The 15th year of the Dvořák Prague Festival will take place from 8 to 25 September 2022
Antonín Dvořák: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in B Minor, Op. 104, B. 191
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, B. 178, ‘From the New World’
Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony and Cello Concerto in B Minor mark the beginning and end of his period of employment in the United States. While the earlier composition is brimming with the intoxication of America, its cities, and the music of the country’s African Americans and Native Americans, the later work shows signs of homesickness. The two works have each enchanted the whole world in their own way, and they are among the most popular compositions of all time. Moreover, at the Rudolfinum, where Dvořák conducted the first concert of the Czech Philharmonic, they also gain the stamp of authenticity. While this music has long been circling the globe, performers from around the world come to Prague’s Dvořák Hall to play it where it is truly at home. Dvořák’s two most popular works have become something like a festival fanfare, and performing them will be conductor Myung-Whun Chung with the Munich Philharmonic and the cellist Pablo Ferrández.
Myung-Whun Chung, Ferrández, and the Munich Philharmonic will appear again at the Dvořák Prague Festival the following day in Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A Minor and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 in A Major.
The Munich Philharmonic was founded in 1893, and since then, under the direction of renowned conductors, it has vastly enriched Munich’s musical life. Gustav Mahler conducted the orchestra in the world premičres of his 4th and 8th Symphonies, and in November 1911, the world premičre of Mahler’s »Das Lied von der Erde« took place under Bruno Walter’s direction. Ferdinand Löwe led the first Bruckner concerts and established the orchestra’s Bruckner tradition, which was then gloriously continued by Siegmund von Hausegger and Oswald von Kabasta.
During the Rudolf Kempe era the Philharmonic made its first tour to what was then the U.S.S.R. The legendary Bruckner concerts with general music director Sergiu Celibidache made a major contribution to the orchestra’s international reputation. The Munich Philharmonic made Zubin Mehta the first »conductor laureate« in the orchestra’s history. For the 100ths anniversary of the premičre of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich, chief conductor Christian Thielemann conducted two performances of this work. He was succeeded as chief conductor by Lorin Maazel, who held the position until his death in 2014.
As of the 2015-16 season, the position of chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic is held by Valery Gergiev. Tours have taken the Munich Philharmonic to numerous European cities as well as Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and the USA. Programme highlights conceived by Valery Gergiev include performances of symphonic cycles by Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov as well as new formats, such as the »MPHIL 360°« festival. Concerts are regularly broadcast via live stream and on radio and TV. In September 2016, the first CD recordings documenting the Munich Philharmonic’s work were released under the orchestra’s own label, »MPHIL«. From 2017 to 2019, the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev recorded all of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies in the basilica of St. Florian Monastery, Anton Bruckner's final resting place. The complete recordings have been released in autumn 2020.
With »Spielfeld Klassik«, the Munich Philharmonic has developed a comprehensive music education programme for young and old. Up to 35,000 people of all ages attended the more than 150 events held each year. Under the motto of »MPhil on Site«, the Munich Philharmonic also leaves its home base – the Philharmonie Gasteig – to appear in unusual and varied locations, such as the Hofbräuhaus tavern as well as alpine meadows, clubs and industrial halls.
On 13 October 2018 the Munich Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Munich Philharmonic by performing Igor Strawinsky's »Symphonie de Psaumes« and Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8.
Myung-Whun Chung began his musical career as a pianist, winning second prize at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1974. After his musical studies at the Mannes School and Juilliard School in New York, he was appointed Carlo Maria Giulini’s assistant in 1979 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and became Associate Conductor two years later.
He was Music Director of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1984 to 1990, Principal Guest Conductor of the Teatro Comunale di Firenze from 1987 to 1992 and Music Director of the Opéra de Paris-Bastille from 1989 to 1994. The year 2000 marked his return to Paris as Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. His love for Italy has been the basis of his extensive work in that country for many years, including, from 1997 to 2005, his position as Principal Conductor of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He also appears regularly at the Teatro alla Scala and Teatro La Fenice, recently conducting Madama Butterfly, Simon Boccanegra, Otello and Tristan und Isolde. Other recent opera engagements include La Traviata, Rigoletto and Otello at the Wiener Staatsoper. In Germany, he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden at the beginning of the 2012/13 season, the first conductor to hold the post in the history of the orchestra. Outside Europe, he is increasingly committed to musical and social causes in Asia through his role as Honorary Conductor Laureate of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and previously as Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Highlights of the 2021-22 season include a return visit to La Fenice to conduct Fidelio, a European tour with the Wiener Symphoniker and a return visit to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Myung-Whun Chung will also continue his regular collaborations with the Staatskapelle Dresden, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Filarmonica della Scala.
