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Mo 8 10:00 International Music Competition - round 1, harpsichord category Tu 9 10:00 International Music Competition - round 1, violin category Th 11 09:00 International Music Competition - round 2, harpsichord category 20:00 Informal Festival Prelude ATTENTION PLEASE Fr 12 10:00 Tribute to Bedřich Smetana 10:00 International Music Competition - round 2, violin category 17:00 Open air broadcast of the opening concert 20:00 Opening Concert: Daniel Barenboim & Wiener Philharmoniker Sa 13 11:00 Morning Concert I Marek Švejkar & Lenka Korbelová 16:00 Prague Spring International Music Competition, finals, harpsichord category (part 1) 20:00 Prague Spring International Music Competition, finals, harpsichord category (part 2) 20:00 Daniel Barenboim & Wiener Philharmoniker Su 14 16:00 Prague Spring International Music Competition, finals, violin category (part 1) 20:00 Prague Spring International Music Competition, finals, violin category (part 2) 20:00 Rocío Márquez Mo 15 20:00 Ensemble Inégal 20:00 Quasars Ensemble Tu 16 20:00 Diana Damrau We 17 20:00 La Compagnia del Madrigale Th 18 19:00 Krakatit 19:00 Laco Déczi & Celula New York 20:00 Česká filharmonie, Kristjan Järvi & Lukáš Vondráček Fr 19 18:00 Pavel Kohout 20:00 Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian & Maxim Vengerov Sa 20 11:00 Morning Concert I Michal Šupák 20:00 Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian & Jan Lisiecki Su 21 20:00 Jinhyung Park Mo 22 20:00 Česká filharmonie, Jiří Bělohlávek, Jiří Vodička, Jakub Fišer & Kostas Smoriginas 20:00 EntreQuatre & Epoque Quartet Tu 23 20:00 Shanghai Dance Theatre 21:30 Nocturno I Alexander Lonquich We 24 20:00 Filharmonie Brno & Dennis Russell Davies Th 25 20:00 Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & WIlliam Christie Fr 26 20:00 Symfonický orchestr hl. m. Prahy, Łukasz Borowicz & Huw Morgan 20:00 Alexander Lonquich, Vilde Frang & Nicolas Altstaedt Sa 27 11:00 Morning Concert III Boris Prýgl & Jana Nagy-Juhász 14:00 Lobkowicz Trio 17:00 David Oistrach Quartet 20:00 Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt & Jan Simon Su 28 10:30 Suk's Křečovice 11:00 Prague Philharmonia Wind Quintet 14:00 Dvořák Piano Quartet 17:00 Martinů Quartet 20:00 Concerto Zapico Mo 29 20:00 Musico-technical Inventions 20:00 Sacconi Quartet & Wihan Quartet Tu 30 20:00 Prague Spring Debut,
Baborák/Mráček/
Heyward
20:00 Forma Antiqva
We 31 20:00 Orchestre de Paris, Thomas Hengelbrock & Kate Lindsey 21:30 Nocturne II Tomáš Jamník & Frode Haltli Th 1 20:00 Berg Orchestra, Skety & Peter Vrábel 20:00 Camerata Salzburg & Alexander Lonquich Fr 2 20:00 Closing Concert: Krzysztof Penderecki & Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
/
Morning Concert I Michal Šupák 20/5, Saturday 11:00
/Pavel Kohout © Ivan Malý
Pavel Kohout 19/5, Friday 18:00
19. 5. / Fr / 20.00
Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian & Maxim Vengerov
buy tickets venue Municipal House - Smetana Hall price 500 - 4400 CZK end of the concert 22.00

Programme

  • Oskar Morawetz: Carnival Overture
  • Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
  • Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor Op. 70

 

 

Tribute to Karel Ančerl

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has been known for many years for its support for contemporary composers, and not only from Canada. It regularly programmes their works on subscription concerts, and with the same vision, the orchestra founded the New Creations Festival. Their guest appearance at Prague Spring is likewise conceived in this spirit, and it opens with Carnival Overture by Oskar Moravec (spelled Morawetz in Canada, 1917–2007), a native of Světlá nad Sázavou who emigrated from Czechoslovakia in 1937 because of his fear of the growing Nazi threat. After short stays in Vienna and Paris, where he got his musical education, he settled permanently in Toronto, Canada, in 1940. Carnival Overture (1945) is one of his early works, exhibiting his typical Slavonic rhythms, masterful orchestration, and polyphonic writing – a real eruption of musical joy that fits its title.

