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Due to the increased security checks of Prague Castle we ask visitors for timely arrival to Cathedral concert.Cathedral will be opened from 6.45 pm,doors closed at 7.55pm.With respect to the live radio broadcast will be accession during concert impossible
Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 8.00 pm
Spiritual Concert

Programme

Josquin des Prez: Qui habitatJohn Tavener: As one who has slept; Funeral Ikos; The LambThomas Tallis: If ye love meWilliam Byrd: Ye sacred muses; Laetentur CaeliJohn Tavener: Requiem Fragments

This year's 'spiritual concert' in the attractive space of St. Vitus Cathedral offers a remarkable combination of works by masters of Renaissance vocal polyphony with music from our own time. The two topflight performing ensembles, specializing respectively in music from these two eras, are a guarantee of an exceptional listening experience.

This concert is presented under the patronage of Daniel Herman, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic.

  • Dress code: casual
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 21.30

Artists

Lukáš Vasilek

Lukáš Vasilek studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and musicology at the Charles University Faculty of Arts. From 1998 he was the choirmaster of the Foerster Chamber Choral Association, with which he won a number of awards at prestigious international competitions. From 2005 to 2007 he was the second choirmaster of the National Theatre Opera Chorus in Prague, where he worked on several productions (The Kiss, Don Pasquale, La clemenza di Tito etc.). Since 2007, he has been the head choirmaster of the Prague Philharmonic Choir. His highly acclaimed work with this ensemble has included rehearsing and conducting a wide range of repertoire of a variety of stylistic periods as well as the realisation of several recordings. Vasilek also works as an orchestral conductor, and he is the founder of the chamber ensemble Martinů Voices, with which he devotes himself mainly to the interpretation of music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He also involves himself with the popularisation of choral singing. For example, in 2012 and 2016 he created two series about the art of choral singing for Czech Radio and served as the moderator for the programmes.

Marie Fajtová

The renowned soprano Marie Fajtová graduated from the Prague Conservatoire in piano and operatic singing, studying with Jiří Kotouč. In 2008 she won the Grand Prize in the Barbara Hendricks International Singing Competition in Strasbourg. Since the 2006-07 season she has been a regular soloist with the National Theatre Opera in Prague. Her most important roles include several characters in operas by Mozart––Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, both Donna Elvira and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, both Susanna and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and Pamina in The Magic Flute––as well as Violetta in La traviata, Frasquita in Carmen, Adina in The Elixir of Love, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, Penelope in Gloriana, and Bellini's Norma. She also appears in other opera houses both in the Czech Republic and abroad: in Brno, Regensburg, Mannheim, Rennes, Luxembourg, Versailles, and elsewhere. A major part of her repertoire consists of Baroque music, in which she collaborates with the important specialized ensembles Capella Regia Praha, Collegium Marianum, Collegium 1704, and Camerata Nova.

Břetislav Kotrba

The acclaimed trombonist Břetislav Kotrba was born in Liberec in northern Bohemia, where he began devoting himself to music at the age of eight. After graduating from the Teplice Conservatory he continued his studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. While a student he was a member of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and today he serves as first trombonist of the Czech Philharmonic. Apart from playing in large orchestras he also devotes himself to smaller musical projects. With the Ritornello ensemble he shared in a recording of little-known works by Adam Michna z Otradovic, and he has performed in the International Festival of Early Music in Poland. He plays in charity concerts in the St. Karel Boromejský Home and is a member of the Czech Philharmonic Low Brass Ensemble, founded in 2004, consisting of first-class players from the trombone and tuba section of the foremost Czech orchestra.

Lukáš Moťka

After graduating in trombone from the Pavel Josef Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž, where his principal teacher was Rudolf Beran, Lukáš Moťka continued his studies at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, then further extended his education at the Conservatorium of the Privatuniversität in Vienna. While still a student he won several honours including first prize and the title of absolute victor both in the Czech Conservatoires Competition and in the International Brass Instruments Competition in Brno. In the Hungarofest International Competition in Hungary he advanced to the semi-final round, as also in the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland and the ARD International Competition in Germany. In the Prague Spring International Competition he won second prize and the title of Laureate. For four seasons he was first trombonist of the National Theatre in Brno, and presently he is a member of the Czech Philharmonic.

