The final concert to conclude the three-year project of performing the complete works of A. Dvořák for string quartet
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Monday, September 23, 8.00 pm

Ticket prices

990 — 290 CZK

Programme

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: “Souvenir de Florence”, string sextet in D Minor, Op. 70Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: String Octet in E flat Major, Op. 20Antonín Dvořák: Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22, B. 52

After performing and experiencing rather demanding concerts, both the musicians and the audience deserve a special treat. A unique orchestra, never before assembled and probably never to appear again, will conclude the three-year project that has presented Antonín Dvořák’s complete works for string quartet. While the first-class Pavel Haas Quartet was responsible for curating the project and has taken part in presenting it, its members will now act as the section leaders of a string orchestra consisting of players from all of the participating ensembles. The Dover, Cremona, Bennewitz, Zemlinsky, and Sedláček string quartets are among the top ensembles in this country and around the world. For the concluding concert, musicians from each of these individual groups will join together to perform some of their favourite compositions. Souvenir of Florence by Dvořák’s friend Tchaikovsky will be followed by Mendelssohn’s Octet, a work played by chamber musicians the world over. Antonín Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings will bring the Chamber Series to a close with a series of sunlit “songs without words”, a pure combination of musical genius with unrestrained joy.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 7.50 pm
  • End of concert: 10.10 pm

Artists

Gala concert of joined string quartets

Quartetto di Cremona

Since its formation in 2000, the Quartetto di Cremona has established a reputation as one of the most exciting chamber ensembles on the international stage. Regularly invited to perform at major music festivals and in halls in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, they garner universal acclaim for their high level of interpretive artistry.


Highlights of recent and upcoming seasons performances at Wigmore Hall (London), at the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), at the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, at the Brucknerhaus (Linz), at the Rudolfinum (Prague), in Geneva, Stockholm, Schwarzenberg, Kuhmo, Mumbai, Taipei, Beijing, and for the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York. North American tours are regularly planned twice a year, with the Carnegie Hall debut scheduled for October 2023 as well as a re-invitation from the CMS in March 2024 at the Lincoln Center.

The Quartet has also collaborated with numerous artists such as Eckart Runge, Till Fellner, Pablo Barragan, Kit Armstrong, Miguel da Silva, David Orlowsky, the Emerson String Quartet, and the Pavel Haas Quartet.

On the discographic side, a new CD will soon be released with the ensemble’s own version of The Art of Fugue, performed with seven instruments so as not to alter the original writing of Bach's score.

Previous recordings include: “Italian Postcards” (2020, Avie Records); a double CD dedicated to Schubert (2019, Audite); and the complete Beethoven String Quartets (20128, Audite). All of them were received with great interest by international critics, as well as winning discographic prizes.

Frequently invited to present masterclasses in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the members of the quartet have been professors at the Walter Stauffer Academy in Cremona since 2011.

Winners in 2019 of the “Franco Buitoni Award” by BBT for their constant contribution to the promotion of chamber music in Italy and around the world, they are ambassadors for the international project “Friends of Stradivari” and honorary citizens of Cremona. They also endorse “Le Dimore del Quartetto” and Thomastik Infield Strings.

Source: Quartetto di Cremona

Quartetto di Cremona

Dover Quartet

Named one of the greatest string quartets of the last 100 years by BBC Music Magazine, the GRAMMY® nominated Dover Quartet has followed a “practically meteoric” (Strings) trajectory to become one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world. The group’s awards include a stunning sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.


Formed at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, when its members were just 19 years old, the Quartet draws from the musical lineage of both the Vermeer and Guarneri Quartets, but brings a youthful enthusiasm and musical conviction to the repertoire that is truly its own. The Strad recently raved that the Quartet is “already pulling away from their peers with their exceptional interpretative maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble.” Members of the Quartet have appeared as soloists with some of the world's finest orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestra.

