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festival overture
Sunday, September 2, 2018, 1.15 pm
On the Trail of Dvořák

When buying tickets in a package, i.e. to all four concerts of the series On the Trail of Antonín Dvořák, you pay CZK 500. The price is adjusted automatically when you put all of the tickets into your shopping cart. The number of packages is limited by the capacity of the concert halls.


Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106, B. 192

More than a hundred years later, Dvořák’s music shall again be heard on the special premises of the former home of the architect and arts patron Josef Hlávka – we will be hearing one of the master’s supreme works of chamber music in a superb interpretation by the world famous Bennewitz String Quartet. Dvořák was a frequent guest of the Hlávka family and took part here in Friday evening gatherings in the circle of other artists and figures from the world of science, and he also enjoyed making music here – he played his own compositions for piano four hands with Mrs. Hlávková. The concert is part of the traditional festival event On the Trail of Antonín Dvořák, which will take us this year to several places in Prague that are associated with the composer’s activities.

More about programme

  • Dress code: casual
  • End of concert: 14.00


Bennewitz quartet

The Bennewitz String Quartet was founded in 1998 at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. From the very beginning, it worked under the guidance of leading figures of the Czech school of quartet playing (Václav Bernášek, Milan Škampa, and Břetislav Novotný). Its members are superb instrumentalists who have gathered experience at master classes and have earned various honours at international competitions. In 2004 the ensemble won the prize of the Czech Chamber Music Society, in 2002–2004 the quartet was engaged as the “Quartet in Residence” in Basel, the following year it triumphed at the prestigious competition in Osaka, and it was the winner in 2008 at the Premio Paolo Borciani in Italy. At present, it gives concerts on important stages in this country and abroad (including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and the Frick Collection in New York), and it receives regular invitations to festivals (Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Prague Spring). The ensemble’s interesting programming includes not only the established works of the quartet literature, but also music by such outstanding but unjustly neglected composers as Jan Ladislav Dusík, Antonín Rejcha, Pavel Haas, Viktor Ullmann, and Ervín Schulhoff. The ensemble has made CD recordings of quartets by Janáček, Bartók, Smetana, Dvořák, Schubert, and other composers.

Hlávka Flat

The residence of Josef Hlávka and his wife Zdenka, close friends of Dvořák and his wife Anna, is in an apartment building between Jungmannova and Vodičkova streets that Hlávka himself designed and had built in 1890–91. Also living in the building were Zdenka’s parents (her father Matěj Havelka being an important politician and a poet) and her close friend the poet Julius Zeyer (also a friend of Dvořák). During Friday evening gatherings in the Hlávkas’ flat new works by Dvořák were often played that had not yet been performed in public. One of them may have been the String Quartet in G major, which we’ll hear in our own concert: its public premiere was given in the Žofín Hall by the Czech Quartet, whose members often played at these gatherings hosted by the Hlávkas.