Tallis Scholars

The Tallis Scholars of England are one of the foremost ensembles performing Renaissance vocal polyphony today. The group was founded in 1973 by conductor Peter Philips as a non-professional ensemble comprising members of church choirs in Oxford and Cambridge. Ten years later it began operating on a fully-professional basis. From the beginning it has been highly acclaimed for its distinctive sound and its perfect work with the human voice. The repertoire focuses primarily on works by Thomas Tallis, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, William Byrd, Christopher Tye, and other European Renaissance composers of both sacred and secular music. Each year the choir gives around seventy concerts in the most important musical centres of Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. In 1987, 1991, and 2004 it won prestigious honours from Gramophone magazine, and in 1994 it performed at the festive opening of the restored Sistine Chapel in the Vatican as well as in Rome's Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore for the four hundredth anniversary of the death of Palestrina. Since 1980 the ensemble has made more than fifty recordings which it issues on its own label, Gimell Records.

Tallis Scholars

Peter Phillips

Conductor and musicologist Peter Phillips was born in Southampton. He gained his theoretical training mainly from two important British musicologists, Hugh Macdonald and Denis Arnold. He has taught at several colleges including the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the Royal College of Music, both in London. In 1973 he founded the Tallis Scholars, an ensemble performing Renaissance polyphony, and he still serves as its conductor to this day. Apart from regular concerts with the Tallis Scholars he works with other renowned choirs such as the Collegium Vocale Gent, Markell's Voices, and the Choeur de Chambre de Namur. He also engages in musicological research focused mainly on neglected topics in Renaissance polyphony. Since 1995 he has been owner and publisher of The Musical Times, the oldest continually-published music journal in the world.

Martinů Voices

The Martinů Voices chamber choir was founded in 2010. Its programming focuses primarily on music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but it does not avoid earlier style periods, especially the Renaissance. The name of the great figure in Czech music of the twentieth century in the choir's title refers to the fact that it devotes a major portion of its attention to modern Czech composers. The choir was established by and still works under the leadership of Lukáš Vasilek. It appears both independently and in collaboration with other performers, chamber ensembles, and orchestras, giving concerts both at home and abroad including guest performances in the most important music festivals such as Prague Spring, Strings of Autumn, Concentus Moraviae, and the St. Wenceslas Festival. Its performance of Bohuslav Martinů's opera What Men Live By brought it a nomination for a prestigious International Opera Award. The ensemble has recorded four compact discs to date, of which the most important, featuring choral music by Jan Novák, was issued on the Supraphon label in 2014.

Martinů Voices

Martinů Quartet

The Martinů Quartet was founded in 1976 by students at the Prague Conservatoire. Soon thereafter it won many awards in important international quartet competitions, for example the ARD Competition in Munich, the Evian Competition in France, the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in Portsmouth, England, and the Prague Spring Competition. These honours contributed greatly to the start of a successful international career, and the Martinů Quartet took a place among ensembles forming the world-renowned Czech quartet tradition. In 1985 the original title, 'Havlák Quartet', was changed signifying a commitment to promote the name and the music of one of the geniuses of Czech modern music, Bohuslav Martinů. Although the centre of gravity of the ensemble's repertoire is music by the established great composers from both the Czech lands and elsewhere, it often seeks out forgotten works and gives premieres of works that are brand new. The Martinů Quartet has recorded many highly-acclaimed albums, of which we might mention a recording of string quartets by Martinů honoured in 2004 with a Midem prize in Cannes.

Martinů Quartet

Karel Kučera

Bass trombonist Karel Kučera is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory where he studied with Josef Stádník, Zdeněk Pulec, and Jaromír Havel, and of Prague's Academy of Performing Arts where his principal teacher was Miloslav Hejda. While still a student he performed on bass trombone. From 1986 to 1988 he was a member of the orchestra of the Smetana Theatre (today's Prague State Opera), then from 1988 to 1997 he played in the Prague Radio Symphony, and since 1 September 1997 he has been bass trombonist with the Czech Philharmonic. Apart from this position with the leading Czech orchestra he has performed for many years in chamber ensembles such as the Czech Philharmonic Low Brass Ensemble, the Prague Brass Soloists, and the Prague Brass Ensemble, with which groups he has completed many concert tours of Europe, Japan, and Korea as well as making numerous recordings.

St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important temple in Prague. Apart from religious services the coronations of Czech kings and queens also took place in here. The cathedral is a place of interment of remains of provincial patron saints, sovereigns, noblemen and archbishops.The Bohemian Coronation Jewels are kept in Crown Chamber of st. Wenceslas Chapel.