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chamber series closing concert
Monday, September 17, 2018, 8.00 pm
Chamber Series

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Arnold Schönberg: Transfigured Night, Op. 4Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

The closing concert of the festival’s chamber music series will present a programme of exceptional difficulty for the performers, consisting of two intimate – and yet “gigantic” – scores by greats of twentieth-century music, Arnold Schoenberg and Olivier Messiaen. Sharon Kam, the curator of this year’s chamber music series, will be heard in an international ensemble of outstanding soloists that she has put together specifically for the occasion. Returning to the festival stage will be the Czech virtuoso Josef Špaček, alongside Michal Kaňka, a long-time member of the Pražák Quartet, and other important performers of chamber music.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 21.45


Josef Špaček

The violinist Josef Špaček is one of the most prominent performers of his generation. He began his violin studies at the Prague Conservatoire, and at age 18 he was admitted to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. From 2009 he continued his studies at the Juilliard School in New York in the studio of Itzhak Perlman. Since 2011 he has held the post of concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic. He has appeared as a soloist in many important concert halls of Europe, the USA, Japan, and New Zealand, and he has collaborated with a number of illustrious conductors (Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Jiří Bělohlávek). He has appeared as a soloist with top orchestras around the world, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin, and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. He has won a number of international awards, including the title of laureate at the famed Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2012. He has also made a highly esteemed recording of works for violin and orchestra by Dvořák, Janáček, and Suk on the Supraphon label. The violin he plays is the “LeBrun, Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù (1732).

Pavel Nikl

The violist Pavel Nikl is a graduate of the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž and of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He is a laureate of several international competitions including the Johannes Brahms International Competition in Portschach, Austria. He has appeared as a soloist with the South Czech Philharmonic, the Moravian Philharmonic in Olomouc, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, and the North Czech Philharmonic, but he is most active performing chamber music. He is one of the founding members of the Pavel Haas Quartet, to which he belonged until 2016. That ensemble has won exceptional international recognition for its concerts and recordings, including a Gramophone Award for a recording of Dvořák’s quintets. He has appeared at the world’s most famous concert halls including the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Herkulessaal in Munich, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and many more. Pavel Nikl also teaches, holding posts at universities in Europe, the USA, and Australia.

Pavel Nikl - viola

Matan Porat

The young Israeli pianist and composer Matan Porat is a graduate of the famed Juilliard School in New York. He further broadened his experience under the guidance of such teachers as Maria João Pires, Menahem Pressler, and András Schiff. He has given solo recitals in Paris, Berlin, and Frankfurt and at London’s Wigmore Hall, and he has appeared with such important orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia Varsovia, and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. As a player of chamber music, he is invited frequently to international music festivals, where he has shared the stage with partners including Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Sharon Kam, Alisa Weilerstein, and members of the Guarneri Quartet. His extraordinarily broad repertoire includes music ranging from Scarlatti to Ligeti. He is also already sufficiently established on the international scene as a composer. Among his works to have been performed are the opera Animal Farm, based on George Orwell’s novel, a Requiem, and a Concerto for Mandolin.

Matan Porat - piano

Petr Nouzovský

Petr Nouzovský studied cello in Prague, Dresden, and Madrid and took part in master classes with Mstislav Rostropovich. He appears frequently at festivals including Prague Spring, the Pablo Casals Festival, and Strings of Autumn, and he has presented himself on many prestigious concert stages including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Hercules Hall in Munich, and the Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. He collaborates with outstanding conductors (Jakub Hrůša, Ondrej Lenárd, Petr Altrichter) and orchestras (the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Janáček Philharmonic in Ostrava, the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice). He makes frequent appearances abroad, haven given concerts in more than forty countries. He has led workshops and master classes at the Steinhardt School of Music of the New York University and at conservatories and musical academies in Lima, Yekaterinburg, Atlanta, and Wrocław. Last year he won a prize from the Prague Classic Awards for his recording of the complete works for cello and orchestra by Bohuslav Martinů.

Michal Kaňka

Michal Kaňka studied cello under Mirko Škampa, Viktor Moučka, and Josef Chuchro. In the early 1980s, he took part at the Piatigorsky Seminar in Los Angeles, where he had the opportunity of working with A. Navarra, M. Gendron, and P. Tortelier. Already as a student, he took part in more than thirty cello and chamber music competitions. Among his most significant awards have been the title of laureate at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, first prize at the Prague Spring Competition, and a triumph at the ARD Radio Competition in Munich. He has given solo recitals or appeared as soloist with orchestras in Spain, Denmark, Slovenia, Portugal, France, England, Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, in five countries of South America, Kosovo, and the USA. He has made several dozen solo CD recordings for Czech and foreign recording labels. He devotes himself intensively to performing chamber music, including more than 30 years as a member of the Pražák Quartet. He teaches in Prague at the Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts.

Karel Untermüller

The violist Karel Untermüller is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory and of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. As a soloist, he has collaborated with many Czech orchestras (including the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Suk Chamber Orchestra, and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice). He collaborated significantly with the violinist Josef Suk, making with him three CD recordings of the chamber music of Antonín Dvořák and Josef Suk and appearing with him in concert many times, including performances at the Prague Spring festival. Karel Untermüller is the principal viola of the Suk Chamber Orchestra and is a member of the Herold String Quartet, with which he has given a great number of concerts in many countries of Europe, Japan, and Australia. The ensemble has made several recordings for the Supraphon label, Czech Radio, and ABC Classic FM Sydney. Karel Untermüller is invited frequently to collaborate with other chamber ensembles, including the Wihan Quartet, the Stamic Quartet, and the Pavel Haas Quartet. He is passing on his artistry to students at the Teplice Conservatory and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Roman Patočka

Violinist Roman Patočka is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He furthered his higher education in Utrecht and Lübeck. He is a laureate of a number of competitions, including Prague Spring, Leopold Mozart in Augsburg, Pablo de Sarasate in Pamplona, and Max Reger in Berlin. As a soloist, he appears with renowned Czech and foreign orchestras (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia) under the baton of famed conductors (Jiří Bělohlávek, Douglas Bostock, Heiko Mathias Förster, Sir Charles Mackerras). As a performer of chamber music, he is a member of the Talich Quartet and the Eben Piano Trio. He performs at prestigious music festivals including Lange Nacht der Musik in Vienna, Prague Spring, and the Chopin Festival in Mariánské Lázně. In 2005 he represented the Czech Republic at EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan.

Sharon Kam

The Israeli clarinettist Sharon Kam is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, where she studied with Charles Neidich. She made her orchestral debut at the age of sixteen with the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta. After winning the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1992, she began receiving invitations to perform with the most famous orchestras of Europe, the United States, and Japan. On the occasion of the gala celebration of W. A. Mozart’s 250th birthday, she played his Clarinet Concerto in A Major on a live television broadcast that was seen in thirty-three countries around the world. She devotes herself intensively to chamber music in collaboration with Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, and Leonidas Kavakos. She is a dedicated promoter of contemporary music, having given the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Clarinet and String Trio, for example. Besides the classical and modern concert repertoire, she also occasionally performs jazz.

Sharon Kam - clarinet

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.