Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (Jan Schulmeister)
Sergej Prokofjev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19 (Daniel Matejča)
Alexandr Aruťunjan: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in A-flat major (Aleksandr Rublev)
Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S. 124 (Vsevolod Zavidov)
In 2020 for the first time, Czech Radio and the Academy of Classical Music, the organiser of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, jointly presented the 54th annual Concertino Praga Competition. To hear a recording of the concert held as the competition finals, see HERE.
This year for the first time, the final round of the competition Concertino Praga gained the exciting atmosphere of direct confrontation. The four young soloists Daniel Matejča, Aleksandr Rublev, Jan Schulmeister, and Vsevolod Zavidov had to prove themselves not only before the public, but also before a jury of first-class musicians. Besides the first winners from 1966 and 1967 Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Václav Hudeček, the jury members were Jakub Hrůša, Walter Auer, Ivo Kahánek, Daniel Ottensamer, Lukáš Vondráček, Francois Leleux, Jana Boušková, David Mareček, and Marek Zvolánek.
We wish to thank Czech Radio for their cooperation and for providing an audiovisual recording. Already now, we are looking forward to the 55th annual competition, with contestants in categories for soloists and for chamber music.
For more information about the competition, go to akademieklasickehudby.cz/concertinopraga.
Daniel Matejča, born in Liberec on 30th April 2005, started playing violin at the age of four under the guidance of his mother Olesie Volickova. After one year he joined the class of Prof. Ivan Straus, with whom he is still studying today.
His significant achievements include first prizes in the Josef Muzika International Violin Competition from 2013 to 2017 (in 2014 the special prize - the master instrument of Tomas Pilar) and the absolute winner of the School of Art Competition in 2017. As the winner of the Kocian Violin Competition from 2016 to 2018 he appeared as the guest of the well-known violin virtuoso Pavel Sporcl. In 2019 he became a laureate of the Kocian Violin Competition. He is also a holder of the prize “Zlaty orříšek” from 2017. He has participated in master classes organised by the Czech Philharmonic under the guidance of Jiří Vodička and Christian Tetzlaff.
In 2019 won first place in the Jugend Musiziert Competition in Halle. He also played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto backed by the Liberec Symphonic Orchestra with the conductor Josef Kurfirt at the F. X. Salda Theatre in Liberec.
In 2020 he won first prize in the International Georg Philipp Telemann Violin Competition in Poznan. In the same year he took second place in the international competition Concertino Praga when he performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He recorded the same concerto with the Pardubice Philharmonic in May 2021. In 2021 he was accepted for study at The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He has also studied at the Imola Music Academy with Maurizio Scirarretta, where he took lessons with Boris Belkin as well. In 2021 he also won a the television competition Virtuosos V4+. He performs in concerts all over Europe – for example in France, Italy, Austria, and Germany.
Daniel presents himself in various violin classes including music classes in Litomysl, the Liberec International Violin Academy, the Imola Summer Festival in Italy, and the International Music Academy Orpheus in Vienna. At these international classes he collaborates with foreign professors such as Stephen Schipps, Simon James, and Michael Frischenschlager.
Aleksandr Rublev was born in Moscow on 18.11.2005. He started playing the trumpet at the age of five and is currently studying under Professor Vladimir Pushkarev at the Gnessin Music School. He holds scholarships from the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation and the New Names Foundation. Some of Aleksandr’s music awards include the Grand Prix from the II Paris International Internet Music Competition and the VIII Music Competition in Serbia (2017), the 3rd prizes from the X Mravinsky Competition in Saint-Petersburg, Classic Pure Vienna and the XIX Nutcracker TV competition in Moscow (2018), a gold medal from the Vienna International Music Competition and the Best Trumpeter prize from the 5th Positively Brass Solo Competition held in Trossingen, Germany (2019). Aleksandr has also taken part in music festivals in Amsterdam (2015), Iguazu en Concierto in Argentina, the Cap Ferret Music Festival in France (2017), the 19th Italian Brass Week (2018), Maspalomas in Spain and the AlpenKlassik in Germany (2019). He is a member and soloist of the Yuri Bashmet Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, he performed with the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina under Giuseppe Lanzetta.
Jan Schulmeister has been playing the piano since the age of five. In addition to studying in Eva Zonová’s class at the Arts Primary School in Kroměříž, he has also completed a number of master classes with leading teachers and artists both at home and abroad. He has received the most prestigious prizes from many piano competitions, including being the two-time winner of the National Arts Primary School competition, the two-time absolute winner of the Piano Talents competition in Milan and the recipient of the absolute winner’s title in the Amadeus and Beethoven’s Teplice competitions. He has also added victories at the César Franck Competition in Brussels and at the Estonian Odin International Music Competition. He became a finalist in the 2020 Concertino Praga competition and received the EMCY Prize. He performs with leading Czech orchestras under the batons of Tomáš Netopil, Dennis Russell Davies or Jiří Rožeň and he cooperates with the Wihan Quartet. He plays regular solo concerts at both Czech and international concert halls and he participates at international music festivals such as the Prague Spring, Dvořák Prague, Smetana’s Litomyšl, Svátky hudby or the South Bohemian Festival.
