Saturday, September 21, 8.00 pm
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Programme

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 35Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, „Pathétique“

This year’s festival is focusing on the music of Dvořák’s friend and artistic ally Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. One high point will be a concert featuring two of the composer’s greatest works. Presenting himself in the Violin Concerto in D Major will be another member of the wonderful Capuçon “clan” of musicians, the violinist Renaud Capuçon, whose honours include decoration by the French state as a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur for his contribution to culture. The Czech Philharmonic and its chief conductor Semyon Bychkov will then bring the concert to a climax with one of the greatest symphonic works of all times, Tchaikovsky’s emotionally stirring Pathétique Symphony.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 21.55

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

Renaud Capuçon

The French violinist Renaud Capuçon is a gradual of the National Conservatoire in Paris. Later, he also studied in Berlin under the great violinist Isaac Stern. At that time, he also won a major prize from the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1997 he was invited by Claudio Abbado to collaborate with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester as concertmaster. During the years since then, Capuçon has established himself as an important soloist and chamber musician. Among his concert partners have been top orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic), illustrious soloists (Martha Argerich, Hélène Grimaud, Yefim Bronfman), and the world’s finest conductors (Daniel Barenboim, Paavo Järvi, Valery Gergiev). He has radio recordings to his credit as well as a highly varied discography including chamber music and concertos of the classical repertoire and film music. Since 2014, he has been engaged as a professor of violin at the Lausanne Conservatoire. In 2016 he was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest state honour.

Renaud Capuçon - violin

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.