Having toured Europe several times, the quartet has already performed amongst others at London’s Wigmore Hall, at the Biennale in Paris, Beethoven-Haus Bonn, Philharmonie Cologne, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, in Regensburg, Munich, Salzburg, Geneva, Berlin, Frankfurt, Innsbruck, Brussels, at Schloss Esterházy, Kultursommer Nordhessen, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Rheingau Musik Festival, Klosterkonzerte Maulbronn and at Dresdner Musikfestspiele. The Dover Quartet performed birthday concerts for pianists Emanuel Ax and the late Leon Fleisher in New York, London, and other places. In recent seasons, invitations have taken the quartet to Wigmore Hall London, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, as well as Paris, Basel, Amsterdam, Geneva, the Philharmonie Essen, and the Schubertiade, among others. The quartet recently premiered Steven Mackey’s theatrical-musical work Memoir, alongside arx duo and actor-narrator Natalie Christa. Other recent and upcoming artist collaborations include Ray Chen and the late Peter Serkin. Highlights in the concert calendar of the next season include concerts in Schwetzingen, the Wartburg Eisenach as well as in Copenhagen and Padua.

The Dover Quartet's debut CD with the quartets KV 589 and 590 and the string quintet KV 406 by Mozart - a homage to the Guarneri Quartet's first recording - was followed by a recording of “Voice of Defiance” with quartets by Viktor Ullmann, Dmitri Shostakovich and Simon Laks. Their recording of the Schumann Quartets was released on the Azica label at the end of 2019 and was nominated for a Grammy Award. The last volume CD of Beethoven's Complete String Quartets  was released by Cedille Records in March 2023.

The Dover Quartet was a Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston and received the Cleveland Award in 2015, the Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2017. Since 2020, the quartet has been the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, alongside a residency at the Kennedy Center, amongst others.

The ensemble is named after the string quartet “Dover Beach” written by one of the most famous students of the Curtis Institute: Samuel Barber.

source: Konzertdirektion Andrea Hampl

Dover Quartet

Pavel Haas Quartet

The Pavel Haas Quartet is firmly established as one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. The Quartet is revered across the globe for its richness of timbre, infectious passion, and intuitive rapport. They perform in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and have won five Gramophone Awards and numerous others awards for their recordings. In 2022, the prestigious BBC Music Magazine ranked them among the 10 greatest string quartet ensembles of all time.


The Quartet regularly appears at major venues including Wigmore Hall, London; Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Berlin; Musikverein, Vienna; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; Tonhalle, Zürich; Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome; BOZAR, Brussels; NCPA, Beijing; LG Arts Centre, Seoul and Carnegie Hall, New York.

In the 2023/2024 season, the Quartet will return to the Wigmore Hall for four concerts and will also appear at Rudolfinum Prague; Reduta Bratislava; Teatro La Fenice; Liverpool Philharmonic Hall; Göteborgs Konserthus; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; and Philharmonie Luxembourg. Further afield, the Quartet is touring the United States in March 2024 and Asia in May 2024. The ensemble will also perform at leading Czech festivals, including Dvořák's Prague and Prague Spring. Since September 2022, the Pavel Haas Quartet has been Artist-in-Residence at the Dvořák Prague Festival and has curated several chamber music concerts, including programming all the Dvořák String Quartets and chamber music works over these three seasons.

The Pavel Haas Quartet records exclusively under the Supraphon label. Their most recent recording of the Brahms Viola and Piano Quintets with Boris Giltburg and their former member, Pavel Nikl, was released to critical acclaim in May 2022. The recording was described as “radiant and vivacious” by The Strad and was Presto Classical’s Recording of the Week. For their previous album showcasing Shostakovich String Quartets (2019), they received the Recording of the Year by Classic Prague Awards and it was named one of the 100 best records of the year by The Times.

The Quartet has received five Gramophone Awards for their recordings of Dvořák, Smetana, Schubert, Janáček and Haas, as well as Dvořák’s String Quartets No.12 ‘American’ and No.13, for which they were awarded the most coveted prize, Gramophone Recording of the Year in 2011. The Sunday Times commented, “…their account of the ‘American’ Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc.” Further accolades include BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année in 2010 for their recording of Prokofiev String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2.

Since winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in 2005, further highlights early on in their career included a nomination as ECHO Rising Stars in 2007, participation in the BBC New Generation Artists scheme between 2007-2009, and the Special Ensemble Scholarship the Borletti-Buitoni Trust awarded them in 2010.