Vsevolod Zavidov was born in Moscow in 2005. He started playing the piano under Tamara Koloss at the Central Music School at the age of four. In 2018, he moved to the Gnessin Music School to study under Professor Tatiana Zelikman. Vsevolod debuted in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory when aged eight. He has also performed in its Minor and Rachmaninov Halls, at the Moscow International Performing Arts Centre and in various cities around Russia. In 2016, he won the 1st prize in the Debut International Piano Competition in New York, the USA and he played a recital at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. In 2017, he performed Shostakovich’ Piano Concerto no. 1 with the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov. In 2018, Vsevolod performed at the Chetham School of Music in Manchester, England, at the Prayner Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna, Austria and as a guest artist at the Golden Key Music Festival. He won the Grand Prix at the Drozdoff Society’s 2018 Impromptu! Audition and played five recitals in the states of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey in 2019.
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the most important contemporary Czech orchestras. Starting from the season of 2022/2023, Czech conductor Petr Popelka will become the orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic director. Robert Jindra has assumed the post of principal guest conductor.
In the 2022/2023 concert season, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra welcome outstanding violinists such as Frank Peter Zimmermann and Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Benjamin Grosvenor and Nicolas Hodges, cellists Jean-Guihen Queyras and Daniel Müller-Schott, and conductors John Axelrod, Sylvain Cambreling and Jessica Cottis have accepted our invitation as well. A concert performance of Act 1 of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, where the two other acts will be performed in the following two seasons, is a unique project. The lead roles will be played by Michael Weinius and Elisabeth Teige. Among the local performers, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra will feature pianists Ivo Kahánek and Martin Kasík, Markéta Cukrová and Jana Kurucová, as well as conductor Václav Luks.
Over the past few years, the orchestra has collaborated with leading Czech and international conductors such as Tomáš Netopil, Petr Altrichter, Jakub Hrůša, Cornelius Meister, Alexander Liebreich, Ilan Volkov, Stephan Asbury, Ion Marin, Michał Nesterowicz, Anu Tali and Wayne Marshall.
The soloists accompanied by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra include pianist Krystian Zimerman, violinists Leila Josefowicz and Pierre Amoyal, cellists Gautier Capuçon, István Várdai and Steven Isserlis, trombonist Christian Lindberg, as well as jazzman Avishai Cohen. Singers include Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Asmik Grigorian, José Cura, Juan Diego Flórez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Jonas Kaufmann. Among the local artists, one should certainly not omit Lukáš Vondráček, Ivo Kahánek, Jan Bartoš, Josef Špaček, Jan Mráček, Tomáš Jamník, Adam Plachetka, Simona Šaturová, Kateřina Kněžíková, Petr Nekoranec and Vilém Veverka. The orchestra commissions and regularly performs works by leading contemporary Czech composers such as Miroslav Srnka, Ondřej Adámek, Pavel Zemek Novák, Jan Ryant Dřízal, Ondřej Štochl and Jiří Kadeřábek.
The recording activity of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is quite extensive as well. Consider the Janáček trilogy with conductor Tomáš Netopil released by Supraphon. Two of these recordings were highlighted as the Editor’s Choice by the prestigious Gramophone magazine. The very first complete recording of Miloslav Kabeláč’s eight symphonies (Supraphon, 2016) or the recording of all of Bohuslav Martinů’s piano concertos (Radioservis, 2016) was a singular achievement. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra celebrated the 150th anniversary of Vítězslav Novák’s birth by recording a new album featuring pianist Jan Bartoš and conductor Jakub Hrůša (Supraphon, 2020), which won the Anděl Award in 2021. More recent productions include late orchestral works by Bohuslav Martinů entitled Fresky, Paraboly, Rytiny, recorded with the internationally renowned conductor Tomáš Netopil (Supraphon, 2021) and a forthcoming album in collaboration with the prestigious Hyperion label with works by Martinů, Kalabis and Krása for harpsichord and orchestra with soloist Mahan Esfahani and conductor Alexander Liebreich.
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra offers its audience concerts as part of subscription cycles in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum or the convent of Saint Agnes as well as individually in DOX+ or in Studio 1 of Czech Radio. It is a regular guest at prominent festivals such as Prague Spring International Music Festival, Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, Smetana’Litomyšl, Leoš Janáček International Music Festival and International Music Festival Český Krumlov. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly performs on international stages in Europe and Japan.
Jiří Rožeň, who turns 29 this year, is one of the biggest discoveries among the young generation of conductors. He studied conducting at several different schools in Prague, Salzburg, Hamburg, Zurich, and Glasgow, and he has taken part in masterclasses led by such figures as Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink, and David Zinman. His greatest successes so far include participation in the finals of the conducting competition in Salzburg and the post of assistant conductor of hte BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, where was working alongside Donald Runnicles and Thomas Dausgaard. He collaborates with the Czech Philharmonic, with which he has also recorded Kalon by the contemporary British composer Richard Blackford. Among the orchestras with which he has so far appeared are the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, the BBC Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice, and the Brno Philharmonic. He is a great promoter of Czech music: besides works of the classical repertoire, he also performs works by the twentieth-century composers Viktor Kalabis and Miroslav Kabeláč, whose Symphony No. 4 he gave its Austrian premiere at the Salzburg Festival.
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.