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closing concert
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 8.00 pm
World-class Orchestras Dvořák Collection IV

Programme

Johannes Brahms: Tragic Overture, Op. 81Antonín Dvořák: Te Deum, Op. 103, B. 176Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60, B. 112

With the festive Te Deum the tenth anniversary year of the Dvořák Prague Festival will come to an end, in a culmination delivered by the brilliant Vienna Symphony Orchestra under the baton of one of the most successful Czech conductors, Tomáš Netopil. Solo parts sung by major stars Simona Šaturová and Adam Plachetka guarantee that the close of the festival will rank among the highlights of the musical autumn.

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

Artists

Tomáš Netopil

Tomáš Netopil is one of the most internationally successful Czech conductors. He studied violin at the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž and orchestral and choral conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, then he furthered his studies at the Royal Academy in Stockholm. His victory at the Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt am Main in 2002 put his artistic career on a sharply rising trajectory. From 2009 to 2012 he was the chief conductor of the Opera of the National Theatre, and since 2013 he has held the post of music director of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera in Germany. He collaborates with many renowned orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Dresden and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has made guest appearances at the famed Semperoper in Dresden and repeatedly at the Salzburg Festival. During the past three seasons, he has successfully introduced himself at the Vienna State Opera with Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte. During the 2019/20 concert season, he will be guest conducting in Paris at the invitation of the Orchestre National de France.

Tomáš Netopil - conductor

Prague Philharmonic Choir

The Prague Philharmonic Choir, which has been appearing on concert stages for over eighty years, is one of Europe’s most important choral ensembles. It was established by the legendary Czech choirmaster Jan Kühn, who originally created the choir for Czechoslovak Radio broadcasts. The choir’s range of activities soon expanded to encompass regular concerts and recordings, and the extraordinary quality and breadth of its activities earned it widespread renown. The choir’s international prestige is documented by its collaborations with many of the world’s top conductors (Erich Kleiber, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Simon Rattle) and orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic). The choir is a regular guest at prestigious music festivals around the world, and it has also taken part in opera productions (La Scala in Milan). Since 2010 it has been the ensemble-in-residence at the famed Bregenzer Festspiele opera festival. The choir has long been working in close cooperation with the Czech Philharmonic; the recordings they have made together are among the finest releases of the Supraphon label.

Prague Philharmonic Choir

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.

Lukáš Vasilek - choirmaster

Simona Šaturová

Slovak soprano Simona Šaturová is a native of Bratislava, where she graduated from the conservatoire. She further enhanced her vocal training in master classes with Ileana Cotrubas in Vienna and Margreet Honig in Amsterdam. Thanks to her outstanding technique, stylistic refinement, and cultivated expression she ranks among the most sought-after soloists of her voice type. Though her repertoire is quite broad, her specialty remains music of the eighteenth century. She appears in some of the foremost opera houses including the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, the Frankfurt Opera, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and L’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and works with topflight soloists and conductors like Thomas Quasthoff, Manfred Honeck, Helmuth Rilling, and Philippe Herreweghe. She holds many awards, including a Thalia Prize for best operatic performance, the Charlotte and Walter Hamel Foundation Prize, and ‘Editor’s Choice 2009’ awarded by the prestigious magazine Gramophone.

Simona Šaturová - soprano

Adam Plachetka

Bass-baritone Adam Plachetka is presently one of the most successful Czech performers on the international musical scene. Afters studies at the Prague Conservatoire and Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts he launched his career with the National Theatre in Prague and the Prague State Opera. When only twenty-two he sang in the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Valery Gergiev, then two years later he debuted in the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Since the 2010-11 season he has been a regular soloist with the Vienna State Opera, where he first attracted major attention as a substitute in the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. He performs in other prestigious opera houses as well, including L’Opéra de Nice, London’s Covent Garden, and Milan’s La Scala. In 2015 he debuted in New York’s Metropolitan Opera. He also sings concert repertoire and has recorded several solo albums. He appears in important musical centres of the world such as London’s Wigmore Hall and the Glyndebourne Festival, and works with renowned conductors like Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti, and Daniel Harding.

Adam Plachetka - baritone

Vienna Symphony Orchestra

The Vienna Symphony Orchestra has long ranked among the most famous orchestras in the world. Founded in 1900 as the Vienna Concert Society, it has been playing under its present title since 1933. Already during its first years the orchestra gave a series of important world premieres including the Ninth Symphony of Anton Bruckner, Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder, and Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto for Left Hand. Over the course of its existence it has been led by many world-renowned conductors, among others Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwängler, George Szell, Herbert von Karajan, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Carlo Maria Giulini. Each season it gives about 150 performances; since 2006, when opera productions of the staggione type were renewed in the Theater an der Wien, this number has included performances in operas there. The orchestra also regularly embarks on concert tours abroad. It has an extensive discography, including recordings of music by Dvořák and Smetana under the baton of Karel Ančerl.

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.