The Pavel Haas Quartet was founded in 2002 by violinist Veronika Jarůšková and violist Pavel Nikl, who was a member of the ensemble until 2016, when he left due to family reasons. Yet their collaboration has continued – Pavel Nikl has been a permanent guest of the ensemble for string quintet performances. The members of the quartet studied with the late Milan Skampa, legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet. The ensemble takes their name from the Czech-Jewish composer Pavel Haas (1899-1944), who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt in 1941 and tragically died at Auschwitz three years later. His legacy includes three wonderful string quartets.

source: artevisio

Pavel Haas Quartet

Šimon Truszka

member of Pavel Haas Quartet

Šimon Truszka - viola

Peter Jarůšek

member of Pavel Haas Quartet

Peter Jarůšek - cello

Bennewitz Quartet

The Bennewitz Quartet is one of the top international chamber ensembles, a status confirmed not only by their victories in two prestigious competitions – Osaka in 2005 and Prémio Paolo Borciani, Italy in 2008, but also by the critical acclaim it receives. As early as 2006, the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “... the music was remarkable not just for its clarity of structure, but for the beautiful tonal palette and purity of intonation in its execution. Only very rarely does one experience such skilfully crafted and powerful harmonies... Great art.” The ensemble has received various awards on the Czech music scene as well. In 2004, the quartet was awarded The Prize of the Czech Chamber Music Society, and in 2019, the four musicians won the Classic Prague Award for the Best Chamber Music Performance of the year.


The quartet currently performs at major venues both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Wigmore Hall London, Musikverein Wien, Konzerthaus Berlin, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris, The Frick Collection New York, Seoul Art Center, Rudolfinum, and others), and is regularly invited to festivals such as the Salzburger Festspiele, Luzerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus, and Prague Spring. The group has had the privilege of working with various outstanding artists: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alexander Melnikov, Vadim Gluzman, Isabel Charisius, Pietro de Maria, Reto Bieri, Danjulo Ishizaka, and others.

The Bennewitz Quartet especially enjoys playing and performing on the Czech domestic music scene. Particular highlights have included their cooperation with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and its conductor Jiří Bělohlávek for a performance of Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra. The group has made a recording of both quartets by Leoš Janáček for Czech Television in the unique space of Villa Tugendhat in Brno. Czech Radio regularly records major concerts performed by the quartet.

The members of the quartet place a lot of emphasis on the inspiring and sometimes challenging choice of their concert repertoire. In 2012 and 2015, the ensemble performed in one evening the complete set of Bartók’s six string quartets in Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and in Swedish Upsala. In 2014, the four presented a premiere of The Songs of Immigrants by Slavomír Hořínka in Konzerthaus Berlin. In 2019, the quartet added a new CD to its discography featuring the music of the persecuted Jewish composers H. Krása, V. Ullmann, E. Schulhoff and P. Haas under the Supraphon label.

In the 2023/24 season, the Bennewitz Quartet will return to a number of European venues (Stuttgart, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Linz, Bilbao) and will make their debuts in Klagenfurt, Darmstadt, and Duisburg. The quartet will again perform in the United States and Canada, and will continue its various concert projects in the Czech Republic, including its collaboration on an integral performance of Dvořák's string quartets as part of the Dvořák Festival Prague. The ensemble is currently preparing to release a new CD featuring string quartets by "those who used to play together" - Haydn, Mozart, Vaňhal and Dittersdorf.

Since 1998, the quartet has borne the name of the violinist and director of a music conservatory in Prague, Antonín Bennewitz (1833–1926), who greatly contributed to the establishment of the Czech violin school. The most significant musicians who can be counted among his disciples are Otakar Ševčík and František Ondříček, and above all Karel Hoffman, Josef Suk, and Oskar Nedbal who, under Bennewitz’s influence, formed the famous Bohemian Quartet.

Source: www.bennewitzquartet.com

Bennewitz Quartet

Sedlacek Quartet

The origins of the Sedlacek Quartet date back to 2007, at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU), following the tradition of the original Sedlacek Quartet in Pilsen (1974–1994), as a family musical ensemble. They continued to develop under the tutelage of many reputable music teachers, such as Jiří Panocha, during their chamber music studies at the AMU. Later, they also took several masterclasses led by members of several renowned string quartets, such as the Keller Quartet, the Artis Quartet Wien, the Tel Aviv Quartet, and the Alban Berg Quartet.


