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Czech Chamber Soloists under the baton of Jakub Klecker at Rheingau Musik Festival

The Czech Chamber Soloists orchestra performed three concerts at renowned Rheingau Musik Festival in the end of this August, in the framework of concert cycle named Young Virtuosos.
The first concert was in Eberbach monastery courtyard. On the programme were Tchaikovski Rococco Variations and Pezzo Capricioso, with young Russian cellist Dimitri Maslennikov.
The second and third concert were in Wiesbaden Kurhaus, with young soloists – winners of the festival contest. They were : Kerson Leong – violin, Paolo Mendes – horn, Leonie Dessauer - oboe, David Dyakov – guitare, Silvia Hauer – mezzo. The audience was following the almost 100 minutes lasting programme with joy and acclaim. I would also like to mention moderator Karmen Mikovic, who contributed to success of the concerts a lot.



Vladimír Válek and Sophia Jaffé excelled at Varna Summer Music Festival

Varna Summer International Music Festival is one of the oldest and most renowned European music festivals, in 2011 was its 85th year.
Maestro Vladimír Válek conducted the festival concert of Varna Philharmonic on July 5th. Soloist of the evening was Sophia Jaffé (violin). They offered highlights of classical music to the festival audience – Smetana Vltava, Dvoøák Violin Concerto, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5. The audience counted this concert to the most memorable festival evenings and so did the promoters.
(Photo: Rossen Donev)

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The brilliant duo at Mitte Europa Festival

Mitte Europa Festival proves for already twenty years that it is possible to bring top musicians with interesting programmes even to the smallest village. Barbara Maria Willi (harpsichord) and Sophia Jaffé (violin) performed in Pomezi nad Ohri – St. Jacob’s Church on July 24th. The programme of baroque and early classicist pieces, performed with virtuosity and devotion, received warm welcome for the audience, who came from both Czechia and Germany.

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Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed in Baden Baden, Strasbourg and Paris

Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno went for tour to Germany and France this June.
Besides their demanding concert calendar in Czech Republic, the choir participated in three important concerts abroad.
The first was in Baden Baden in Mahler 8th Symphony, with Bamberger Symphoniker, under the baton of their chief conductor Jonathan Nott.
After Baden the choir moved to Strasbourg, where they had concert of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and the chief conductor Marc Albrecht.
The highlight of the tour was Gurrelieder concert in Paris, Salle Pleyel. The excellent vocal soloists (Ricarda Merbeth – Tove, Lance Ryan – Waldemar, Barbara Sukowa – speaker), and atmosphere of the rehearsals were really special – as this were two last concerts for Maestro Marc Albrecht as chief conductor of this orchestra.
Both the concerts were great success, as you can see the press reviews: here, here, here, here and here.
(On the picture: conductor Jonathan Nott.)

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Gustav Mahler and his anniversary

Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno receives always warm welcome in Linz. The choir participated on the New Year’s concert 2011, together with Bruckner Orchester Linz and under baton of the chief conductor Denis Russell Davies. On the programme was Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2, to celebrate Mahler anniversary in 2011. The venue was sold out, with lot of people standing. Concert ended by whole-hearted applause.

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Sophia Jaffé – two performances of Dvoøák violin concerto, with Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder

Violinist Sophia Jaffé performed at two concerts, in Manchester and Nottingham, with Hallé Orchestra under the baton of the chief conductor Sir Mark Elder. Sophia stepped in for her indisposed colleague Valeryi Sokolov.
The concerts were highly acclaimed by the audience, and the press as well.
Due to change of the soloist, the audience had chance to listen to nice Dvoøák concerto, which was not originally on programme.


Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno Christmas concerts in Netherlands

In mid December 2010, the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno went for two Christmas concerts to Netherlands. The chamber choir, conductor Jan Ocetek, vocal soloists, accompanied by flutist Martina Matušínská and pianist Jaroslav Fric brought to the Netherlandish audience nice programme of Anton Bruckner motets, and Czech pastorellas and carols. Both the concerts were great success. At the second concert in St. Catherine church in Eindhoven were present about 600 people, and the concert ended with standing ovations.

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Sophia Jaffé in the Municipal House in Prague

Sophia Jaffé was asked to stand in as a soloist in the demanding Beethoven violin concerto in Prague (two concerts on November 3rd and 4th). Both the concerts were memorable evenings for listeners, also thanks to the soloist precise and strong way of playing. We have to mention also the rest of these excellent concerts performers – Prague Symphonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Zdenìk Mácal.

