Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno on Cyprus
Presidency of the Czech Republic in EU was one of the reasons, that inspired the chief conductor of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Maestro Spiros Pisinos to invite the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, one of the leading European choirs, to Cyprus.
There were held two concerts programming Beethoven 9th Symphony on 8th and 9th May 2009 to celebrate the Europe Day. The cast was really international - Cypriot orchestra and conductor, Czech choir, Greek (mezzo soprano Alexandra Papadjiakou and bass Christoforos Stamboglis) and Turkish (soprano Feryal Turkoglu a tenor Senol Talinli) soloists. In this way Beethoven and Schiller idea of brotherhood of all men and nations, that Maestro Pisinos wanted to bring to the island of Cyprus, came into life.
We would like to thank also to the ambassador of the Czech Republic in Cyprus Mr. Jan Bondy, who helped a lot the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno with their Cyprus concerts.
European Association of Artist Managers meeting
European Association of Artist Managers (AEAA) is one of the oldest (based in Paris in 1947) and most prestigious professional groupings of artist managers worldwide. Since 1995 ARS/KONCERT, spol. s r.o. represented by Zdenka Kachlová and Hana Svobodová has been its full member. They both regularly attend the General assemblies and board meetings (Z. Kachlová has been elected as board member in 2007). This year the General assembly was held upon the ivitation of Sibelius Academy in Helsinki from May 8–10, 2009.
Photo: AEAA members in front of the house of Jean Sibelius in Ainola.
Conductor Jakub Klecker debuted at Prague Spring Festival 2009
Those who attended the concert at Prague Spring Festival 2009 (May 18th) have had definitely several good reasons to come. One of them was for sure the concert program mixed of the music of Czech and Russian composers (Martinů, Janáček, Schnittke and Shostakovich) and second one were undoubtly the highly attractive performers such as Janáček Chamber Orchestra, pianist of Armenian origin Sergei Babayan, trumpetist Pavel Hromádka and last but not least young conductor Jakub Klecker, who conducted Concerto for Piano and Strings of Alfred Schnittke and Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings in C minor of Dmitri Shostakovich. The audience deservedly awarded all artists the spontaneous and long lasting applause.
Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno won great acclaim in Brussels
Schubert Mass A flat major was the pivotal part of the concert, which took place in Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR) in Brussels on April 26. The highly excited audiences in almost full BOZAR hall haven’t got any reason for doubt they are the wittnesses of an excellent expression of the great Schubert Mass performed by Belgian national orchestra under the baton of Walter Weller and Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno.
Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno has proved once again after the outstanding concert with Dvořák Requiem in BOZAR in April 2008 it belongs to the world class choirs.
"The Philharmonic Choir of Brno, which last year joined Weller and the BNO in a stunning performance of Dvorak's Requiem, was again brilliant, in effect a fifth soloist in Schubert's Mass."
Joel Brocker, AuxiPress, Bulletin, April 30th 2009
The star Sophia Jaffé shined at Brno
Phenomenal Violinist Sophia Jaffé performed with the Brno Philharmonic in March. Her remarkable intense interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major was celebrated by the Brno audience for its technical perfection. The orchestra was conducted by Petr Altrichter and the concert closed to a standing ovation.
The soloist's most recent appearance in Brno was in the final concert of the 2008 Moravian Autumn festival when she amazed the concertgoers with the technically very demanding Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 by Shostakovich, accompanied by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies.
The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Spring on Lake Constance
The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra performed in the cultural house of Count Zeppelin under the baton of its principal conductor Vladimir Válek the overture to Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride, Shostakovich's 1st Violin Concerto and Dvořák's Symphony “From the New World”.
The Violin Concerto allowed Sophia Jaffé, 3rd prize winner in the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels, to show her masterful brilliance. She is not unknown to the audience in Friedrichshafen as 5 years ago she first played here with this concerto.
A full house on the shores of Lake Constance welcomed this Slavic repertoire with pleasure and enthusiasm.
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra had its premiere in Budapest's Palace of Arts
The Budapest Spring Festival this year chose the theme 'Czech Republic - our guest' and invited impressive Czech ensembles to perform. Headlining was the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra with conductor-in-chief Vladimir Válek and famous violinist Dmitri Berlinsky. They performed a concert by Dvořák and along with this piece the audience was treated to Smetana's Vltava and Martinů's 1st symphony. This concert by our leading orchestra sold out the huge Palace of Arts and added significantly to the concert season in Budapest.
