving as his assistant at the Václav Hudeček Academy. In 2011 Mráček became the youngest-ever regular soloist with the Prague Radio Symphony. Presently he is studying in Vienna with Jan Pospíchal, concertmaster of the Vienna Symphony, and concertizing in prestigious venues around Europe and the United States.

Jan Mráček - violin

Kateřina Kněžíková

Soprano Kateřina Kněžíková is one of the most striking figures among the young generation of Czech singers in both operatic and concert repertoire. She graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and has won honours in many events including for example the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. Since 2006 she has been a regular soloist with Prague's National Theatre, on whose stages she has performed among other roles Mozart's Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Mysliveček's Aristea in L'Olimpiade, and Dvořák's Terinka in The Jacobin. She also appears as a guest in other opera houses both in the Czech Republic and abroad, such as the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, and the Theatre Royal de La Monnaie. She works with important conductors like Serge Baudo, Manfred Honeck, and Tomáš Netopil, and with such ensembles as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Collegium 1704, and the Czech Philharmonic. With Jiří Bělohlávek she recorded a new official version of the Czech national anthem. More information at

Pavel Svoboda

Pavel Svoboda is one of the most striking figures among the young generation of organists. A graduate of the Conservatoire in Pardubice and the Universität der Künste in Berlin, he has participated in numerous master classes abroad and is currently continuing his studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with Jaroslav Tůma. He has received many prestigious honours, including for example in the Prague Spring International Music Competition in 2013. He performs regularly in music festivals both at home and abroad (in Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Poland, Spain, and France) and collaborates with many important orchestras (such as the Hradec Králové Philharmonic and the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic) as well as with the ensemble Barocco sempre giovane. His musical activities are not limited to performance alone: he also works as a programme planner and since 2011 has been director of the F. L. Věk International Music Festival in Dobruška.

Vysoká u Příbramě

The Neo-Renaissance chateau in Vysoká near Příbram with its extensive park, 'Rusalka's Pond', and the beauty of the surrounding landscape –– all of these were inspirations for Antonín Dvořák for a period of more than twenty years in his compositional career. Dvořák fell in love with the country residence of the Kounic family and its environment. He personally supervised construction of a house, later renamed 'Villa Rusalka', and its surrounding garden with gazebo, to which he invited leading figures in Czech culture. In his free time he liked to work in the garden, tend his fruit trees, and care for his pigeons. He often walked to nearby Třebsko for morning mass in the church there, of which he became so fond that in 1894 he donated a new organ (unfortunately destroyed in a fire in 1953). The time he spent in Vysoká was also very fruitful for his compositional work: it was here that he composed for example the Humoresques, the Te Deum, the second set of Slavonic Dances, the famous Piano Quintet, the Carnival Overture, and the cantata The Spectre's Bride as well as large portions of the Eighth Symphony, the Mass in D, the Requiem, and his last four operas including Rusalka.