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Ludwig van Beethoven: Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra in C Major, Op. 56
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163, “English”

The youngest orchestra and the most classical programme. The epilogue of the Dvořák Prague Festival will be the climax of its own celebration of the Year of Czech Music with a clear glimpse into the future. For the symbolism of eternal musical youth, the festival has chosen an ensemble that represents tomorrow’s gleaming hope for the performing arts that is being developed with great intensity not only by the activities of the festival’s presenter, i.e., the Academy of Classical Music, but also by other institutions, with the Czech Philharmonic foremost among them. The players of the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will be revealing something of music’s promising future. Although it is a student ensemble that was originally a kind of test project of the Czech Philharmonic, the orchestra has given regular subscription concerts led by such conductors as Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov or Jakub Hrůša. At the same time, the joy the players get from music and their willingness to engage in hard work are strong arguments to counter those who complain about the new generation’s hypersensitivity. Also on the programme is Beethoven’s enormously demanding Triple Concerto, which is sometimes avoided even by seasoned professionals. Joining with the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is a familiar face, cellist Pablo Fernandez, whose performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto at the opening of the 2022 Dvořák Prague Festival was one of the most memorable in the festival’s history. Also appearing are Pablo’s colleagues, with whom he enjoys performing: violinist Alexandra Conunova and pianist Dmitry Shishkin. While they are all still young, they have also earned a place on the international scene. Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony will then conclude the festival with optimistic hopes for next year. During the summer, conductor Marko Ivanovič will lead the orchestra’s preparations, then during the festival and at the concert itself, the conductor will be Ingo Metzmacher. Besides conducting the Czech Philharmonic at the concert on 19 September 2024, he also is devoting his time to fostering the young talents of the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.


Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

“You can put anything in front of them and they will play it!” That is how Sir Simon Rattle characterised the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, which he conducted in June 2020. For quite some time, the orchestra has been working mainly on educational programmes, but has also made guest appearances as part of the Czech Philharmonic regular subscription series.

The orchestra gives the upcoming generation of musicians–mostly students of music schools–the opportunity to regularly rehearse and perform masterpieces from the international symphonic, concertante, and vocal-instrumental repertoire. We aim to build a permanent orchestra that fosters lasting relationships and mutual understanding among its musicians. Our aim is to assist them in refining their ensemble playing skills.

“I believe the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra still has room to grow, and I will happily continue to help with that process,” adds Marko Ivanović, the chief conductor and a supporter of young musicians since 2006. That is when the student ensemble’s history began under the protective wing of the Czech Philharmonic, with Steps to the New World, a cycle of concerts with commentary for students. The musicians of the Czech Philharmonic Youth Orchestra thus act as “beacons of light” for their peers, demonstrating that young people can have a passion for classical music and ardently share it with others.

Ingo Metzmacher

Whether as an opera conductor, orchestra leader, festival director or book author: Ingo Metzmacher is consistently committed to music, especially of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Making the new sound familiar and the familiar sound new has been his focus since the beginning of his career.

Ingo Metzmacher was General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera from 1997 to 2005 and subsequently Chief Conductor at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, as well as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from 2007 to 2010. Since 2016 he has been the Artistic Director of the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, whose next festival edition will take place from 16 May to 2 June 2024.

Ingo Metzmacher is a frequent guest with leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Modern, as well as at opera houses and festivals such as the Vienna State Opera, the Opéra national de Paris, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, the Salzburg Festival and the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.

His 2023/24 season includes performances with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, the SWR Symphonieorchester, the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlinm, and Klangforum Wien, among others. He is conducting a new production of lbéric Magnard's Guercœur at the Opéra national du Rhin, Leonard Bernstein's Mass - A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers with the NDR Radiophilharmonie and nine choirs from Hanover as part of the KunstFestSpielen Herrenhausen, as well as the closing concert of the Donaueschinger Musiktage.

Metzmacher’s wide-ranging discography includes live recordings of his legendary New Year’s Eve concerts in Hamburg from 1999 to 2004 entitled Who’s Afraid of 20th Century Music?, a complete recording of Hartmann’s symphonies with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Henze’s Ninth Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Messiaen’s Eclairs sur l'Au-delà… with the Vienna Philharmonic. Most recently, he released two recordings with Ensemble Modern: Andre’s cycle riss and Beschenkt – 40 miniatures celebrating the ensembles 40th anniversary.

He is the author of two books: Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen [Don’t Be Afraid of New Sounds] and Vorhang auf! Oper entdecken und erleben [Curtain Up! Discovering and Experiencing Opera].

source: OPUS 3 ARTIST

Alexandra Conunova

First Prize at the Joseph Joachim Violin Competition in Hannover in 2012, and prizewinner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and at the Singapore International Violin Competition, Alexandra Conunova has been hailed by her virtuosity, warm tone, impressive range of color, and flawless technique.

In 2016 she also received the prestigious Fellowship by the Borletti-Buittoni Trust in London. Conunova has appeared with many of the leading international orchestras, such as the Orchestre de Paris, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, NFOR, Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino and Barcelona Symphony, among others.

She frequently performs under the batons of maestros A. Manze, L. Foster, J-P. Saraste, T. Currentzis, G. Noseda, L. Langree, A. Poga, J. Weilerstein, M.Pletnev, L.Equilbey , A. Manacorda, C. Zacharias, D. Hindoyan, J. Nott, P. Bleuse, D. Ward, O. Lyniv and J. Malwitz. In summer 2022 she debuted at the Tivoli Festival playing/conducting Vivaldi and Piazzola’s Four Seasons, which led to an immediate reinvitation by the Copenhagen Philharmonic for the next season to perform the Arthur Lourie’s Concerto da Camera.

