Alexander Borodin: Polovtsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor (selection)
Piotr Ilyitsch Tschaikowski: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op. 35
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, B. 163, 'English'
The audience can look forward to youth, talent, euphoria, and the joy of music making at the concert of The Prague Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra. This project is a follow-up to the concerts of the Youth Philharmonic in previous years. In this way, the festival is helping promising orchestral players put their knowledge into practice, gaining priceless experience by performing live in concert on a major festival stage. They can also show the public they are not just enthusiasts. They can boast of not only talent, but also the demonstrable willingness and ability to work with discipline and to subordinate their own musical ambitions for the good of the orchestra.
Led by the experienced conductor Petr Altrichter, the orchestra will perform Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Playing the solo part in one of the most popular works of the genre is Daniel Matejča. The 17-year-old violinist convinced the festival public of his excellence at the 2020 concert of laureates of Concertino Praga – the Antonín Dvořák International Radio Competition for Young Musicians. On the second half of the programme is Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major, which features the composer at the height of his creative powers during a joyous period of stability.
The Prague Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra has a long and rich history. It gave its first concerts in March 1815. Until the constitution of the Czech Philharmonic (1896), Prague had no professional symphony orchestra, this meant that the orchestra of students from the Conservatoire was far a long time the only ensemble of professionally trained players outside the opera theatre, and as such it played a crucial and exceptional role in the Prague music environment for several decades. It regularly presented works by the most prominent composers and accompanied a series of famous soloists, such as Ferenc Liszt, Hans von Bülow, Joseph Joachim, Clara Schumann, Jan Kubelik and others. Memorable performances of what were than brand of new works included the Czech premiere of Beethoven’s Symphony no.9 in March 1827, the first domestic performance of Strauss’s symphonic poem Tod und Verklärung in 1898 or Prague premiere of symphonic poems the Water Gnome, the Noon Witch and the Golden Spinning Wheel by Dvorak in 1896. Apart from their own concerts, the Conservatoire pupils also reinforced theatre orchestras for major productions staged by Prague Opera Theatre (for example premiere of Tannhäuser in 1854).
The most brilliant success of the orchestra was the 1st price and the Gold medal at the Festival of student’s orchestras organized by the Karajan Foundation in Berlin in 1972.
The orchestra is currently made up of Prague Conservatoire students of the 4th, 5th and 6th years. It has been led since 1995 by conductor Miriam Němcová. It regularly performs in Prague and it also traveled on a number of tours (to France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and England). Together with its conductor, the orchestra has received various accolades, for example (repeatedly) the title of absolute winner in the Czech Radio’s competition Concerto Bohemia.
In the years 2008-2011 the orchestra was closely involved in the preparations and celebrations for the Conservatoire’s 200th anniversary, performing works by its directors, rectors and other leading figures associated with the history of the school. In May 2011 the orchestra composed of students and graduates performed at the opening concert of the Prague Spring Festival, the most prestigious music event in the Czech Republic.
In 2018 the best orchestra members performed at the joint concert with famous Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam led by conductor Daniele Gatti. In the year 2019 they also appeared during the opening ceremony of the reconstructed historical building of the Czech National Museum in Prague.
Petr Altrichter made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic in 1979, and has subsequently conducted the Orchestra on numerous occasions in Prague, on tour in China, Germany, in Japan and Taiwan.
He was raised in a musical family, and he played musical instruments from a young age. Having graduated from the conservatory in Ostrava as a French horn player and conductor, he continued his studies at the Janáček Academy of the Performing Arts in Brno in the fields of orchestral conducting under the guidance of Otakar Trhlík and František Jílek and choral conducting with the teachers Josef Veselka and Lubomír Mátl. After his studies in Brno, he worked as a choirmaster and conductor with the Brno Academic Choir, and he played a part in the earning of many prizes at foreign choral competitions and festivals (Middlesbrough, Debrecen…).
Altrichter attracted international attention in 1976, when he earned the title of laureate and a special prize from the jury at the renowned conducting competition in Besançon, France. On the basis of that prize, he became Václav Neumann’s assistant conductor with the Czech Philharmonic, and he started his own artistic career. Not long after that, he began to receive invitations to conduct orchestras abroad.
