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Monday, September 9, 2019, 8.00 pm
Dvořák Collection World-Class Orchestras

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Programme

Antonín Dvořák: Nocturno in B major, Op. 40, B. 47Antonín Dvořák: Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33, B. 63Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, B. 141

There are not many pianists who have Dvořák’s Piano Concerto in G Minor in their standard repertoire. Playing the composer’s original version of the piano part of this technically and interpretively extremely demanding work is one of the most prominent representatives of the middle generation of pianists, Ivo Kahánek. His partner will be the Essen Philharmonic under the baton of its music director and chief conductor Tomáš Netopil, one of today’s most internationally successful and recognised Czech conductors. The programme also features Dvořák’s imposing Seventh Symphony.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 21.50
  • Aftertalk

Artists

Ivo Kahánek

The pianist Ivo Kahánek is one of today’s most successful Czech performers. After graduating from the Janáček Conservatoire in Ostrava and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he furthered his education at London’s famed Guildhall School and at a number of masterclasses. At the age of 25, he became the overall winner of the Prague Spring International Music Competition. Besides giving solo recitals, he appears with renowned orchestras (Czech Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne) and conductors (Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pinchas Steinberg, Jiří Bělohlávek). In 2007 at London’s famed BBC Proms, he performed the Piano Concerto No. 4 (“Incantation”) by Bohuslav Martinů. In November 2014 he became just the second Czech pianist in history (after Rudolf Firkušný) to appear with the Berlin Philharmonic. Sir Simon Rattle conducted the performance. He has a number of acclaimed recordings to his credit with the music of Frédéric Chopin and Leoš Janáček among other composers. His CD from last year with piano concertos by Dvořák and Martinů has been awarded this year by the prestigious British music journal BBC Music Magazine as the Recording of the Year in the Concerto category.

Tomáš Netopil

Tomáš Netopil is one of the most internationally successful Czech conductors. After studying violin at the P.J. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž and orchestral and choral conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he pursued further studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. His victory at the Sir Georg Solti International Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt am Main in 2002 launched his career’s meteoric rise. From 2009 to 2012 he was the musical director of the National Theatre Orchestra in Prague, and since 2013 he has held the position of music director of the Aalto Theatre and Philharmonie Essen, in Germany. He collaborates with many renowned orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Dresden, Orchestre Santa Cecilia Roma, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; he guest conducts at the famed Semperoper in Dresden, and he has appeared repeatedly at the Salzburg Festival. He successfully introduced himself at the Vienna State Opera with Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and a new production of the first version of Beethoven’s Leonora. During the 2019/20 concert season, he guest conducted in Paris at the invitation of the Orchestre National de France, where he returned last season as well as to the Wiener Symphoniker. Also last season he debuted at the Grand Théâtre de Gèneve and in concerts with the Mozarteum Salzburg Orchestra.

Essen Philharmonic

The Essen Philharmonic is one of the oldest orchestras in Germany. Founded in 1899, it soon acquired its own concert hall, upon whose festive opening in 1904 it performed Richard Strauss’s Sinfonia domestica under the baton of the composer. Two years later it gave the premiere of Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, again under the composer’s own direction. Since its origin more than a century ago the ensemble has earned an outstanding reputation: music critics have repeatedly deemed it the ‘orchestra of the year’ in Germany, and numerous superb conductors have lifted their batons to lead it, from Otto Klemperer through Bernard Haitink to Krzysztof Penderecki. As is customary in German-speaking countries, the ensemble serves as both a symphonic and an operatic orchestra, performing in Essen’s Aalto-Musiktheater. Apart from normal operatic performances, each season it gives about thirty orchestral concerts, and some of its members also play in chamber groups. The orchestra also appears regularly in concert halls abroad, and engages in music education projects for youth.

Essen Philharmonic

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.

Download the Dvořák hall plan HERE.