Ernest Chausson: Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in D Major, Op. 21
Jiří Gemrot: Diabolical Whim for Cello, Wind Instruments and Percussions
Bohuslav Martinů: Concertino for Piano Trio and String Orchestra, H. 232
Having complete mastery of one’s instrument is great, but being a reliable musician upon whom your bandmates can rely is invaluable. This is especially true in music, where teamwork is essential.
Since 2020, Dvořák Prague has expanded its programme to give young musicians the space to showcase their talents, providing orchestral and chamber music hopefuls the opportunity to perform in front of the festival’s audiences in Dvořák Hall.
This year, the project for young people will be entrusted to scholarship holders from the Czech Chamber Music Academy. The Academy is dedicated to helping musicians who have achieved a high level of proficiency on their instruments to be recognised as colleagues, and to cultivate a team spirit that favours group success over individual achievement.
The Academy’s Head of Arts, Tomáš Jamník, is set to return from the USA, where he has been retracing the steps of Otakar Ševčík, a turn-of-the-20th-century Czech violin virtuoso and educator. Tomáš will bring his now-famous colleagues to perform in Prague, the first being violinist Josef Špaček, with whom he collaborated at the 2020 Dvořák Prague festival, as part of the legendary “dream team” (alongside pianist Lukáš Vondráček and violists Pavel Nikl and Jakub Fišer). This year, their “music buddy” will be pianist Roman Rabinovich, Josef Špaček’s fellow student from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The stage is poised to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that will captivate the audience, while also giving the young, enthusiastic orchestra the attention they deserve.
This year, the festival is again collaborating with modern composers through inventive commissions. Czech composer Jiří Gemrot has penned a piece for solo cello and chamber orchestra called Diabolical Whim, which will have its world premiere at the festival.
All things considered, the evening’s programme will serve as a testament to the exceptional talent of these young musicians, swiftly dispelling any concerns about the future of classical music.
Tomáš Jamník is a Czech cellist, currently residing in Berlin and Prague. Recognized for his in-depth knowledge of each performed piece, attention to detail, and strong interest in bringing less-well-known music to a wider audience, Tomáš has established himself as a celebrated soloist in both classical and contemporary music.
In 2006 he won the Prague Spring International Music Competition and was awarded several special prizes, in 2011 he was also a finalist at the Pierre Fourniere Award in London. Since then, Tomáš has performed extensively with top international orchestras in Europe, the U.S., and Asia, including the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra London. He is also respected as a chamber musician.
In the 2022–23 season, Tomáš will appear at the Prague Spring International Festival with the Prague Symphony Orchestra performing Capriccio by Jan Novák. In June 2023 he will tour with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra performing Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto. During the season Tomáš will also give recitals and teach at the US universities (including the New York University and Juilliard School) thanks to the Fulbright-Masaryk scholarship.
Alongside his interpretational career, Tomáš is an enthusiastic educator and promoter of classical music. Since 2015, he has served as the artistic director of the Czech Chamber Music Academy, which cooperates with the German foundation Villa Musica, and in 2019 he became the artistic director of the Ševčík Academy, which focuses on advancing the teaching method of the legendary pedagogue Otakar Ševčík. In 2016, he founded the Vážný zájem (“Serious interest”) project, which helps organize classical music concerts in people’s homes.
Tomáš began his musical training in the Czech Republic under Mirko and Martin Škampa and graduated under Josef Chuchro at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. He continued at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig under Peter Bruns and at the Universität der Künste Berlin under Jens Peter Maintz. He enriched his education at the Karajan Academy of Berliner Philharmoniker under Ludwig Quandt and at the Kronberg Academy under Steven Isserlis, Siegfried Palm, Young-Chang Cho and Pieter Wispelwey, as well as by participating in master classes given by Heinrich Schiff, Jiří Bárta, Gustav Rivinius and Truls Mørk.
Tomáš plays a violoncello made by Lorenzo Storioni in 1784, which was generously lent to him from the private collection of Mr. Aleš Voverka.
Praised for his remarkable range of colours, his confident and concentrated stage presence, his virtuosity, and technical poise as well as the beauty of his tone Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation. His performances of a wide range of repertoire demonstrate his “astonishing articulation and athleticism” (The Scotsman) and “a richness and piquancy of timbre.” (The Telegraph).
He appears with orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
Josef Špaček collaborates with eminent conductors such as Jakub Hrůša, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck, Valery Gergiev, Thomas Adès, Krzysztof Urbański, James Gaffigan, James Conlon, Maxim Emelyanchev, the late Jiří Bělohlávek, Petr Popelka, Thomas Søndergård, Cornelius Meister, Michael Sanderling, David Zinman, Eliahu Inbal, Tomáš Netopil, Pietari Inkinen, Marc Albrecht, Aziz Shokhakimov, Christian Vasquez, Jahja Ling and Lio Kuokman.
