Robert Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 73
Toshiro Mayuzumi: Bunraku
Johannes Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 38

No less than three people are required for every puppet at a Japanese bunraku puppet theatre: a puppeteer, a speaker, and a singer. Music inspired by that colourful and entertaining spectacle cries out to be part of the first afternoon concert at the Bořislavka Centre. Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke (Fantasy Pieces) is ideally suited for this informal event, where there is also room for a bit of seriousness in a Sonata by Johannes Brahms. Japanese cellist Sakura Toba is a protégée and pupil of one of today’s leading cello teachers, Jens Peter Maintz, and with her piano accompanist, also from Japan, she will prove that today one cannot differentiate and categorise interpretation on the basis of ingrained stereotypes about the cultures of the East and West.


Sakura Toba

Sakura Toba was born into a family of professional musicians in Vienna, Austria, in 2005.

In 2018, she won a gold medal at the 18th Izuminomori Junior Cello Competition in Japan, and a bronze medal at the 19th International “Nutcracker” Televised Contest for Young Musicians, held in Moscow, Russia.

Sakura gave her first solo recital in March 2019. In October of that year, she performed at Suntory Hall with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Ryusuke Numajiri, as soloist in Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rococo Theme” . Since then she has performed with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Gunma Symphony Orchestra, Yokohama Sinfonietta, Mt. Fuji Philharmonic Orchestra, working with conductors Koichiro Harada, Naoto Otomo, Takeshi Ooi, Kazuki Yamada, and Gen Ohta. She has also appeared at Tokyo Spring Festival and many other recital, and in 2020 was heard on NHK-FM’s Classical Program "Recital Passio.”

In November 2019 she was awarded “The 2nd Shinji Hattori Music Award,” which is given to internationally promising young musicians.

Sakura plays on a cello made by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume á Paris Rue Croix des Petits Champs 1840, which is on loan from the Anne-Sophie Mutter foundation. In June and September 2023 she joined  Mutter’s Virtuosi for European Tours.

Sakura began studying the cello at age six with Hakuro Mori. She has also attended master classes by Antonio Meneses and David Geringas at the Chigiana Summer Music Academy. She is a recipient of the 50th Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation scholarship (since 2021) and the 2021&2022 ROHM Music Foundation scholarship.

source: Sakura Toba

Naoko Sonoda

Japanese-born pianist Naoko Sonoda is a prize-winner of several international piano and chamber music competitions, including those in Argento and Trieste (Italy), as well as the Łódź Competition (Poland). Solo and chamber music concert invitations have taken her throughout Europe, Asia, US and South America and to festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Verbier Festival. Chamber music partners include Santiago Cañón Valencia, Hartmut Rohde, Danjulo Ishizaka, Jens-Peter Maintz, and Andrei Ionita. She has performed with such renowned orchestras as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and has been heard in world-class venues, most notably the Berliner Philharmonie in Germany, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall in St.Petersburg, Wigmore hall in London, Teatro Mayor in Bogota and Carnegie Hall in NY.

Ms. Sonoda is in high demand as a collaborative pianist; she received prizes as best collaborative pianist at the International Music Competition in Markneukirchen (2013, 2019), the Lutosławski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (2015, 2018), the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015, 2019) and Enescu International Music Competition as „best interpretation of Enescu‘s sonata“. Her performances are regularly broadcast on international radio and TV, including Kulturradio RBB, ZDF, SWR, and BR in Germany, NPO Radio 4 in Netherlands, Radio Romania, NHK-FM in Japan and the BBC. 

Ms. Sonoda studied with Yoko Okumura, Seiko Ezawa and Mikhail Voskresensky at the Toho Gakuen School of Music, before studying at the Universität der Künste in Berlin with Rainer Becker. She also studied chamber music with Tabea Zimmermann, Markus Nyikos and Natalia Gutman. 

She has taken masterclasses with Hans Leygraf, Ferenc Rados, Klaus Hellwig, Pascal Devoyon and Jacques Rouvier. After graduating, Naoko was engaged by the Universität der Künste in Berlin, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns-Eisler Berlin and the Franz Liszt Musikhochschule in Weimar as a collaborative pianist.

source: Naoko Sonoda


Bořislavka Centre, Artium

Artium by KKCG is a publicly accessible space for art of all genres, breathing artistic life into Bořislavka and enriching the cultural offerings in Prague 6 and the capital more generally. Artium regularly holds exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events, and the unconventional space allows visitors to explore art across different genres, often intertwined to create a unique experience. During this year’s Dvořák Prague International Music Festival’s concerts at Artium, spectators can also enjoy an extensive exhibition of photographic installations by Jarmila Štuková titled "Us and the Others."

The concerts presented here as part of the Dvořák Prague Festival are organized for a good cause, with all proceeds supporting talented, young musicians.