Sunday, September 22, 8.00 pm

Tickets for this concert can be purchased online or from 30 August 2024 at the Rudolfinum Ticket Centre. Tickets cannot be purchased at the Bethlehem Chapel.

Ticket prices

690 – 590 Kč 


Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden”Antonín Dvořák: String Quintet No. 3 in E flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180

If all chamber music had to be built upon a single foundation, the string quartet Death and the Maiden could serve the purpose. For the quartet, Franz Schubert borrowed the theme of one of his own songs, but the idea behind the whole composition is the Dance of Death, a motif familiar from medieval paintings and from films like The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergmann and Death and the Maiden by director Roman Polanski with the phenomenal actors Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver, where Schubert’s work serves as the musical basis for a very intimate drama. In Schubert’s case, death takes the hand of just one beautiful girl – Romanticism’s evocation of the erotic brings to mind Tristan and Isolda or even Sigmund Freud. Through their emphasis on individuality and internal emotions, the first Romanticists, including Schubert, were looking far into the future. Just as clear-sighted is the music of Dvořák’s String Quintet No. 3, for which the Cremona Quartet is being joined by violist Pavel Nikl. In what is one of his American works, Antonín Dvořák emphasises a rhythm that he might have heard from the Iroquois, whose music and dancing he was able to encounter in person. At the same time, he forbade himself the use of the increasingly murky chromaticism of the period, composing instead with the use of just a few notes – those are principles upon which a number of contemporary composers have based their thinking. 

Quartetto di Cremona – String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor (F. Schubert)Play
  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 7.55 pm
  • End of concert: 9.45 pm


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 halls in Europe, North and South America and Far East they have garnered universal acclaim for their high level of interpretive artistry.

Highlights of recent and upcoming seasons include 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, and the 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); the complete Beethoven String Quartets (2018, Audite). Both 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.

Prezented in 2019 with the “Franco Buitoni Award” in 2019 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 citizen of Cremona. They also endorse “Le Dimore del Quartetto” and Thomastik Infield Strings. 

source: Quartetto di Cremona

Quartetto di Cremona

Pavel Nikl

Pavel graduated from the P.J. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž (Zdeněk Novák) and The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Jan Pěruška, Milan Škampa). As a soloist, he has participated in numerous international competitions and masterclasses (1st prize at the national competition of conservatories in Teplice (1995), 3rd prize at Beethoven’s Hradec international competition (1995, 2000), a prize for performing music by B. Bartók and B. Martinů at international master courses in Semmering, 2nd prize at a J. Brahms international competition in Pörtschach, etc). As a soloist, he has worked with several orchestras (Prague Philharmonia, Bohuslav Martinů Zlín, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc, etc), and has collaborated with many conductors (Tomáš Netopil, Jakub Hrůša, Jan Talich, etc).

In 2002, the focus of his activity shifted to chamber music. Pavel Nikl is one of the founding members of the Pavel Haas Quartet, which during its existence has gained international recognition for its concert and recording activities. Since its foundation, the Pavel Haas Quartet has worked closely with Prof. Milan Škampa, the legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet. The ensemble has also been known to study with various prominent personalities of the string quartet world (Walter Levin (LaSalle Q.), Piero Farulli (Q. Italiano), Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Q.) Hatto Bayerl (Alban Berg Q.), Valentin Berlinski (Borodin Q.), Christophe Coin (Q. Mosaiques), etc).

By winning the Prague Spring and Premio Paolo Borciani in Reggio Emilia international competitions in 2005, the Pavel Haas Quartet established itself among the top chamber ensembles. BBC Music Magazine included PHQ in its top ten string quartets of all time. PHQ has performed at the most prestigious concert halls throughout the world, such as Kozerthaus Vienna, Mozarteum Salzburg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Tonhalle Zurich, Herkulessaal Munich, Philharmonic Berlin, Philharmonic Cologne, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Wigmore Hall London, Carnegie Hall New York, and many others. It has performed at music festivals in Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Zeist, and Verbier and has extensively toured several countries in Europe, Asia, the USA, and Australia.

The Pavel Haas Quartet records exclusively for Supraphon. For their recordings, this ensemble has received the most prestigious European prize, Gramophone Award, six times, including Recording of the Year, Diapason d'Or de l'Année, BBC Music Magazine award, etc.

Pavel Nikl has performed concerts and cooperated with several artists of international renown (Gil Shaham, Tabea Zimmermann, Antoine Tamestit, Kian Soltani, Gerhard Opitz, Miachaela Fukačová, Fedor Rudin, Dalibor Karvay, Josef Špaček, etc).

Pavel Nikl has been invited to participate on the juries of both national and international competitions (Prague Spring, etc.) and devotes himself to pedagogical activities. Since 2016, he has been teaching solo viola and chamber music at the Conservatory in Kroměříž (Czech Republic). 

source: Pavel Nikl

Pavel Nikl - viola

Bethlehem Chapel

The Bethlehem Chapel is one of the most important landmarks in Prague. The original building, dating from 1391 and closely associated with the reform movement of Master Jan Hus, was torn down. A modern replica was built at the same site in the 1850s based on a design by the important architect Jaroslav Fragner. At present, the Bethlehem Chapel serves as ceremony hall for the Czech Technical University. It is the site of not only graduation ceremonies for the schools students, but also various cultural and social events.