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closing concert
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 8.00 pm
World-Class Orchestras


Gioacchino Rossini: Overture to the opera La CenerentolaPetr Iljič Čajkovskij: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35Petr Iljič Čajkovskij: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

This closing concert offers an extraordinarily attractive programme in star interpretations: the combination of Tchaikovsky's stirring music with the Italian temperament of the famous Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and its chief conductor Antonio Pappano will form a splendid exclamation point at the end of this year's Dvořák Prague Festival.

  • Dress code: black tie
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 22.00


Gil Shaham

The American violinist Gil Shaham belongs to the absolute elite of the world in his field, having won his outstanding renown thanks to a combination of flawless technique and ardent, intelligent expression. He began studying violin at the age of seven and only three years later debuted as soloist under the baton of Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic. His formal training included study at several music schools in succession, including the famous Juilliard School in New York. He has performed with practically all the world's most important orchestras and recorded more than thirty albums, among them the most important violin concertos (including Vivaldi's The Four Seasons) and Bach's sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin. Many prestigious international honours have been bestowed on him, including a Grammy Award. Shaham performed for Prague audiences with great success already in 2009 and 2015 in concerts of the Strings of Autumn Festival. He plays one of the most precious instruments by Antonio Stradivari, the 'Comtesse de Polignac' from 1699.

Gil Shaham - violin

Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

The Orchestra is an ensemble with a long tradition, founded in Rome in 1908 as the first Italian orchestra intended exclusively for performance of symphonic repertoire. Its first chief conductor was the famous Bernardino Molinari, who headed the ensemble until 1944. The orchestra gave the world premieres of many important works of the twentieth century including Respighi's The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome. During its more than a century of activity the ensemble has worked with many of the most important conductors of the world including Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Georg Solti, Carlos Kleiber, Claudio Abbado, and Riccardo Muti. From 1983 to 1990 its honorary president was Leonard Bernstein. The orchestra performs in such prestigious concert halls of the world as Vienna's Musikverein, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, London's Royal Albert Hall, the Pleyel Hall in Paris, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Its extensive discography includes many highly-acclaimed recordings of which we might mention at least Verdi's Requiem, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Rossini's Stabat Mater, and Britten's War Requiem.

Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Antonio Pappano

The British conductor of Italian ancestry Antonio Pappano is one of the most sought-after conductors of our time. He was born in London, but at the age of thirteen moved with his parents to New York where he continued in studies of conducting, piano, and composition. Work as a répétiteur with singers helped him win engagements with many important opera companies including the New York City Opera, the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. At the Bayreuth Festival he became an assistant to Daniel Barenboim. In 1993 he attracted major attention at the Vienna State Opera in a last-minute substitution for Christoph von Dohnányi conducting a new production of Wagner's Siegfried. He regularly leads the most important orchestras of the world including the London Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Since 2002 he has been music director of London's Royal Opera, and since 2005 he has also headed the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has made numerous recordings honoured with many prestigious awards.

Antonio Pappano - conductor

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.