Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887
Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet No. 13 G Major, Op. 106, B. 192
This year, the Pavel Haas Quartet will open the Dvořák Collection and the festival’s Chamber Series. One could hardly find a better ensemble to represent and serve as the curator of the longstanding project to record Antonín Dvořák’s complete chamber music. Each recording the Pavel Haas Quartet have made has won a major international award, including the Gramophone Award, the BBC Music Award, as well as many other prizes. The journal Gramophone recently listed the ensemble as one of the world’s top ten string quartets. The Pavel Haas Quartet is peerless in the Czech repertoire, but they take great pride in the awards they have earned for a recording of Franz Schubert’s most frequently performed chamber works. The festival’s Chamber Series will open with Schubert’s final String Quartet No. 15 in G Major. For the second half of the concert, the Chamber Series and the Dvořák Collection will merge thanks to a performance and recording of Dvořák's String Quartet No. 13. It is in the same key as Schubert's quartet, but musically it sets its sights on the enchanting colours of impressionism.
This year, the Dvořák Prague Chamber Series, is inviting six top ensembles from this country and abroad. The project for performances of Antonín Dvořák’s complete string quartets will be spread over subsequent seasons. The climax will come in 2024 with the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the death of the most popular Czech composer.
After victories at the Prague Spring Competition and the Premio Paolo Borciani in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 2005 the Pavel Haas Quartet quickly won itself a place among today’s most prominent chamber ensembles. The quartet members studied with Milan Škampa, the legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet. The Pavel Haas Quartet appears at the most important concert halls around the world. In 2007 the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) named the Pavel Haas Quartet as one of its “Rising Stars”. This gave the group the unique opportunity to appear in a series of concerts at important concert venues. From 2007 to 2009 they took part in the BBC New Generation Artists programme, and in 2010 they won a special scholarship from the Borletti–Buitoni Trust. The Pavel Haas Quartet records exclusively for Supraphon. They have eight albums to their credit, and all of their CDs have won significant international awards – the Diapason d’Or de l’année, the BBC Music Magazine Award for two albums, and the Gramophone Award on six occasions. The quartet is named for the Czech composer Pavel Haas (1899–1944), whose musical legacy includes three magnificent string quartets.
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.