A Summer Fairy Tale
Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53
“Pohadka leta”(A Summer’s Tale) – Symphonic poem for large orchestra, Op. 29
Jakub Hruša - Conductor
Born in the Czech Republic, Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.
He is a frequent guest with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, and in addition to his titled positions enjoys close relationships with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. The 2018/19 season saw him make debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Orchestre de Paris and NHK Symphony. Jakub Hrůša has been the regular guest conductor at the RSB since 2013.
His relationships with leading vocal and instrumental soloists have included collaborations in recent seasons with Behzod Abduraimov, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Lisa Batiashvili, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Isabelle Faust, Bernarda Fink, Julia Fischer, Vilde Frang, Sol Gabetta, Christian Gerhaher, Kirill Gerstein, Karen Gomyo, Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Alina Ibragimova, Janine Jansen, Karita Mattila, Leonidas Kavakos, Sergey Khachatryan, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, Jan Lisiecki, Albrecht Mayer, Johannes Moser, Viktoria Mullova, Anne Sofie Mutter, Kristine Opolais, Stephanie d’Oustrac. Olga Peretyatko, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Josef Špaček, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Simon Trpčeski, Mitsuko Uchida, Klaus Florian Vogt, Yuja Wang, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Nikolaj Znaider.
As a conductor of opera, he has been a regular guest with Glyndebourne Festival, conducting “Vanessa”, The “Cunning Little Vixen”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Carmen”, “The Turn of the Screw”, “Don Giovanni” and “La bohème”, and serving as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour for three years. Elsewhere he has led productions for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (“Carmen”), Vienna State Opera (a new production of “The Makropulos Case”), Opéra National de Paris (“Rusalka” and “The Merry Widow”), and Frankfurt Opera (“Il trittico”), among others.
As a recording artist, his most recent releases are Smetana’s “Má vlast” with Bamberg Symphony (Tudor), and “Concertos for Orchestra” by Bartók and Kodály with RSB Berlin (Pentatone). He has also recorded Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique”, Strauss’s “Eine Alpensinfonie” and Suk’s “Asrael” Symphony with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Octavia Records); the Tchaikovsky and Bruch violin concertos with Nicola Benedetti and the Czech Philharmonic (Universal); and nine discs (with Pentatone and Supraphon) of Czech repertoire with PKF-Prague Philharmonia, where he was Music Director from 2009 until 2015.
Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where his teachers included Jiří Bělohlávek. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle and The Dvořák Society, and in 2015 he was the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize.
Josef Špacek - Violin
Josef Špaček is fast emerging as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
Highlights during the 2017/18/19 seasons include a return visit to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Marc Albrecht, as well as debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse and Thomas Søndergård, the Bamberger Symphoniker and Manfred Honeck, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Maxim Emelyanchev, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Sanderling, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Aziz Shokhakimov, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Tomáš Netopil, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Christian Vasquez, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Daniel Blendulf and the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra and Lio Kuokman. He continues to appear as soloist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for concerts, both in Prague and on tour, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, Jakub Hrůša and Thomas Adès.
Previous highlights include subscription concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, a return visit to the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino and James Conlon, his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, his Berlin debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Thomas Sanderling, his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård, his Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša and debuts with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and Gerard Korsten, the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra and Johannes Wildner and the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Adrien Perruchon (recorded by Mezzo Live HD TV), as well as recital debuts in among others Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and La Jolla, San Diego.
In addition to the afore-mentioned orchestras Josef Špaček has appeared with orchestras across Europe, the US and Asia, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Essener Philharmoniker, Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Orchestre National de Belgique, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
The late Jiří Bělohlávek was an avid supporter of Josef Špaček and regularly invited him. Other conductors he works with include Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Christoph Eschenbach, Asher Fisch, Valery Gergiev, Roy Goodman, Jakub Hrůša, Manfred Honeck, Eliahu Inbal, Jun Märkl, Rossen Milanov, Tomáš Netopil, Thomas Sanderling and Thomas Søndergård.
Josef Špaček gives recitals and takes part in chamber music festivals in Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum in Prague, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Evian Festival, Kaposfest and Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., La Jolla, San Diego, ChamberFest Cleveland and Nevada Chamber Music Festival).
Supraphon released highly praised recordings of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, and of the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek (among others “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, “Recording of the month and of the year” of MusicWeb International and 5* in Diapason), as well as a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera. In 2010 he recorded works by H.W. Ernst for Naxos. His first CD, which was released in 2006, includes a complete recording of the Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
He has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. The orchestra has named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016.
Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.
Bohemian folklore and the healing power of nature