The Sedlacek Quartet has appeared at renowned festivals both in the Czech Republic and abroad, including the isa – International Summer Academy, the International Music Festival Young Prague, the Ludwig von Beethoven Festival Teplice, the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, and others. The ensemble is the winner of the Czech Chamber Music Society Award (2016), and also won prizes in the Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition in Katowice and the Bohuslav Martinů Music Competition in Prague, both in 2014. They later claimed 3rd prize in the Leoš Janáček and Johannes Brahms International Music Competition.

However, the hallmark of the Sedlacek Quartet is their focus on music which is not a part of any standard chamber music repertoire. This especially includes Czech works (along with other international composers) that were either never published, or rarely performed, so in this way the ensemble makes many unknown compositions come to life. They have already made recordings of K. Slavický, S. Hořínka, B. Martinů, and J. Teml with the support of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation. With oboist Lukáš Pavlíček, they have also recorded music by F. A. Míča, W. A. Mozart, and A. Dvořák. In 2017, they recorded the complete string quartet works by V. J. Veit (1806-1864). In 2019, they followed with a CD of three of Rafael Kubelík’s (1914-1996) string quartets, which they self-published. Their most recent impressive recording project was the completion of all the string quartets by K. B. Jirák (1891-1972), this time for Czech Radio.

From 2022 to 2024, the ensemble is taking part in the performing of Antonín Dvořák's complete string quartets at the Dvořák Prague Festival

Source: Sedlacek Quartet

Sedlacek Quartet

Zemlinsky Quartet

Founded in 1994 while the members were still students, the ZEMLINSKY QUARTET has become a much-lauded example of the Czech string quartet tradition. The Zemlinsky Quartet won the First Grand Prize at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in 2010. They have also been awarded top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition (2007), Prague Spring International Music Competition (2005) and London International String Quartet Competition (2006), where they also received the Audience Prize. The Quartet was the recipient of the Alexander Zemlinsky Advancement Award in 2008. Other notable prizes include Beethoven International Competition (1999), New Talent Bratislava (2003), Martinů Foundation String Quartet Competition (2004), and the Prize of Czech Chamber Music Society (2005). In the season 2016/17, the Zemlinsky Quartet was appointed as the residential ensemble of the Czech Chamber Music Society.


The Zemlinsky Quartet performs regularly in the Czech Republic and abroad (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Monaco, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Japan, South Korea). Recent major appearances of the Zemlinsky Quartet include London’s Wigmore Hall, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Library of Congress, Place des Arts in Montreal, Prague Spring Festival, and their New York debut at the Schneider/New School Concerts Series. Their vast repertoire contains more than 350 works ranging from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Dvořák to works by contemporary composers. The Zemlinsky Quartet often cooperates with other renowned Czech and foreign artists (N. Mndoyants, F. Klieser, J. Brown, M. Collins, K. Zehnder, M. Kasík, I. Kahánek, M. Kaňka, K. Untermüller, the Pražák Quartet, the Prague Chamber Ballet, and others). The ensemble also regularly records for Czech Radio. The members of the quartet are also individual prize winners of several competitions (Concertino Praga, Spohr International Competition Weimar, Tribune of Young Artists UNESCO, Rotary Music Competition Nürnberg, the Beethoven International Competition, the Kocian International Competition).

Between 2007 and 2018, the Zemlinsky Quartet recorded exclusively under the French record label Praga Digitals. Their first 4-CD set of Dvořák’s early works for string quartet received the coveted French award, “Diapason d´Or“ prize in March 2007. In 2014, the Zemlinsky Quartet became only the fourth quartet in history to record the complete string quartets by Antonín Dvořák. Other Praga Digitals releases include all the string quartets and early chamber music of Alexander Zemlinsky, a 4-CD set of Schubert’s early quartets, a rare disc of Spanish music for strings, the famous quartets by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, five Mendelssohn-Bartholdy string quartets, works by A. Glazunov, and a relatively unknown but excellent piano quintet by M. Weinberg (in cooperation with the young Russian pianist Nikita Mndoyants). The ensemble has produced two CDs in cooperation with the Pražák Quartet (Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Strauss, Brahms, Martinů). In cooperation with the Kocian Quartet, the ensemble has recorded the complete string quartets by Czech contemporary composer V. Kalabis. Many recordings of the Zemlinsky Quartet have received universal critical acclaim in various publications such as The Strad, Gramophone, Diapason, and Fanfare magazines.

