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Monday, September 16, 8.00 pm
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Programme

Josef Suk: Piano Quartet in A Minor Op. 1Erwin Schulhoff: String Sextet (1920-1924)Antonín Dvořák: String Quintet No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 97, B180

This year’s final Chamber Music Series concert could end in no other way than with the music of Antonín Dvořák. The programme will confront his popular String Quintet in E Flat Major with the modern musical language of Erwin Schulhoff − his dark, dramatic String Sextet will offer an effective contrast to Dvořák’s sunny, cheerful work. The early Piano Quartet in A Minor by Dvořák’s pupil and later on-in-law Josef Suk can be regarded as a sort of link between the traditional and the modern. The chief protagonist on the evening’s programme will be the Wihan Quartet, which has won many important prizes. Internationally, the quartet is widely regarded as an ensemble of the highest quality, and its members will be joining forces with other musicians – the pianist Michail Lifits, the cellist Jens Peter Maintz, and the violist Paulina Sachs, and together they will bring the chamber music “festival within a festival” to a conclusion in grand style.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 19.55
  • End of concert: 21.50

Artists

Wihan Quartet

Leoš Čepický - 1st violin, Jan Schulmeister - 2nd violin, Jakub Čepický - viola, Michal Kaňka - violoncello 

The Wihan Quartet is one of the most internationally recognised chamber music ensembles. Established in 1985, it is especially renowned for its interpretations of Czech music as well as of many of the most important works of the quartet repertoire of the Classical and Romantic periods along with modern compositions. It has won important prizes at competitions including the Prague Spring Competition (1988), the Trapani Competition in Sicily (1990), the London International String Quartet Competition (1991), and the Chamber Festa in Osaka, Japan (1996). It has gone on a number of concert tours of Europe and overseas, and it is an especially frequent guest in the United Kingdom. Its performances are often broadcast on Radio 3, as are its concerts at Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, South Bank etc. In the year 2000, the Wihan Quartet received the top prize from the French music journal Repertoire for its CD recording of works by Schoenberg and Pfitzner, and in 2001 it was awarded 5 tuning forks by the French periodical Diapason for its recording of the complete works for string quartet by Hugo Wolf.

Michail Lifits

The pianist Michail Lifits comes from the Uzbek capital Tashkent, but from the age of sixteen he has been living in Hamburg, Germany, where he studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik. Later, he furthered his training at the International Piano Academy in Imola, Italy. He made his public debut at age 13 in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s exceptionally difficult Piano Concerto No. 2. He has won a remarkable number of prizes at international competitions, the highpoint coming in 2009 with first prize at the prestigious Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano. He has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center (New York), the Auditorium du Louvre (Paris), the Teatro della Pergola (Florence), NCPA (Beijing), the Tonhalle (Zurich), Wigmore Hall (London), and the Sala Verdi (Milan). He makes regular guest appearances at international festivals in France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and the United States. Since 2011, he has been recording for the prestigious Decca label. In particular, his album of piano music by W. A. Mozart, issued in 2012, has been highly acclaimed. His interpretations of the music of the Salzburg master have been compared to those of the legendary pianist Wilhelm Kempff.

Michail Lifits - piano

Pauline Sachse

The renowned German violist Pauline Sachse was born in Hamburg. She originally devoted herself to classical dance, and it was initially through that art that the world of music was revealed to her. She received her training at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin and at Yale University in the USA. As a member of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and other top orchestras, she has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons, Simon Rattle, and Seiji Ozawa. She devotes himself intensively to the interpretation of chamber music. Among her chamber music partners have been Isabelle Faust, Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Martin Helmchen, and Janine Jansen. She is invited regularly to important festivals in Salzburg, Heidelberg, and elsewhere. She also engages in recording activity that reflects her versatile concert repertoire, including a wide variety of compositions from various stylistic periods. Her discography includes a number of unique items, such as the very first recording of the Viola Sonata by František Benda. She plays a rare instrument built in 1610 by the Italian violin maker Paolo Maggini.

Pauline Sachse - viola

Jens Peter Maintz

The cellist Jens Peter Maintz has an outstanding reputation as a versatile soloist, and he is a sought-after chamber music player and a music teacher. A native of Hamburg, he studied under David Geringas and took part in master classes with such legendary cellists as Heinrich Schiff and Boris Piergamienszczikow. He gained valuable orchestral experience as a concertmaster of the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin, and he holds the same post with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, which he joined at the invitation of Claudio Abbado. His solo career brought him into contact with such conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Marek Janowski, Franz Welser-Möst, and Reinhard Goebel. In the field of chamber music, he collaborates with today’s most prominent soloists, including Janine Jansen, Hélène Grimaud, and Isabelle Faust. He has a varied discography to his credit with labels including Naxos, Teldec, and Decca. For his CD recording of works by Bach, Dutilleux, and Kodály, he won the prestigious ECHO-Klassik Music Prize. Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Jens Peter Maintz - violoncello

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.