Dmitry Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57

Antonín Dvořák: Piano Trio No. 4, Op. 90, B. 166, ʻDumkyʻ

The concluding concert of the Chamber Series presents encounters between its protagonists –series curator and pianist Boris Giltburg with the Pavel Haas Quartet – as well as between two great composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. They will be heard in reverse chronological order, however, so the last word will belong to the Czech composer to whom the whole festival and the Dvořák Collection series are dedicated. This is also a meeting of two masters of contrast: one who tends to be kind and gentle, the other, often sharply ironic.  

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Piano Quintet in G Minor in 1940. Before that, he had been hard at work on his Symphony No. 6 and an arrangement of Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov, so it might seem that writing this quintet was something of a breather for him. This transparent, classical-sounding music is still teeming with emotion and playfulness with a constant emanation of melancholy. Dvořák’s last piano trio, nicknamed “Dumky”, is oriented towards the east but in a diametrically opposite mood. It took inspiration from a Ukrainian song form with an alternation of wild and pensive passages.


Pavel Haas Quartet

The Pavel Haas Quartet is firmly established as one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. The Quartet is revered across the globe for its richness of timbre, infectious passion, and intuitive rapport. They perform in the world’s most prestigious concert halls and have won five Gramophone Awards and numerous others awards for their recordings. In 2022, the prestigious BBC Music Magazine ranked them among the 10 greatest string quartet ensembles of all time.

The Quartet regularly appears at major venues including Wigmore Hall, London; Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, Berlin; Musikverein, Vienna; Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg; Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; Tonhalle, Zürich; Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome; BOZAR, Brussels; NCPA, Beijing; LG Arts Centre, Seoul and Carnegie Hall, New York.

In the 2023/2024 season, the Quartet will return to the Wigmore Hall for four concerts and will also appear at Rudolfinum Prague; Reduta Bratislava; Teatro La Fenice; Liverpool Philharmonic Hall; Göteborgs Konserthus; National Concert Hall, Dublin; Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; and Philharmonie Luxembourg. Further afield, the Quartet is touring the United States in March 2024 and Asia in May 2024. The ensemble will also perform at leading Czech festivals, including Dvořák's Prague and Prague Spring. Since September 2022, the Pavel Haas Quartet has been Artist-in-Residence at the Dvořák Prague Festival and has curated several chamber music concerts, including programming all the Dvořák String Quartets and chamber music works over these three seasons.

The Pavel Haas Quartet records exclusively under the Supraphon label. Their most recent recording of the Brahms Viola and Piano Quintets with Boris Giltburg and their former member, Pavel Nikl, was released to critical acclaim in May 2022. The recording was described as “radiant and vivacious” by The Strad and was Presto Classical’s Recording of the Week. For their previous album showcasing Shostakovich String Quartets (2019), they received the Recording of the Year by Classic Prague Awards and it was named one of the 100 best records of the year by The Times.

The Quartet has received five Gramophone Awards for their recordings of Dvořák, Smetana, Schubert, Janáček and Haas, as well as Dvořák’s String Quartets No.12 ‘American’ and No.13, for which they were awarded the most coveted prize, Gramophone Recording of the Year in 2011. The Sunday Times commented, “…their account of the ‘American’ Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc.” Further accolades include BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année in 2010 for their recording of Prokofiev String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2.

Since winning the Paolo Borciani competition in Italy in 2005, further highlights early on in their career included a nomination as ECHO Rising Stars in 2007, participation in the BBC New Generation Artists scheme between 2007-2009, and the Special Ensemble Scholarship the Borletti-Buitoni Trust awarded them in 2010.

The Pavel Haas Quartet was founded in 2002 by violinist Veronika Jarůšková and violist Pavel Nikl, who was a member of the ensemble until 2016, when he left due to family reasons. Yet their collaboration has continued – Pavel Nikl has been a permanent guest of the ensemble for string quintet performances. The members of the quartet studied with the late Milan Skampa, legendary violist of the Smetana Quartet. The ensemble takes their name from the Czech-Jewish composer Pavel Haas (1899-1944), who was imprisoned at Theresienstadt in 1941 and tragically died at Auschwitz three years later. His legacy includes three wonderful string quartets.

source: artevisio

Boris Giltburg

The Moscow-born, Israeli pianist is lauded across the globe as a deeply sensitive, insightful and compelling interpreter. Critics have praised his “singing line, variety of touch and broad dynamic palette capable of great surges of energy” (Washington Post) as well as his impassioned, narrative-driven approach to performance.

In recent years Giltburg has engaged in a series of in-depth explorations of major composers. To celebrate the Beethoven anniversary in 2020 he embarked upon a unique project to record and film all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas across the year. He also recorded the complete concerti with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on Naxos.

In 2021-2023 Giltburg explores the complete works of Ravel, performing the solo works across Bozar, Flagey and the Amsterdam Musiekgebouw, and the whole cycle at Wigmore (including the Violin Sonatas with Alina Ibragimova). He also plays Ravel’s concerti with the Orchestre National de France/Macelaru at Bozar, Brussels Philharmonic/Prieto at Flagey, and Residentie Orkest/Bihlmaier at the Concertgebouw.

Widely recognized as a leading interpreter of Rachmaninoff, Giltburg completes his recording of Rachmaninoff’s solo works in 2023 and releases the last disc in his acclaimed concerto cycle. Giltburg also plays Rachmaninoff concerti with Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony at the Barbican, Tomáš Netopil and the Czech Philharmonic, Nicholas Collon and the Finnish Radio Symphony, and Brussels Philharmonic and Giancarlo Guerrero at Flagey.

Giltburg regularly plays recitals in the world’s most prestigious halls, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Wiener Konzerthaus and London Southbank Centre. He has worked with Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, NHK Symphony and at the BBC Proms. In 21/22 he debuted at the Santa Cecilia di Roma with Kirill Petrenko.

Giltburg’s collaboration with Naxos began in 2015, winning the Opus Klassik award for Best Soloist Recording (Rachmaninoff concerti and Etudes Tableaux) and a Diapason d’Or (Shostakovich concerti and his own arrangement of Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet). He also won a Gramophone Award for the Dvorak Piano Quintet on Supraphon with the Pavel Haas Quartet, as well as a Diapason d’Or for their latest joint release, the Brahms Piano Quintet.

Giltburg feels a strong need to engage audiences beyond the concert hall. His blog “Classical music for all” is aimed at a non-specialist audience, and he complements it with articles in publications such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Guardian, Times and Fono Forum. During the lockdown period in spring 2020, Giltburg regularly streamed live performances and masterclasses from home, with over 1 million views.

Source: Intermusica


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.