Sophia celebrated by press and public
Sophia Jaffé produced wonderfully successful and enriching highlights at four concerts in Britain. She appeared with conductor Lothar Zagosek and the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin performing Beethoven's Violin concerto op. 61 from March 6th to 12th in the cities of Bradford, Basingstoke, Hull and in London's Codagon Hall.
At these concerts Sophia's extraordinary success was celebrated by both public and press. “A stunning performance by young violinist Sophia Jaffé was the highlight of the concert at The Anvil last week,” began the article of Lucie Richards in the Basingstoke Gazette. The author admired her precise yet emotional play and her breathtakingly quick dexterity. The audience appreciated Sophia with lively and lengthy applause.
Two days after the final concert in Britain Sophia performed a program by Bach, Brahms, Ysaÿe and Ravel in the Luxemburg town of Marnach. Accompanied by piano player Bjoern Lehmann, Sophia shone and was greatly appreciated by the local audience.
The Linz audience warmly welcomed The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice
On the morning of March 1st the audience was drawn to the Grossersaal of Brucknerhaus in Linz. They were attracted not only by the interesting program, but also to become better aquatinted with The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and conductor Douglas Bostock. The soloist for Mozart's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 was Sophia Jaffé and other featured compositions included those by Prokofiev, Martinů and Mendelssohn. The concert was a great success, playing to an almost full house. We believe that the orchestra will be invited to Linz again soon.
The Wallinger Quartet in Luxemburg
The second weekend in March Walllinger Quartet performed in concert series at chateau Bourlingster in Luxemburg. On the programme were quartets by F. Schubert, A. Borodin and M. Ravel. This very successful concert was under the auspices of the Czech ambassador in Luxemburg.
Standing ovation for Requiem by Dvořák
The festival Musica Sacra took place in the Austrian city of Linz which, this year, proudly holds the title Cultural City of Europe 2009. Held in Linz on March 24th in the concert hall Brucknerhaus, the festival opened with one of the most beautiful Requiems.
This last Dvorak choral work, Requiem op. 89 was created in 1890, at a time when Antonín Dvořák celebrated his life's success and greatly enjoyed his work. It is unbelievable how he managed to immerse himself so deeply into such a gloomy mood to be able to compose this deeply beautiful Mass for the dead with which he completed his most fruitful period of composition. One year later Antonín Dvořák personally introduced his mass for the first time in Birmingham.
Here in Linz, the Dvorak Requiem was performed by the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno (choirmaster Petr Fiala) and Brno Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Leoš Svarovský. Great Soloists such as soprano Adriana Kohútková, mezzo Karla Bytnarová, tenor Tomáš Černý and bass Martin Gurbaľ were introduced to the audience.
In honour of this concert the organisers even hung up the flag of Czech Republic to celebrate the Czech artists and their composer.
The concert was huge success. Lots of the enthusiastic concert-goers heard this wonderful piece for the first time and their never-ending applause showed that they left this concert after an unforgettable musical experience. Everyone, including the orchestra, the choir, soloists and conductor will retain this special evening in heir hearts and minds for a long time.
Review in Germany for download.
Janáček Music in the Netherlands
Last February week the concert goers in music hall De Doelen in Rotterdam and concert center De Oosterpoort in north Netherlands city Groningen have really had the unique opportunity to listen to the programme compiled of the music by great Czech composer Leoš Janáček. The „whole Janáček“ programme was opened by Hukvaldy Songs followed by the suite of the opera The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon (Netherlands première) and topped by Glagolitic mass in the second half. The programme was performed by Het Noord Nederlands Orkest under the baton of finish female-conductor Susanna Mälki, Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, Lada Biriucov – soprano, Jana Wallingerová – mezzo, Michal Lehotský – tenor and Martin Gurbaľ – bas. Both concerts were highly appreciated by the audience which awarded all performers by storm of applause.
Mácal conducted Mácha and Mussorgsky in Budapest
Budapest Palace of Arts and famous Liszt Academy were the venues for concerts of Budapest Festival Orchestra with Czech conductor Zdeněk Mácal, who returned to this orchestra after longer time again. The concert goers listened with deep interest to the music by Czech composer Otmar Mácha (Variations on the Death and Theme of Jan Rychlík), admired always great performance of Weber Clarinet concertino. No. 1 with Sabine Meyer and enjoyed the fantastic performance of Mussorgsky Pictures of an Exhibition. Long lasting and excited ovations after each concert gave the proof that excellent artists mix is the guarantee of the great result and unforgettable experience.
