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Sunday, September 15, 2019, 5.00 pm
Chamber Series

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Antonín Dvořák: Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 100, B. 183Robert Schumann: Sonata for Piano No. 2, in G Minor, Op. 22Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita for Violin No. 3 in E major for Violin Solo, BWV 1006Antonín Dvořák: Sonata for Violin and Piano in F major for Violin and Piano, Op. 57, B. 106

The main dramaturgical line of this concert of the Chamber Music Series consists of two of Antonín Dvořák’s most important works for violin and piano symbolically frame the evening’s programme: at the beginning is the popular Sonatina, which the composer gave the round opus number 100 and dedicated to his children, then the programme concludes with the lesser known but equally great Sonata in F Major, the composer’s only work designated as a “sonata”. The programme also includes romantically dreamy piano music by Robert Schumann and also a Partita for Violin Solo by Johann Sebastian Bach. Playing the music are two outstanding instrumentalists: this year’s Chamber Music Series curator, the violinist Gil Shaham, and his younger colleague, the pianist Michail Lifits.

  • Dress code: black tie
  • Doors close: 16.55
  • End of concert: 18.50


Michail Lifits

The pianist Michail Lifits comes from the Uzbek capital Tashkent, but from the age of sixteen he has been living in Hamburg, Germany, where he studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik. Later, he furthered his training at the International Piano Academy in Imola, Italy. He made his public debut at age 13 in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s exceptionally difficult Piano Concerto No. 2. He has won a remarkable number of prizes at international competitions, the highpoint coming in 2009 with first prize at the prestigious Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano. He has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center (New York), the Auditorium du Louvre (Paris), the Teatro della Pergola (Florence), NCPA (Beijing), the Tonhalle (Zurich), Wigmore Hall (London), and the Sala Verdi (Milan). He makes regular guest appearances at international festivals in France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and the United States. Since 2011, he has been recording for the prestigious Decca label. In particular, his album of piano music by W. A. Mozart, issued in 2012, has been highly acclaimed. His interpretations of the music of the Salzburg master have been compared to those of the legendary pianist Wilhelm Kempff.

Michail Lifits - piano

Gil Shaham

The American violinist Gil Shaham belongs to the absolute elite of the world in his field, having won his outstanding renown thanks to a combination of flawless technique and ardent, intelligent expression. He began studying violin at the age of seven and only three years later debuted as soloist under the baton of Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic. His formal training included study at several music schools in succession, including the famous Juilliard School in New York. He has performed with practically all the world's most important orchestras and recorded more than thirty albums, among them the most important violin concertos (including Vivaldi's The Four Seasons) and Bach's sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin. Many prestigious international honours have been bestowed on him, including a Grammy Award. Shaham performed for Prague audiences with great success already in 2009 and 2015 in concerts of the Strings of Autumn Festival. He plays one of the most precious instruments by Antonio Stradivari, the 'Comtesse de Polignac' from 1699.

Gil Shaham - violin

St. Agnes Convent

The Convent of St. Agnes in the 'Na Františku' neighbourhood of Prague's Old Town is considered the first Gothic structure not only in Prague but in all of Bohemia. It was founded by King Wenceslas I in 1233–34 at the instigation of his sister, the Přemyslid princess Agnes of Bohemia, for the Order of Saint Clare which Agnes introduced into Bohemia and of which she was the first abbess. The convent was preceded by a hospital. The 'Poor Clares' originated as an offshoot of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, and the convent was at one time known as the Prague Assisi. Agnes was an outstanding figure in religious life of the thirteenth century. Besides this Clarist convent she also founded the only Czech religious order – the Hospital Order of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star. She was canonized in 1989.