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chamber series opening concert
Monday, September 10, 2018, 8.00 pm
Chamber Series

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 582 (‘The Stadler Quintet’)Max Reger: Clarinet Quintet in A major, Op. 146Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

The outstanding Israeli clarinettist Sharon Kam will be the first woman in the festival’s history to serve as the curator of the chamber music series. As the centrepiece of this opening concert of the “festival within the festival”, she has chosen two chamber music masterpieces, the clarinet quintets of Mozart and Brahms, which she will perform together with other renowned soloists with whom she frequently collaborates on the concert stage. The evening will therefore be held in the spirit of an encounter between ingenious musical scores and superb interpretive mastery.

Aftertalk with Sharon Kam and Isabelle van Keulen 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: 22.00
  • Aftertalk


Gustav Rivinius

The German cellist Gustav Rivinius has been devoting himself to music since the age of six. After private studies in Munich and Lübeck, he furthered his studies under two world-famous performers, Zara Nelsova at the Juilliard School in New York and Heinrich Schiff in Basel. In 1990 he became the first and, so far, only German musician to win a gold medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow. This extraordinary success catapulted him among the most sought-after cellists of his generation and earned him appearances with the world’s most famous orchestras and conductors. In the early 1990s, he performed in the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle, were he played Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Václav Neumann. Besides performing as a soloists, he also devotes himself to chamber music with such frequent partners as Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Isabelle Faust, and Sharon Kam. He teaches at music schools in Saarbrücken and Maastricht, and he frequently gives master classes.

Volker Jacobsen

The German violist Volker Jacobsen was born in Hannover. He first studied under Christian Pohl, then under Barbara Westphal at the Lübeck Academy of Music. Among his teachers and advisors in the area of chamber music have been Walter Levin and members of the Emerson String Quartet. In 1989 he was a founding member of the Artemis Quartet, which became world famous after winning the ARD Competition in Munich in 1996, followed soon thereafter by another first prize at the prestigious competition Premio Paolo Borciani in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Volker Jacobsen devotes the majority of his artistic activity to playing chamber music. His concert partners have included the cellist Gautier Capuçon, the pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Matthias Kirschnereit, and the violinist Renaud Capuçon. He is also active as a teacher – he is currently a professor of viola at the University of Music, Dance and Media in Hanover.

Ulrike-Anima Mathé

Ulrike-Anima Mathé is recognised as one of today’s most important German violinists. She studied at music schools in Basel, New York, and Detmold. She makes solo appearances with such renowned orchestras at the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, and the Hungarian Radio Orchestra. Critics have praised her playing as “fascinating, evocative, and deeply felt”. She has won a number of prizes at international competitions including the European Violin Competition in 1985 in Vienna and the 1989 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. She has made concert appearances on prestigious stages in Berlin, New York, Cologne, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, among other places. She is a frequent guest at the Lucerne Music Festival. A prominent feature of her artistic profile is her commitment to the promotion of contemporary music and her deep interest in historically informed interpretation. For the Dorian Recordings label, she made a highly rated recording of the complete sonatas for violin solo by Max Reger.

Isabelle van Keulen

A native of the Netherlands, Isabelle van Keulen first drew significant attention to herself by winning the competition for Eurovision Young Musician of the Year in 1984. Her career is characterised by a broad range of activities: besides her primary domain as a violinist, she also performs as a violist and chamber orchestra conductor, and she is a pedagogue as well. In 1997, she founded the Delft Chamber Music Festival, which she led for a number of years. She appears with the world’s best orchestras, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, and in the field of chamber music, she has collaborated with partners including the pianist Ronald Brautigam, the Leopold String Trio, and the clarinettist Sharon Kam. She has realised a number of recordings, the most successful of which have been Alban Berg’s Violin Concert on the Chandos label, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet for Berlin Classics, and Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the Hyperion label.

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.