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festival overture
Sunday, September 4, 2016, 11.30 am
On the Trail of Dvořák


Antonín Dvořák: Slavonic Rhapsody No. 1 in D major, Op. 45 (B. 86); Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor, Op. 46 (B. 78); Waltz No. 1 in A major, Op. 54 (B. 101 ); My Home (overture to Josef Kajetán Tyl), Op. 62 (B. 125a)*The concert is part of a comprehensive program: 9.45 - train departs from Prague Masaryk railway station (train arrives at 9.30)The festival ticket will also serve as a train ticket.11.00 - commemoration act at the statue of A. Dvořák in Nelahozeves11.30 - concert, Nelahozeves castle13.00 - visit to the Museum of A. Dvorak with commentary by musicologist David BeveridgeAfter visiting the Museum there will be space for visiting the Church of st. Andrew, where the liturgy of the word will take place from 15.30. You can also pass the so-called Dvořák trail along the Vltava river. If you have kids with you, then in the local culture house dance workshops take place from 13.00 for children 5-8 years, from 14.15 for 8 years and older.16.50 - train departs from Nelahozeves-castle station (train arrives at 16.40) Besides the train, which ensures the Dvorak Prague Festival, you can use at your own expenses also joint trains by Czech Railways, the name of the station is Nelahozeves-zamek (zamek=castle).

This year the traditional 'festival overture' On the Trail of Dvořák takes us to the composer's birthplace, Nelahozeves, where he spent the first twelve years of his life and received his first musical stimuli for his future dizzying compositional career. He also returned there as an adult, and his visit in 1889 inspired our festival concert in Nelahozeves Castle with a programme of music performed on that occasion––several of Dvořák's works for four-hands piano, rendered by the renowned pianists Ivo Kahánek and David Mareček. As usual we'll have well-informed live commentary by the festival musicologist David Beveridge.

  • Dress code: casual
  • Doors close: 11.25
  • End of concert: 12.30


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.

Ivo Kahánek - piano

David Mareček

David Mareček graduated in piano and conducting from the Brno Conservatoire, then continued his education at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in piano and, as the focus of doctoral studies, in performance and theory of performance. While still a student he also taught at the Pavel Křížkovský Elementary Arts School and Gymnasium. At the Brno Conservatory he served as assistant director and as professor of piano. He became programming director of the Brno Philharmonic in 2005, and two years later that ensemble's general director. Already during that time he strove to recruit new, mainly young, listeners of classical music, which he endeavoured to make more 'visible' to the broad public. Since 2011 he has been continuing in those same pursuits in his current position as general director of the Czech Philharmonic, where he regularly achieves splendid results in arranging for prestigious opportunities to present the art of our foremost orchestra on the international scene.


The name of Nelahozeves, a village near Kralupy nad Vltavou, would certainly never have penetrated beyond the bounds of the Czech lands had it not witnessed, on 8 September 1841, the birth of one of the most important composers of the world, Antonín Dvořák. Nelahozeves was also the site of the first great drama in Dvořák's life: in July 1842 the house where his family lived was gutted by fire, and family tradition says his father saved the future genius by carrying him in his cradle to safety. Critical for the composer's later stellar career were the first musical stimuli he acquired in Nelahozeves. Performances by village bands in the tavern run by his parents, his father playing the zither, railroad construction workers from Italy singing their favourite songs, music heard in the church of St. Andrew, and the inspiring elementary school teacher and musician Josef Spitz all created the soil from which Dvořák's rich artistic bequest later sprouted.