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Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 8.00 pm
Dvořák Collection Great Soloists

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Programme

Antonín Dvořák: Psalm 149, Op. 79, B. 154Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, B. 163

The wizard of the piano Evgeny Kissin is one of the most eagerly anticipated guests at this year’s Dvořák Prague Festival. Moreover, for his appearance he has chosen a piano concerto by Franz Liszt that is extraordinarily technically difficult, which he will undoubtedly carry off with all of the technical bravura and stirring musicality for which he is known. Naturally, the music of Antonín Dvořák will not be overlooked. His Psalm is being performed as part of the vast Dvořák Collection series by its ideal interpreters, the Czech Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno under the baton of Petr Altrichter.

Aftertalk with Jevgenij Kissin moderated by Jiří Vejvoda will be held in the concert hall after the concert.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 21.45
  • Signing: Dvořák Hall
  • Aftertalk

Artists

Petr Fiala

Choirmaster Petr Fiala graduated from the Brno Conservatoire in piano, composition, and conducting. He has composed many dozens of work for voices, orchestra, and chamber ensembles, and for years served as a professor at the Brno Conservatoire. Apart from teaching and composing, for five decades now he has been known above all for his work as a choirmaster and conductor. In 1990 he founded the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, which under his leadership has earned a position among the best choral ensembles in Europe. He has won honours in many domestic and international competitions, and serves as an instructor in conducting courses as well as a member of international juries. He is often invited to conduct works for chorus and orchestra as a guest both at home and abroad. In 2009 he received the Order of Cyril and Methodius from the Czech Bishops’ Conference, and four years later he was honoured by the Prize of the City of Brno.

Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno

The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno has long ranked among the finest European ensembles in its field. It has already become—under the leadership of its founder, music director, and choirmaster Petr Fiala—one of the most sought-after choral ensembles. It has worked with many Czech and foreign conductors including Jiří Bělohlávek, Charles Dutoit, Roger Norrington, Zubin Mehta, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and Kurt Masur, and he is a frequent guest on concert stages in Vienna, London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Basel, Rome, the Vatican, Nuremberg, Dresden, Prague, and elsewhere in Europe. The choir has made many acclaimed recordings for both Czech and foreign labels. For its recording of motets by Anton Bruckner it won a prestigious Echo Klassik award in 2007, and its recording of Liszt’s oratorio Christus was named ‘Recording of the Year 2007’ in Germany. The choir’s greatest successes in the 2019/20 season include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and a recital of Czech repertoire at the Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Petr Altrichter

Petr Altrichter made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic in 1979, and has subsequently conducted the Orchestra on numerous occasions in Prague, on tour in China, Germany, in Japan and Taiwan. 

He was raised in a musical family, and he played musical instruments from a young age. Having graduated from the conservatory in Ostrava as a French horn player and conductor, he continued his studies at the Janáček Academy of the Performing Arts in Brno in the fields of orchestral conducting under the guidance of Otakar Trhlík and František Jílek and choral conducting with the teachers Josef Veselka and Lubomír Mátl. After his studies in Brno, he worked as a choirmaster and conductor with the Brno Academic Choir, and he played a part in the earning of many prizes at foreign choral competitions and festivals (Middlesbrough, Debrecen…).


Altrichter attracted international attention in 1976, when he earned the title of laureate and a special prize from the jury at the renowned conducting competition in Besançon, France. On the basis of that prize, he became Václav Neumann’s assistant conductor with the Czech Philharmonic, and he started his own artistic career. Not long after that, he began to receive invitations to conduct orchestras abroad.

After a period of activity with the Brno Philharmonic, in 1988 he became a conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and in 1990 he became its principal conductor. With that orchestra, he made frequent foreign tours to Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Germany, France, and other countries. At the same time, he was engaged in long-term collaboration with the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice, with which he often gave performances abroad introducing many gifted young soloists (such as Isabelle van Keulen and Radek Baborák) who are now firmly established on concert stages around the world.

From 1993, he was the music director of the Southwest German Philharmonic Orchestra of Constance, with which he gave concerts regularly at the Tonhalle in Zurich and at the KKL in Lucerne, and he also toured Switzerland and Italy.

Petr Altrichter made his debut in the United Kingdom with the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival in 1993, and his London debut with the English Chamber Orchestra followed soon thereafter. In 1997 he was appointed as the principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic after having guest conducted the orchestra with great success during the previous season. He also made an appearance with that orchestra in 2000 at the BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and he made a number of highly acclaimed recordings for the orchestra’s own label – RLPO Live.

In 2001 Altrichter was invited to take the helm of the Brno Philharmonic, and he remained there for seven years, returning to the orchestra with which he had been associated since his student days, and he still continues to guest conduct there regularly.

In 2015 he toured Germany with the Czech Philharmonic, and in late 2015 and early 2016, he toured China with the same orchestra. In the spring of 2017 he toured Japan with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and his 2018 calendar included a tour of the United Kingdom with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

He has guest conducted major orchestras abroad, including Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Warsaw Philharmonic, Krakow Philharmonic, Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra in Riga, Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen, and Odense Symphony Orchestra. In the United Kingdom he has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has made guest appearances at major festivals in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Avignon, Athens, Cheltenham, Paris, Madrid, Chicago, Zurich, Lucerne, Vienne, Seville, Palermo, and elsewhere.

The bulk of Petr Altrichter’s repertoire consists of Czech music – Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, and Bohuslav Martinů, Russian music – especially Dmitri Shostakovich, and the works of Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner. Important soloists and performers from around the world (Garrick Ohlsson, John Lill, Tabea Zimmermann…) value his flexibility in leading orchestral accompaniments, and they seek out collaboration with him.

Source: Petr Altrichter

Petr Altrichter - conductor

Czech Philharmonic

The Czech Philharmonic is the foremost Czech orchestra and has long held a place among the most esteemed representatives of Czech culture on the international scene. The beginning of its rich history is linked to the name of Antonín Dvořák, who on 4 January 1896 conducted the ensemble’s inaugural concert. Although the orchestra performs a broad range of the core international repertoire, it is sought out most often for its superb interpretations of the classics by the great Czech composers in a tradition built up by great conductors (Talich, Kubelík, Ančerl, Neumann, and Bělohlávek). In 2008 the prestigious magazine Gramophone ranked it among the twenty best orchestras of the world. One of the orchestra’s most important recent projects has recording Tchaikovsky’s complete orchestral works for the Decca Label with Semyon Bychkov conducting. Since the inception of the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Czech Philharmonic has been its resident orchestra, and since 2018 it has been a holder of the Antonín Dvořák Prize for promoting and popularising Czech classical music abroad and in the Czech Republic.

Czech Philharmonic

Jevgenij Kissin

The phenomenal Russian pianist Evengy Kissin began playing piano at the age of two, and at ten years of age he made his debut playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor. A year later, he began giving solo recitals with sensational success. His reputation as a prodigy spread quickly around the world, so in his youth he collaborated with the most important conductors of the day, including Herbert von Karajan, Zubin Mehta, and Valery Gergiev. Today, he gives concerts regularly in most of the countries of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Thanks to his supreme technical mastery, he is regarded as a representative of the great tradition of the Russian school of piano playing. Although he has an enormous repertoire, his chief domain is regarded as the music of Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Franz Liszt. His recordings have won countless awards, including multiple Grammy Awards, and he has received honorary memberships or honorary doctorates from a large number of institutions. Kissin already appeared at the Dvořák Prague Festival in 2013 in a recital with works by Schubert and Scriabin.

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.