Rehearsal photos are here, here and here (Dagmar Kneøová).

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Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno: Pure Musik der Romantik

No commentary is needed for this review.

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Sophia Jaffé – three projects in Czech Republic this October

The concert audience in Czech Republic had three times chance to meet with the violinist Sophia Jaffé in October.
Beginning October, she performed baroque music with our leading harpsichord player Barbara Maria Willi. The audience in the fully booked venue (Convent of Merciful Brothers in Brno) highly acclaimed the performers, especially for their interpretation of J. S. Bach.
Few days later Sophia Jaffé played the world premiere of new violin concerto The Words of the Cross, by Slavomir Hoøínka. The premiere was in frameworks of the Moravian Autumn festival, with participation of Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Leoš Svárovský. The composition lasts about twenty minutes and works especially with the colours of the solo violin and the orchestra.
The last project included three concerts with Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice under the baton of Jan Kuèera. Sophia Jaffé played Brahms Double Concerto with top Czech cellist Jiøí Bárta. All the three performances in the orchestra concerts series were great success.

Here is photography by Ladislav Formánek from Pardubice concert.

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Two women – two myths: Jakub Klecker great premiere

The Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava started the opera season with premiere of two short operas in one evening – L. Janáèek Šárka and B. Martinù Ariane.
The musical leadership, stage direction and design were in the hands of two members of young artist generation: conductor Jakub Klecker and stage director and designer Rocc (Rok Rappl). Both artists are from the National Theatre Brno.
Jakub Klecker as experienced opera conductor (he started in 2004 in Brno with Smetana The Brandenburgers in Bohemia) and Rocc with his typical minimal direction promise, that the new performance will be one of highlights of this season. The audience of the premiere evening (September 23rd, 2010) felt it like this and the performance ended by long lasting applause.

Full resolution photography from program catalogue here, here and here.

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Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno first performance with Maestro Eliahu Inbal - in Mahler 2nd Symphony

Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed for the first time with the Bern Symphonic Orchestra this September. The two concerts were led by Maestro Eliahu Inbal, on the programme was Mahler 2nd Symphony.
The choir performed recently the same piece with the Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach. The concert took place in Prague and was highly acclaimed – see the article (in Czech).
The choir looked forward to the Bern concerts very much, and it was obvious that the two concerts of the same piece will be compared afterwards. Both the concerts in Bern ended by standing ovations. According to the words of Bern Symphonic director, the orchestra does not remember such spontaneous reaction of the audience.
Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno choirmaster Petr Fiala and the singers were very pleased also by the appreciative words about their performance from Maestro Inbal.
Photography in full resolution here (photo by Pavel Drápal).

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Puella Trio performed at the 36th festival in Estoril, Portugal

Estoril is city at Atlantic Ocean coast, about 20 km from Lisbon. Besides pleasant climate and delicious cuisine, Estoril is known by its tradition of music festival and interpretation courses that goes back to 1975. The motto of this year’s 36th festival was Mare Nostrum, which means concentration on music of the Mediterranean countries.

Puella Trio performed in Estoril at end June in a concert promoted as Young Talents of Central Europe, with programme from compositions by J. Suk, J. Turina, J. Haydn and D. D. Shostakovich. The concert was great success! Young Czech musicians were highly acclaimed by the audience and by the organizers.

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Sophia Jaffé invitation to the Hallé Orchestra Manchester

One of the closing concerts of last season was for violinist Sophia Jaffé that with Hallé Orchestra Manchester on July 10th. It is her first cooperation with this renowned UK orchestra.
Sophia Jaffé performed excellently Bruch Concerto No.1 in G minor and Beethoven Romance No. 2 under the baton of Maestro Rory Macdonald. The concert was highly acclaimed by the audience and by the press as well – see the article on this link.


The metropolis of classical music

After their last excellent concert, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra received new invitation to the nice Kölner Philharmonie concert hall this spring.
The programme started with Beethoven Leonore III overture and than followed Beethoven Violin Concerto with charismatic Sophia Jaffé, the Queen Elisabeth competition 3rd prize holder as the violin soloist. The listeners heard this concerto in performance that could be compared with highest demands of the music lovers and of the music specialists as well.
Also the second part of the concert programme under the baton of chief conductor Vladimír Válek – A. Dvoøák Symphony No. 8 – was very attractive. It confirmed the general feeling from the concert – the Kölner Philharmonie concert hall is very inspirational for the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. The review says: „Die Prager Musiker bestätigen auf internationalem Parkett den hohen Stand tschechischer Klangkultur.

