Tuesday, September 17, 8.00 pm
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Programme

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme in A major for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 33Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

At this year’s Dvořák Prague Festival, the plan is to draw attention to the artistic and personal relations between Antonín Dvořák and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and this is clearly reflected in the programming of the second Czech Philharmonic concert at the festival, featuring exclusively the music of the Russian master. As the Dvořák Prague Festival Orchestra-In-Residence, the Czech Philharmonic will play Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and his Fifth Symphony with its chief conductor Semyon Bychkov, a specialist in Russian music. For the familiar Variations on a Rococo Theme, we have invited a soloist who is not appearing at the festival for the first time: the French cellist Gautier Capuçon. A great proponent of his instrument, he is acclaimed by the public and music critics for the uniqueness of his interpretations, combining technical mastery with cultivated expression and extraordinary refinement of sound.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 22.10

Artists

Czech Philharmonic

The Czech Philharmonic is the foremost Czech orchestra and has long held a place among the most esteemed representatives of Czech culture on the international scene. The beginning of its rich history is linked to the name of Antonín Dvořák, who on 4 January 1896 conducted the ensemble’s inaugural concert. Although the orchestra performs a broad range of the core international repertoire, it is sought out most often for its superb interpretations of the classics by the great Czech composers in a tradition built up by great conductors (Talich, Kubelík, Ančerl, Neumann, and Bělohlávek). The ensemble has won many international honours for its recordings, the first of which it made already in 1929: Smetana’s My Homeland with Talich. In 2008 the prestigious magazine Gramophone ranked it among the twenty best orchestras of the world. Since the inception of the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Czech Philharmonic has been its resident orchestra, and since last year it has been a holder of the Antonín Dvořák Prize for promoting and popularising Czech classical music abroad and in the Czech Republic.

Czech Philharmonic

Semyon Bychkov

The Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov is one of today’s most sought-after conductors because of his clear opinions on interpretation and his emphasis on beauty of sound. He was born in 1952 in what was then called Leningrad, and he graduated from the conservatoire there. After emigrating from the Soviet Union to the United States in the 1970s, he soon earned an outstanding international reputation. He has been a long-term collaborator with the world’s best orchestras, including the philharmonic orchestras in Vienna, Berlin, and Munich, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. He also devotes himself intensively to opera, conducting at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Vienna State Opera, the Teatro Real Madrid, La Scale in Milan, and the Opéra national de Paris, where he has conducted productions of operas ranging from Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Strauss’s Elektra. He also has a vast discography, including highly acclaimed recordings of Verdi’s Requiem and Wagner’s Lohengrin and the complete symphonies of Brahms. Since the 2018/19 season, he has been the chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.

Semyon Bychkov - conductor

Gautier Capuçon

Gautier Capuçon is considered one of the foremost cellists of his generation. Born in 1981 in Chambéry, France, he took to music at the age of five. He studied violoncello at the Paris Conservatory of Music and Dance and later with Austrian cellist and conductor Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. He has won prestigious awards at numerous international competitions, including the André Navarra International Cello Competition, and has performed on leading concert stages collaborating with many renowned conductors (John Eliot Gardiner, Daniel Barenboim, Valery Gergiev) and orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig). Gautier Capuçon also performs chamber music, often with his brother Renaud (violin). This will not be the first time that Capuçon has taken part in Dvořákova Praha. In 2009, he performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor to great acclaim and in 2012 he participated in the performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Gautier Capuçon - cello

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.