Other recent highlights include the tour with the Insula Orchestra, the returns to the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and to the Polish Radio National Symphony orchestra, and debuts with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Janacek Philharmonic, Aalborg Symphony, Bochum Symphony, Wroclaw NFM Philharmonic, Tenerife Symphony and Orquesta de les Illes Balears, as well as invitations to the Aix-en-Provence, Ferrara and Tsinandali Festivals and recitals alongside Denis Kozhukhin and Christian Zacharias.

Future engagements include concerts at the Verbier Festival in their 30th Anniversary Edition, as well as the participation in the open-air televised summer concert of the Nuremberg Symphony, performing Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Carmen Fantasy and other virtuoso works. Conunova will also be featured in the San Francisco Symphony recital series, and will appear with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, Aalborg Symphony, Kristiansand Symphony, Odense Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic, and will tour with the Insula Orchestra in Spain.

Alexandra’s first recording of Prokofiev Violin Sonatas with Michail Liftis, on Aparté, was received with great acclaim: “This recording reveals Conunova as a major artist – in terms of both technical assurance and interpretative daring… I can’t recommend their freshly considered, vividly recorded interpretations highly enough” (Gramophone); “…this is already a candidate for one of the best discs of the year” (The Strad).

In Fall 2020, during COVID-19 lockdown and accompanied by an ensemble of friends and colleagues, she recorded and released Vivaldi’s Four Seasons also on Aparté, obtaining rave reviews: “her last recording as a whole is an exquisitely light and graceful reading from everyone, crowned by ravishingly sweet-toned and dancing filigree lines from Conunova herself”, “her playing is this fabulous: the warm-toned, easy fluidity of her virtuosities; her range of articulation, colour and shading; the subtle spontaneity; the natural shaping.” (Gramophone).

In the last years Alexandra has had the pleasure to work under the guidance and mentoring of one of the world’s leading professor, Edouard Wulfson, in Geneva. Alexandra currently plays on Giovanni Batistta Guadagnini, ca. 1785 ex “Ida Levin”, on a kind loan from a music lover.

source: CAMI Music LLC worldwide

Pablo Ferrández

Prizewinner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and SONY Classical exclusive artist, Pablo Ferrández is hailed as a “new cello genius” (Le Figaro). A captivating performer, “Ferrández has the lot: technique, mettle, spirit, authority as a soloist, expressivity and charm” (El Pais).

He has turned into a cello phenomenon and one of the most in-demand instrumentalists of his generation. His debut album under SONY Classical, “Reflections”, released in 2021, was highly acclaimed by the critics and praised with the Opus Klassik Award.

In Fall 2022 Pablo Ferrández released his second album, which comprised the Brahms Double Concerto, performed with Anne-Sophie Mutter, the Czech Philharmonic under M. Honeck, as well as Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio, performed with Ms. Mutter and Lambert Orkis, also receiving rave reviews.

Recent highlights included appearances with LA Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl, Czech Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Oslo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Bayersichen Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Konzerthaus Orchester, Tonkuenslter Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Israel Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic. Ferrández toured last season with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Philharmonic under Ed Gardner, with Munich Philharmonic under Myung-whun Chung, and with the Antwerp Symphony under Elim Chan. He is also frequently invited to international renown festivals such as Verbier, Salzburg, Dresden, Sion, Dvorak Prague Festival, Grant Park and Jerusalem, among others.

The 23/24 season brings the debut at the David Geffen Hall in New York with the Orquesta del Teatro Real, and also with the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Tonhalle Orchestra, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege, Stavanger Symphony, Musikkollegium Winterthur, the returns to the Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dusseldorf Symphony, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Orchestra National de France and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia.

Ferrández will also return to the LA Philharmonic, performing Brahms Double Concerto with AnneSophie Mutter under G. Dudamel, and will tour with the Czech Philharmonic under S. Bychkov in Japan and Europe, performing Dvorak Cello Concerto.

Born in Madrid in 1991, in a family of musicians, Pablo Ferrández joined the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía when he was 13 to study with Natalia Shakhovskaya. After that he completed his studies at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson and became scholar of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Mr. Ferrández plays the Stradivarius “Archinto” 1689, on a generous life-long loan from a member of the Stretton Society.

source: CAMI Music LLC worldwide

Dmitry Shishkin

A silver medallist at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition and winner of the 73rd Geneva International Music Competition, Dmitry Shishkin has been acclaimed for both his creative and individual approach to music. He has been defined by the critics as an “…electrifying and flamboyant pianist, of great musical honesty and rigor.”

Dmitry Shishkin’s recent and upcoming highlights include a Shostakovich Piano Concerto at Wiener Musikverein, appearances with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande under the baton of J. Nott, Budapest Festival Orchestra under the direction of G. Takacs-Nagy, Prague Radio Symphony with P. Popelka, recital tours in S. Korea and Taiwan, as well as at the Bellini Theater in Catania, Wigmore Hall, and at the Verbier Festival.

He has also appeared with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Staatskapelle Weimar, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo Bellini, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and others.

He is frequently invited to prestigious festivals, such as Verbier, La Roque d’Antheron, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Radio France Montepellier Festival, Bergen Music Festival, “Chopin and his Europe” Festival, and Bergamo Brescia Music Festival, and has collaborated with such artists as Daniel Lozakovich and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Currently based in Switzerland, he began his piano studies at the Gnessin Moscow School of Music with Mikhail Khokhlov, continuing at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Eliso Virsaladze, and later in Sicily at the “Vincenzo Bellini” State Conservatory in Catania with Epifanio Comis, then in Hannover at the Musikhochschule with Arie Vardi.


Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

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.