While students at the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts Prague, the ensemble was coached by members of renowned Czech string quartets including the Talich, Prague, Kocian and Pražák Quartets. The ensemble also took part in several master classes including ProQuartet, in France and Sommerakademie in Reichenau, Austria, where they were awarded First Prize for the best interpretation of a work by Janáček. From 2005 to 2008, the quartet studied with Walter Levin, the first violinist of the LaSalle Quartet. Their recent mentor has been Josef Klusoň, violist of the Pražák Quartet.

Between 2006-2011, the Zemlinsky Quartet were Assistant Quartet-in-Residence at Musik-Akademie Basel in Switzerland. Music education is an important part of their professional life and during their tours, the quartet is often invited to give master classes to students of all ages. They also perform educational concerts for students. František Souček and Petr Holman were recently appointed Professors at the Prague Conservatory.

The Zemlinsky Quartet is named after the Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher Alexander Zemlinsky (1871–1942), whose enormous contribution to Czech, German and Jewish culture during his 16-year residence in Prague had been underrated until recently. His four string quartets (the second one being dedicated to his student and brother-in-law Arnold Schönberg) are part of the basic repertoire of the ensemble. Since 2005, the quartet has maintained a special relationship with the Alexander Zemlinsky Foundation in Vienna.

source: zemlinskyquartet.cz

Zemlinsky Quartet

Petr Ries

Petr Ries, a double bass player, graduated from the P. J. Vejvanovsky Conservatory in Kroměříž. During his studies at the conservatory, he also studied conducting and composition. In 2003/2004 he participated in a study stay at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Dance in Paris in a class taught by Professor Jean-Paul Celea. He completed his studies at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Music, Drama and Fine Arts in Prague, where he studied under the guidance of Professor Jiří Hudec.


He has won prizes in various competitions, e.g. Competition of Conservatories Teplice (1996, 1st prize), F.Gregora International Competition Kroměříž (1997, 1st prize), the Moravian Autumn International Competition (1998, 2nd prize), Internationale Musikwettbewerb Markneukirchen (1999 7th prize), Internationale J.M. Sperger Musikwettbewerb Michaelstein (2002, 2nd prize), the Moravian Autumn International Competition (2003, 2nd prize) and in the Talent of the Year 2002 Competition Prague, where he played Sergei Koussevitzky’s Concerto in F minor, together with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra. It was broadcast live by the Czech Radio.

In 2003, he earned a post in the Symphony Orchestra of the Czech Radio in an open audition. Half a year later, he became Co-Principal double bass player in the Czech Philharmonic.

Petr Ries also performs as a soloist. He regualarly gives solo recitals and has been accompained by several Czech and foreign orchestras. As a chamber performer, he has cooperated with the Baborak Ensemble, the Pavel Haas Quartet, the Bennewitz Quartet, the Zemlinsky Quartet, the Martinů Quartet, the Kocián Quartet, the Belfiato Quintet, the PhilHarmonia Octet, etc.

He is currently a member of the Prague Chamber Soloist and the Haydn ensemble Prague.

He has been a lecturer at the Masterclass in Litomyšl since 2003 and at the Summer Academy in Kroměříž since 2021. He was a professor at the International Conservatory of Music in Prague from 2009 to 2015.

Source: www.petrries.cz

Petr Ries - double bass

Adam Honzírek

Adam Honzírek has been the principal double bass player of the Czech Philharmonic since 2019 and has appeared with the orchestra at many important concert halls around the world including London’s Royal Albert Hall, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. He has performed alongside such leading Czech and foreign artists as Semyon Bychkov, Sir Simon Rattle, Alain Altinoglu, Jakub Hrůša, Yuja Wang, Gautier Capuçon, Josef Špaček, and Jan Martiník.


He also devotes himself to playing solo and chamber music written for the lowest-pitched string instrument, and he does not neglect contemporary compositions (see his collaborations with the Berg Orchestra, Czech Radio, and the composer Ondřej Štochl on one of the projects Music for Sirens). He graduated from the double bass studio of Pavel Klečka at the Jan Deyl Conservatoire in Prague, and he is now studying at the Academy of Performing Arts under the guidance of Radomír Žalud. 

Source: Adam Honzírek

Adam Honzírek - double bass

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.