He equally enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music and is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, the Kronberg Academy, the Evian Festival, the Kaposfest and at Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., 92Y in New York, La Jolla in San Diego, the ChamberFest Cleveland and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival).
In the summer of 2021 he made highly successful debuts at the Verbier Festival and Leif Ove Andsnes' Rosendal Festival.
His chamber music partners include Gil Shaham, Kian Soltani, James Ehnes, Clemens Hagen, Julian Steckel, Gerhard Oppitz, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Máté Szücs, Miroslav Sekera, Tomáš Jamník, Federico Colli, Sharon Kam, Kristóf Baráti, Zoltan Fejervari and Suzana Bartal.
In April 2022 Supraphon released Josef Špaček's latest CD recording on which he is joined by cellist Tomáš Jamník. It features works for violin and cello by Janáček, Martinů, Schulhoff and Klein, including a transcription of Janáček's string quartet no. 1 for violin/ cello duo. His previous Supraphon release is a highly praised recording of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, coupled with the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. The Sunday Times wrote: “The violinist’s individual, deeply considered and virtuosic account of Dvorak’s solo part is the highlight of this keenly conceived programme”, adding that “in this repertoire, Špaček is second to none today.” It was the “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, Recording of the month & of the year of MusicWeb International and it received 5* in Diapason. Other recordings to date are a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera (Supraphon), works for violin solo and violin and piano by H.W. Ernst (Naxos) and an early CD with the complete Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
Josef Špaček 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.
He served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in ist history. The orchestra named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016. He held this post until the end of the 2019/20 season and has since devoted himself exclusively to his solo career.
Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.
He lives in Prague with his wife and their three children. In his spare time he enjoys cycling.
Praised by The New York Times for his ‘uncommon sensitivity and feeling’, the eloquent pianist Roman Rabinovich was the winner of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in 2008. His subsequent career has led him to perform throughout Europe and the USA in venues as Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Cité de la Musique in Paris and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. He has appeared with orchestras including Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Meininger Hofkapelle, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, KBS Symphony, Prague Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic and all the major Israeli orchestras and collaborated with conductors such as and Sir Roger Norrington, Zubin Mehta, Ludovic Morlot, Kristjan Järvi, Gerard Schwarz and Joseph Swensen.
At the opening of the 2022–23 season, Roman Rabinovich made his Carnegie Hall Concerto Debut, stepping in at 24-hours’ notice with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Mozart’s Concerto K. 271. Other highlights of the season include the Tchaikovsky Concerto no. 1 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Ludovic Morlot, the Greig Concerto with Edmonton Symphony and Michael Stern, Bach’s d minor Concerto with the NFM Leopoldinum and Joseph Swensen, the Schubert/Liszt ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy with Israel Symphony and Christoph Koenig, Rachmaninov Concerto no. 2 with Punta Gorda Symphony and Mozart’s Concerto K. 488 with Helena Symphony. This season’s recital engagements include Portland Piano International, the Steinway Series at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Philip Lorenz Memorial Piano Series, Maverick Concerts and Music at MoCA Concert Series.
Dubbed ‘a true polymath, in the Renaissance sense of the word’ (Seen & Heard International, 2016), Rabinovich is also a composer and visual artist with a repertoire spanning six centuries, from Byrd to Boulez and beyond. He has won critical acclaim for interpretations of the music of Haydn. In summer 2016 he embarked upon the Haydn Project, encompassing recital series of Haydn’s complete keyboard sonatas; these have included cycles at the Lammermuir and Bath Festivals in UK and at Chamberfest Cleveland in the US; he has also appeared at the Herbstgold Festival in Eisenstadt, and curated a three-concert Haydn Day at Wigmore Hall. The first two volumes of his complete Haydn Cycle on First Hand Records have been released to critical acclaim, with BBC Music Magazine noting ‘the elegance and liveliness of Rabinovich’s keyboard style are, indeed, a joy to listen to, and his unfailing musicality and inventiveness allows him to penetrate to the expressive heart of Haydn’s world.’
Together with his wife, violinist Diana Cohen, Roman Rabinovich is co-director of ChamberFest Cleveland as well as the newly inaugurated ChamberFest West festival in Calgary, Canada. During the 2020-21 global pandemic, the pair gave a very successful series of free weekly concerts from their front yard in Calgary.
Roman Rabinovich made his Israel Philharmonic debut under Zubin Mehta aged 10, having immigrated to Israel a year before from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Seymour Lipkin, he went on to earn his Masters degree at the Juilliard School where he studied with Robert McDonald. He was among the first of three young pianists to be championed by Sir András Schiff for his ‘Building Bridges’ series.
The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.