After a period of activity with the Brno Philharmonic, in 1988 he became a conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and in 1990 he became its principal conductor. With that orchestra, he made frequent foreign tours to Japan, the USA, Switzerland, Germany, France, and other countries. At the same time, he was engaged in long-term collaboration with the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice, with which he often gave performances abroad introducing many gifted young soloists (such as Isabelle van Keulen and Radek Baborák) who are now firmly established on concert stages around the world.
From 1993, he was the music director of the Southwest German Philharmonic Orchestra of Constance, with which he gave concerts regularly at the Tonhalle in Zurich and at the KKL in Lucerne, and he also toured Switzerland and Italy.
Petr Altrichter made his debut in the United Kingdom with the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival in 1993, and his London debut with the English Chamber Orchestra followed soon thereafter. In 1997 he was appointed as the principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic after having guest conducted the orchestra with great success during the previous season. He also made an appearance with that orchestra in 2000 at the BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and he made a number of highly acclaimed recordings for the orchestra’s own label – RLPO Live.
In 2001 Altrichter was invited to take the helm of the Brno Philharmonic, and he remained there for seven years, returning to the orchestra with which he had been associated since his student days, and he still continues to guest conduct there regularly.
In 2015 he toured Germany with the Czech Philharmonic, and in late 2015 and early 2016, he toured China with the same orchestra. In the spring of 2017 he toured Japan with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and his 2018 calendar included a tour of the United Kingdom with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
He has guest conducted major orchestras abroad, including Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Warsaw Philharmonic, Krakow Philharmonic, Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra in Riga, Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen, and Odense Symphony Orchestra. In the United Kingdom he has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has made guest appearances at major festivals in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Avignon, Athens, Cheltenham, Paris, Madrid, Chicago, Zurich, Lucerne, Vienne, Seville, Palermo, and elsewhere.
The bulk of Petr Altrichter’s repertoire consists of Czech music – Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, and Bohuslav Martinů, Russian music – especially Dmitri Shostakovich, and the works of Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner. Important soloists and performers from around the world (Garrick Ohlsson, John Lill, Tabea Zimmermann…) value his flexibility in leading orchestral accompaniments, and they seek out collaboration with him.
Source: Petr Altrichter
Daniel Matejča, born in Liberec on 30th April 2005, started playing violin at the age of four under the guidance of his mother Olesie Volickova. After one year he joined the class of Prof. Ivan Straus, with whom he is still studying today.
His significant achievements include first prizes in the Josef Muzika International Violin Competition from 2013 to 2017 (in 2014 the special prize - the master instrument of Tomas Pilar) and the absolute winner of the School of Art Competition in 2017. As the winner of the Kocian Violin Competition from 2016 to 2018 he appeared as the guest of the well-known violin virtuoso Pavel Sporcl. In 2019 he became a laureate of the Kocian Violin Competition. He is also a holder of the prize “Zlaty orříšek” from 2017. He has participated in master classes organised by the Czech Philharmonic under the guidance of Jiří Vodička and Christian Tetzlaff.
In 2019 won first place in the Jugend Musiziert Competition in Halle. He also played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto backed by the Liberec Symphonic Orchestra with the conductor Josef Kurfirt at the F. X. Salda Theatre in Liberec.
In 2020 he won first prize in the International Georg Philipp Telemann Violin Competition in Poznan. In the same year he took second place in the international competition Concertino Praga when he performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He recorded the same concerto with the Pardubice Philharmonic in May 2021. In 2021 he was accepted for study at The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He has also studied at the Imola Music Academy with Maurizio Scirarretta, where he took lessons with Boris Belkin as well. In 2021 he also won a the television competition Virtuosos V4+. He performs in concerts all over Europe – for example in France, Italy, Austria, and Germany.
Daniel presents himself in various violin classes including music classes in Litomysl, the Liberec International Violin Academy, the Imola Summer Festival in Italy, and the International Music Academy Orpheus in Vienna. At these international classes he collaborates with foreign professors such as Stephen Schipps, Simon James, and Michael Frischenschlager.
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.