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The closing of Rheingau Music Festival with Czech and Slovak artists

This year the 23rd Rheingau Music Festival had 154 concerts, which took place at 42 different venues, with unbelievable 120 000 listeners. The closing concert of the festival was opera sacra Marie Magdaleine by Jules Massenet in the sold out Eberbach monastery basilica. The Czech and Slovak artists under the baton of Leoš Svárovský had a great success, and the concert ended by long standing ovations.
The artists were Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno (chorusmaster Petr Fiala), Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Adriana Kohútková as Magdaleine, Jana Sýkorová as Martha, Tomáš Èerný as Jesus and excellent Gustáv Beláèek as Judas.

Reviews are here (PDF).

Full resolution photographies from rehearsal (Hana Svobodová) and from the performance (Ansgar Klostermann).

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Biennale Bamberg 2010 and Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno

The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra presented their new summer Festival: from 16 till 25 July 2010, the Biennale Bamberg focused on the late Mahler. On occasion of the 100th jubilee of the world premiere of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 “Symphony of a Thousand”, this exceptional and rarely performed piece was programmed.

The Symphony of a Thousand was performed in Bamberg seventeen years ago, at the occasion of opening of the new concert hall. This year cast was with solo singers Manuela Uhl, Michaela Kaune, Marisol Montalvo, Lioba Braun, Janina Baechle, Stefan Vinke, Michael Nagy, Albert Dohmen, Choir of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (chorus master Celso Antunes), Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno (chorusmaster Petr Fiala), Windsbacher Knabenchor (chorusmaster Karl-Friedrich Beringer), under the baton of the Bamberger Symphony Orchestra chief conductor Jonathan Nott.
This special event was broadcasted by Bavarian Radio, and will be released on CD in cooperation with Tudor label.
The excellent cast shall meet once more in June 2011, when they will perform the Symphony of a Thousand in the biggest opera house in Germany – Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden.
It is said about the concert hall: „Das Festspielhaus Baden-Baden ist mehr als Foyer, Eingangsbereich und Bühne. In diesen Räumen werden Träume gelebt!“

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Daphnis et Chloé at international festival Grafenegg in Lower Austria

Lower Austria is region where culture receives huge support. Many cultural events take place in the nice castle Grafenegg and park area, which surrounds the castle. The events happen on the open-air arena “Wolkenturm“ and also in the newly built concert hall and in the reconstructed building of the castle riding-hall (Reitschule).
Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno frequently performs at this festival and receives warm welcome every time. This year Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed Ravel Daphnis et Chloé with Tonkünstler Orchester and under the baton of Jun Märkl.
As Prélude to evening concert, the choir performed in the former riding hall parts from opera sacra by J. Massenet Maria Magdaleine. This piece is not very known, but always receives warm welcome at the concerts.

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Jakub Klecker at the Carniarmonie festival in Italy

Jakub Klecker conducted in the second half of this August three concerts in Northern Italy. Invited by the Carniarmonie Festival, he had chance to cooperate with the Orchestra Mitteleuropea, and three renowned soloists – Hugues Leclere (piano), Darko Brlek (clarinet) and Pierre Hommage (violin).
Each concert had a different programme presenting one concerto and one symphony by composers as L. v. Beethoven, M. Bruch, W. A. Mozart, F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and F. Chopin.
The concerts took place in the nice and sold out venues of the area called Carnia (between Eastern Dolomites and the Carnic Alps) and were a great success of the young Czech conductor, the orchestra and the soli.

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Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno sang Schumann and Mahler in The Hague

In June Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno visited Dutch city The Hague where together with Het Residentie Orkest under the baton of principal conductor of the orchestra and world famous artist Neeme Järvi performed Schumann‘s Cantata Des Sängers Fluch op. 139 and Das klagende Lied by Gustav Mahler. Final concert of the orchestra season was dedicated to Mahler‘s jubilée and the sublime tones flew in Dr Anton Philipszaal during both evenings. All concert participants were awarded by well deserved and warm clapping.

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