Czech Music sounded in the Balkans
In mid – February 2009 Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra with conductor Vladimír Válek and pianist Jan Simon gave two concerts in Croatian Zagreb and Serbian Beograd. The audience in both capitals came to listen to wonderful music by Smetana, Chopin and Martinů. Both concerts had wonderful media coverage and also Serbian radio and TV recorded the entire program.
At the end of January the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra reappeared in Spain after a long hiatus
The orchestra, under the baton of its chief conductor Vladimír Válek and with the pianist Jan Simon, performed the music of Smetana, Chopin, Saint-Saëns and Dvořák at four concerts in Asturian Aviles, metropolis of Aragonia Zaragoza, city Murcia and capital of Navarra Zaragoza. Long lasting applause after each concert evidenced the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra's position as undoubtedly one of the most outstanding and important bodies in Spanish music.
Leoš Janáček on a fairy tale trip to Hans Christian Andersen
The first performance in the Kingdom of Denmark of the Glagolitic Mass was held in its third largest city, Odense. The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno presented this Czech masterpiece from January 20th to 23rd in two concerts under the baton of the well known conductor Bernard Klee accompanied by the Odense Symphony Orchestra. Alongside these excellent ensembles appeared soloists including Eva Dřízgová-Jirušová, Jana Sýkorová, Michal Lehotský and Martin Gurbaľ.
Odense has a population of 200 thousand and a fabulous concert hall with the capacity of 800. This hall was named after the most famous Danish composer of the romantic period, Carl August Nielsen, a contemporary of Leoš Janáček. This beautiful hall has a wonderfully impressive sounding organ and is just few steps from the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen.
The first association with Bernard Klee dates back to the year 2001, when he co-operated with the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno on a CD recording of the most famous opera choral works of Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. This CD was recorded in the system SACD for the American company Chesky Rekord. In 2008 the co-operation of the Odense Symphony Orchestra and this choir was nominated for the Danish press award for their recording of Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Kornetts Christoph Rilke by Paul Klenau.
The keen concertgoers in the sold-out concert hall were excited by this wonderful performance and celebrated the musicians with a huge standing ovation.
The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno participated in a CD recording of the Requiem for a Young Poet by Bernd Alois Zimmermann
One of the most important releases of the last year, the recording of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Requiem for a Young Poet was awarded a remarkable Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in January 2009 by the German Record Critics. On the recording of this unique composition by the late composer, written between 1967 and 1969, played a remarkable number of well known musicians. The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno was one of the ensembles that played a major part and contributed to this huge success.
Extraordinary aplaus for Brucker's Mottets
The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno performed together with three soloists; soprano Eva Daňhelová, alto Marie Vrbová and tenor Jakub Tuček under the baton of conductor and Choirmaster Petr Fiala on January 17th in the church of St. Peter in Passau. The concertgoers appreciated greatly compositions by Gallus and Messiaen and especially Mottets by Anton Bruckner. A recording of the latter was awarded the ECHO Klassik 2007.
Sophia Jaffé's Bruch violin concerto success
In Volkstheater Rostock Sophia Jaffé performed Bruch's Concerto in G minor on three successive evenings, December 21st, 22nd and 23rd. This concerto is considered to be one of the most remarkable of German romanticism, and it was the first co-operation between Sophia and Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and the conductor Niklas Willén. This same programme Sophia performed on September 26th and 27th in Saalfeld and Rudolfstadt with the Thueringer Symphoniker orchestra under the baton of Oliver Weder, where she was also rewarded by the audience with standing ovations. The three concerts in Rostock were a very pleasant end to the 2008 concert year, all musicians were complimented by exceptional applause from the concertgoers who were carried home from these delightful concerts replaying the melodies in their heads and enjoying the peaceful Christmas evening atmosphere of Rostock.
Violin sonata, gentle and with feeling - Sophia Jaffé and Björn Lehmann in Wangen
On December 12th Sophia Jaffé with her violin and the pianist Björn Lehmann in the Weberzunfthaus performed in Wangen.
On the programme for this grandiose evening were four demanding compositions; the concert opened with Bartók's Rhapsody for Violin and Piano Nr.1 followed by three selected Hungarian Dances by Brahms. Scherzo from the F.A.E. Sonata by Johannes Brahms opened the second part of the concert evening. Sophia Jaffé enthused the audience also with the technically very demanding Solosonate Nr. 1 by Ysaÿe.
With a huge applause the concertgoers celebrated Sophia Jaffé's virtuosity and musical sensibility for these compositions which she performed with perfection. Also the newspaper reviews admiringly talked about the expression of her performance.