Antonín Dvořák: Complete Works for Solo Piano II. – On the Path to Fame
Furiants, Op. 42, B. 85
Eclogues, Op. 56, B. 103
Album Leaves, B. 109
Waltzes, Op. 54, B. 101
's not every day one can attend a concert featuring several dozen compositions. Of course, festivals are ideal moments for special experiences. Under the guidance of Ivo Kahánek and the musicologist David Beveridge, audience members and young pianists will experience a marathon concert at which nearly all of Antonín Dvořák's music for solo piano and for piano four-hands will be heard. His piano works will be played in six topically arranged blocks that will encompass everything not already heard at the solo recitals of Iva Kahánek and the Ardašev Piano Duo.
Piano compositions are not in general among Dvořák's best known music - an exception perhaps being the extremely popular Humoresque No. 7 in G Flat Major. Still, he devoted himself to the piano continually, and he also frequently composed at the keyboard. This piano marathon is a special opportunity to get to know Dvořák's pianistic thinking at maximum intensity, magnified by insightful performing.
The patron of the event is the excellent pianist and popular Dvořák Prague Festival guest Ivo Kahánek. He already won over the festival public years ago as the curator of its Chamber Series and again last year performing Dvořák's Piano Concerto, for the recording of which he won a BBC Music Magazine Award. The marathon will also be an opportunity for the festival debuts of the pianists Marek Kozák, Natálie Schwamová, Matouš Zukal, Pavel Zemen, and Kristýna Znamenáčková.
Matouš Zukal began playing piano at age 7. He studied at the City of Prague Music Grammar School and at the Prague Conservatoire in the studio of Ivo Kahánek. He is currently furthering his studies under the same professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Already as a student, he has earned a number of important prizes at piano competitions, including Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte, the Broumov Keyboard Competition, and the Competition for Conservatoire and Musical Secondary School Students. In 2011, 2013, and 2015 he became a laureate of the Young Piano Competition at the Prague Conservatoire, and in 2019 he won first prize at the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Competition. Since last year, he has been a fellow of the Academy of Chamber Music, and he regularly appears at concerts presented by that organisation. He is an active participant at masterclasses, and he consults with important professors abroad. In 2016, 2018, and 2019 he took part at masterclasses in Bergen, Norway, under the guidance of Prof. Jiří Hlinka, Leif Ove Andsnes, and other eminent pianists.
Suk Hall is the newest hall in the Neo-Renaissance Rudolfinum. It was created from 1940 to 1942 during modifications of the adjacent Dvořák Hall, as a smaller concert hall. In designing the interior decor architects Antonín Engel and Bohumír Kozák took inspiration from the original style of the Rudolfinum’s architects Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz, thus Suk Hall fits perfectly into the original composition of the building. During the most recent modifications in 2015, according to a design by architect Petr Hrůša, the acoustics of the hall and its connection to the Rudolfinum’s atrium were improved while respecting the historical value of these premises, protected as a historical landmark. Suk Hall has a new grand piano and continues to be intended mainly for performances of chamber music.