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Monday, September 9, 8.00 pm
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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

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

Tomáš Netopil

Tomáš Netopil ranks among the most successful Czech conductors on the international musical scene. After graduating in violin from the P. J. Vejvanovský Conservatoire in Kroměříž then in conducting and choral directing from Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, he continued his education at the Royal Academy in Stockholm. A great leap in his career was victory in the Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt am Main in 2002. From 2009 to 2012 he was chief conductor of the National Theatre Opera in Prague, and since 2013 he has held the post of Music Director of the Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra of Essen, Germany. He works with numerous renowned orchestras such as the Staatskapelle of Dresden and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has appeared as a guest in the famous Semper Opera in Dresden, and has conducted repeatedly in the Salzburg Festival. During the past two seasons he has scored triumphs in the Vienna State Opera with Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Tomáš Netopil - conductor

Ivo Kahánek

Pianist Ivo Kahánek is one of the most successful Czech performing artists of the present time. After graduating from Ostrava’s Janáček Conservatoire and Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, he furthered his education at London’s renowned Guildhall School and in master classes with Christian Zacharias, Alicia de Larrocha, and others. At the age of twenty-five he became absolute victor in the Prague Spring International Music Competition. In addition to giving solo recitals he appears with renowned orchestras like the Czech Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, and Cologne’s West German Radio Orchestra under outstanding conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pinchas Steinberg, and Jiří Bělohlávek. In 2007 he performed Bohuslav Martinů's Piano Concerto No. 4, ‘Incantation’, in the famous BBC Proms Festival in London’s Royal Albert Hall, and in November 2014 he became the second Czech pianist in history (after Rudolf Firkušný) to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Last year he served as curator of the Dvořák Prague Festival's chamber series.

Ivo Kahánek - piano

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.