In the Violin Concerto in D major Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), the phenomenal Maxim Vengerov will be displaying his artistry. His return is eagerly anticipated, because it has been a long eight years since he last appeared on a Czech stage! He will get to shine in one of the most difficult works in the violin literature, which the composer tailor made for his close friend, the great violinist Joseph Joachim. The concerto places the highest demands on the performer, and although after its premiere in 1879 many critics and players described it as unplayable or as written “against the violin”, over the years it became a firmly established part of the repertoire of all important violinists of the twentieth century.

The evening will conclude with the Symphony No. 7 in D minor Op. 70 by Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904). Written in 1884 and 1885, the symphony has a special standing among the composer’s works. Dvořák expressed his resolve concerning the new symphony as follows: “I want to write a symphony of the kind that will be earthshaking, and may God will that it be so!” It was meant to be a work that would surpass everything he had already written. It is said that Dvořák deliberately held back somewhat from using Slavonic folk music as his source of inspiration, instead trying to create a work closer to the manner of Beethoven or Brahms, which would have a greater chance for international success. Something else that may have contributed to this was a comment from Brahms addressed to the composer’s previous symphony: “I imagine your symphony being quite different from the one in D major.” And in fact, Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony received not only its world premiere abroad – in 1885 in London – but also the international acclaim that was of fundamental importance for Dvořák’s artistic career.

“No matter if it’s for his flawless artistry or breathtaking virtuosity, violinist Maxim Vengerov is rightly hailed as one of the world’s great players” (The Scotsman)

The Russian star violinist Maxim Vengerov made his first recording at just ten years of age. A winner of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition and the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, he plays a broad repertoire ranging from Baroque music to jazz and rock. When he returned to perform with the New York Philharmonic in 2015 after a nine year absence, the public’s ovation was nothing short of what is witnessed at concerts by rock stars. The event, unusual even by local standards, was described by the New York Times as follows: “He received a hero’s welcome. There were bravos and smattered applause between movements and a protracted ovation at the end of the piece.” Beginning in 2007, following the example of his mentors Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniel Barenboim, he has also been active as a conductor. He is a winner of prestigious prizes including the Grammy Award, the Gramophone Award, ECHO Klassik, and the Classical Brit Award. In 1997 he became the first person from the world of classical music to become a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Teaching and support for young talents make up an important part of Vengerov’s life. He teaches at the Menuhin Academy in Switzerland, and this year he also became a professor at the Royal College of Music in London. He plays on a unique violin, the ex-Kreutzer Stradivarius built in 1727.

Since its founding in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has been one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions. Besides appearing in concert with the world’s leading musicians (Lang Lang, James Ehnes, Yo-Yo Ma), the orchestra is proud to collaborate with important composers (Aaron Copland, John Adams, Phillip Glass). Since the 1924/1925 season, it has been a pioneer in the educating of young audiences. Karel Ančerl established the orchestra’s special ties with Czech culture as its principal conductor from 1969 until his death in 1973. The orchestra’s present principal conductor Peter Oundjian also laid claim to Ančerl’s legacy in 2013 when he opened Prague Spring with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. At a press conference, he said that from the archives of the Toronto orchestra, he borrowed the score to Smetana’s Má vlast (My Country) with Ančerl’s markings, which were extraordinarily helpful for comprehending the emblematic work of Czech Romanticism. Who knows, maybe he will do the same thing in the case of Dvořák’s Seventh.

The career of the native Canadian Peter Oundjian has taken him to concert halls all over the world – from Berlin, Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv to New York, Chicago, and Sydney. He has also appeared at such prestigious festivals as the BBC Proms, Prague Spring, the Edinburgh Festival, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Mozart Festival, where he served as the artistic director from 2003 to 2005. He was the principal guest conductor with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (2006–2010) and the artistic director of the Caramoor International Music Festival in New York (1997–2007). He has been at the helm of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2004.

 


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