Prague, 17 August 2015 – As every year, the forthcoming music season will be launched by the Dvořák Prague Festival. Symbolically, the event will begin at a time when music lovers will be celebrating the anniversary of Antonín Dvořák's birth. Incidentally, the eighth day of September will give a special meaning to the program of the festival's this year's edition, as another musician will celebrate his birthday on that day – Christoph Von Dohnányi, one of the world's masters of the art of conducting. He will conduct the acclaimed Philharmonia Orchestra London in a performance featuring violinist Carolin Widman at the Rudolfinum on 12 September 2015. On Sunday 13 September 2015, the Rudolfinum will host a concert by another distinguished ensemble from London – the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields whose soundtrack for the movie Amadeus, directed by Miloš Forman, has captivated audiences around the globe. The performance will feature the famed German clarinetist Sabine Meyer, one of the first women to join the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the beginning of the 1980s thanks to a fierce battle chief conductor Herbert von Karajan waged with other players at that time to protect her privileged status.
The festival will open on 7 September 2015 in a performance by the Czech Philharmonic featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Music aficionados interested in experiencing the festival offerings can purchase tickets at the Dvořák Prague Festival Ticket Center at Palackého 1 as well as at the Rudolfinum ticket office, which is now open. For more information visit www.dvorakovapraha.cz.
While Antonín Dvořák was born 174 years ago, conductor Christoph Von Dohnányi will celebrate his 86th birthday in the upcoming days. Endowed with talent, he has earned global success in an artistic career that has seen him influence several generations of musicians, conduct orchestras in the most famous opera houses, and collaborate with the majority of the most prominent ensembles from both Europe and America. As chef conductor, he helped the Cleveland Orchestra earn the reputation of the best American musical ensemble, he was at the helm of the London Philharmonic Orchestra for a long 11 years, and he has held the chief conductor post with Sinfonieorchester Hamburg in East Germany.
Von Dohnányi will direct Philharmonia Orchestra London in a performance of the Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, Alban Berg's concerto for violin and orchestra To the Memory of an Angel, featuring violin player Carolin Widman, and Symphony No. 9, "The Great", by Franz Schubert, which Antonín Dvořák praised in 1894 with the following words: "The richness and variety of colors in "The Great" Symphony in C Major are breathtaking. It is a work that always inspires awe and always remains new. It gives the impression of clouds gathering in the sky, through which sunrays shine persistently and break them apart." Philharmonia Orchestra London has performed more than a thousand works and apart from playing the symphonic concert repertoire, it records film music and music for computer games.
Sunday's concert by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields will feature works by British composer Edward Elgar, a silent Dvořák admirer who at the age of 27 years served as a violinist in the Worchester Orchestra where Dvořák was invited to conduct his Stabat Mater. Other compositions will include Dvořák's idyllically classicist Serenade for Strings, Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, delivered by clarinetist Sabine Meyer who is known for her miraculously soft singing tone and sparkling virtuosity, and Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony written in 1772, which showcases the composer's experimentations with dynamics and expressive means. The symphony is famous for the fact that musicians cease playing and leave the stage one by one before the piece comes to a close. The legend says that this way, the composer wanted to remind the Knight of Esterházy of the fact that the usual time when musicians from his orchestra were allowed to take holidays had been exceeded.
From 7 to 23 September 2015, the festival's eighth edition will offer concerts by numerous acclaimed orchestras. Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Freiburger Barockorchester featuring René Jacobs. The ceremonial opening concert will be given by world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Czech Philharmonic; the latter will be featured on several other festival nights, including the closing performance. The program also features violinist Lisa Batiaschvili, cellist Gauthier Capuçon, violinist David Garrett, and pianist Piotr Anderszewski. This year's chamber music concerts will showcase piano player Ivo Kahánek who has invited the string ensembles Emerson Quartet and Tetzlaff Quartet. The Opera in Concert program will feature a performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. This year's spiritual concert will be dedicated to the work of the extraordinary composer Arvo Pärt performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, which has won two Grammy Awards for recordings of its fellow countryman and which ranks among the best vocal ensembles on today's international scene. As in previous years, the program will include music for families, the D Day dedicated to debuting young artists, and an excursion from the On the Trail of Antonín Dvořák series.