Myung-Whun Chung has conducted some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk and the Wiener Philharmoniker, as well as all the major London and Parisian orchestras. In the USA, he has collaborated with the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra.
An exclusive recording artist for Deutsche Grammophon since 1990, many of his numerous recordings have won international prizes and awards. Recent releases include a solo piano album of Brahms, Beethoven and Haydn, Messiaen Turangalîla Symphony and Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with the Orchestre de l'Opéra Bastille, as well as Mahler Symphony No. 2, Mahler Symphony No. 9, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 Pathetique and a Beethoven disc, all with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Myung-Whun Chung has been the recipient of many honours and prizes for his artistic work, including the Premio Abbiati and the Arturo Toscanini prize in Italy and the Légion d’Honneur (1992) in France. In 1991, the Association of French Theatres and Music Critics named him Artist of the Year and in 1995 he won the Victoire de la Musique prize three times. He was named a Commandeur dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2011. In 2017, he was appointed as “Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia.
Deeply sensitive to humanitarian and ecological problems of our age, Myung-Whun Chung has devoted an important part of his life to these causes. In 1994, he launched a series of musical and environmental projects in Korea for youth. He served as Ambassador for the Drug Control Program at the United Nations (UNDCP); in 1995, he was named Man of the year by UNESCO and Most Distinguished Personality by the Korean press association. In 1996, he received the Kumkuan, the highest cultural award of the Korean government for his contribution to Korean musical life. Myung-Whun Chung now serves as Honorary Cultural Ambassador for Korea, the first in the Korean government’s history. In 2008, he was designated the first conductor named as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Source: Askonas Holt
“Pablo Ferrández is truly extraordinary... he produces a wonderful sound with a very gentle vibrato, both his left and right hands are unerring, and he is a true musician.”
“Pop-idol magnetism, superb technique and exhilarating musicality reveal a sure star in the making.”
Los Angeles Times
“In Pablo Ferrández, Spain is introducing a new genius of the cello.”
Pablo Ferrández is a laureate of the 15th Tchaikovsky Competition and a SONY Classical exclusive artist. He has been called a “new genius of the cello” (Le Figaro). He is a captivating artist who “has it all: technique, soul, the charisma of a soloist, expression, and charm” (El Pais).
In March 2021 on the SONY Classical label, he issued his debut album Reflections, which has been highly acclaimed by critics and earned him the 2021 Opus Klassik Award in the Young Artist of the Year category. In the autumn of 2022, he will be issuing his second album with Brahms’s Double Concerto recorded in collaboration with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Czech Philharmonic led by Manfred Honeck, and with Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio playing alongside Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis.
His most important recent appearances include concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Israel Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, as well as residencies with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, the Tenerife Symphony, and the Orquesta de Valencia.
In the 2022/23 season, he will be returning to the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he is making his Salzburg Festival debut with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also touring Europe with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Philharmonic and will be in Spain with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra led by Elim Chan. He will appear again with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra led by Daniele Gatti, the Konzerthaus Orchestra led by Andris Poga, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with conductor Kwamé Ryan. Debuts are also coming with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and conductor Riccardo Chailly, the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko, the Tonkunstler Orchestra led by Robert Trevin, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Lina Gonzalez-Granados, and the NDR Elbephilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Erina Yashima.
Ferrández is scheduled to appear in recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Palau de la Música Catalana, and the Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao and at the Schloss-Elmau and Sion festivals. He will also be an artist-in-residence of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
As a soloist and chamber music player, he frequently collaborates with artists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Janine Jansen, Vadim Repin, Martha Argerich, Denis Kozhukhin, Gidon Kremer, Yuja Wang, Nikolai Lugansky, Beatrice Rana, Maxim Rysanov, Alice Sara Ott, Elena Bashkirova, Luis del Valle, and Sara Ferrández.
Pablo Ferrández was born in 1991 in Madrid to a musical family. At age 13 he entered the prestigious Reina Sofía School of Music, where he studied under Natalia Shakhovskaya. He later completed his studies at the Kronberg Academy under Frans Helmerson and won a scholarship from the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. He plays the Lord Aylesford Stradivarius (1696) on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation, and the Archinto Stradivarius (1689) on a lifetime loan through the generosity of the Stretton Society.
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.