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Programme

Antonín Dvořák: The Noon Witch – symphonic poem, Op. 108, B. 196
Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 1, Sz. 36
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70, B. 141

The final concert of the Dvořák Prague Festival begins with an epic musical narration, and after intermission the programme climaxes with the most dramatic symphonic work by the festival’s patron.


The Noon Witch is the second of four symphonic poems that Dvořák based on motifs from ballades in Erben’s collection, A Bouquet of Folk Legends. The stirring rhythm of the verses is reflected so convincingly and faithfully in the music that listeners can visualise the excerpts from the widely known text. Unlike The Noon Witch, the First Violin Concerto No. 1 by Béla Bartók has no direct source of literary inspiration. The two-movement form proceeds from a slow introduction to the drama of the second part, and it demonstrates music’s ability to tell a whole story without using a single word. The programme then brings the concert and the festival to a close with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, a work of dramatic seriousness in a mood that stands apart from anything the composer wrote before or afterwards. This great music requires no reflection upon its Czech origins; its language is of universal power.


The outstanding conductor Daniel Harding will lead the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Veronika Eberle will play the solo violin part in Bartók’s concerto.

Performers

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra was established in 1965 by the merger of two former radio orchestras, and its first chief conductor was the legendary Sergiu Celibidache. Among his illustrious successors have been Herbert Blomstedt, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yevgeny Svetlanov, and Manfred Honeck. The British conductor Daniel Harding has been at the orchestra’s helm since 2007. Besides regular appearances in its own country, the orchestra also gives frequent concerts on foreign stages. It earned great acclaim, for example, in 2014 for its appearance at the BBC Proms in London and two years later for its European tour playing the music of Mozart in collaboration with the famed pianist Maria João Pires. The orchestra is also known for its wealth of recording activities, which have earned it a number of important international awards. For its recording of the violin concertos of Béla Bartók with the soloist Isabelle Faust, it won a prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award, and for its recording of Beethoven’s piano concertos with Maria João Pires it own a Gramophone Award.

Daniel Harding

Born in Oxford, Daniel Harding began his career assisting Sir Simon Rattle at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, with which he made his professional debut in 1994. He went on to assist Claudio Abbado at the Berliner Philharmoniker and made his debut with the orchestra at the 1996 Berlin Festival.

He is the Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from 2016 – 2019 and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 2007 – 2017. He is honoured with the lifetime title of Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In 2018, Daniel was named Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi Festival. In 2020, he was named Conductor in Residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

He is a regular visitor to the Wiener Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. In 2005 he opened the season at La Scala, Milan, conducting a new production of Idomeneo. He returned in 2007 for Salome, in 2008 for a double bill of Bluebeard’s Castle and Il Prigioniero, in 2011 for Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, for which he was awarded the prestigious Premio della Critica Musicale “Franco Abbiati”, in 2013 for Falstaff, and most recently in 2018 for Fierrabras. He also conducted Ariadne auf Naxos, Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival with the Wiener Philharmoniker; The Turn of the Screw and Wozzeck at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Die Zauberflöte at the Wiener Festwochen and Wozzeck at the Theater an der Wien. Closely associated with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, he has conducted new productions of Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin and Le nozze di Figaro.

His recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Mahler Symphony No. 10 with the Wiener Philharmoniker, and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra both received widespread critical acclaim. For Virgin/EMI he has recorded Mahler Symphony No. 4 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brahms’ Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Billy Budd with the London Symphony Orchestra (winner of a Grammy Award for best opera recording), Don Giovanni and The Turn of the Screw (awarded the “Choc de l'Année 2002”, the “Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros” and a Gramophone award) with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; works by Lutosławski with Solveig Kringelborn and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and works by Britten with Ian Bostridge and the Britten Sinfonia (awarded the "Choc de L'Annee 1998”). A regular collaborator with Harmonia Mundi, his latest recordings: ‘The Wagner Project’ with Matthias Goerne; and Mahler Symphony No. 9, recorded with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, were a huge critical success.

The 2021/22 season will see him in concert with Filarmonica della Scala, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchèstre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Dresden, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and RAI Turin. Touring this season will include a summer festivals tour with Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and a European tour with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In summer 2022 he will return to Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, and Sinfonia Grange au Lac in Evian.

In 2002 Daniel was awarded the title Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government and in 2017 nominated to the position Officier Arts et Lettres. In 2012, he was elected a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music. He is a qualified airline pilot.

Source: Askonas Holt

Veronika Eberle

Veronika Eberle’s exceptional talent and the poise and maturity of her musicianship have been recognised by many of the world’s finest orchestras, venues and festivals, as well as by some of the most eminent conductors. Sir Simon Rattle’s introduction of Veronika aged just 16 to a packed Salzburg Festpielhaus at the 2006 Salzburg Easter Festival in a performance of the Beethoven concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, brought her to international attention.

Key orchestra collaborations since then include the London Symphony (Rattle, Haitink), Concertgebouw (Holliger), New York Philharmonic (Gilbert), Montreal Symphony (Nagano), Munich Philharmonic and Gewandhaus Orchestras (Langree), Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Janowski), Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (P.Järvi), Bamberger Symphoniker (Ticciati, Nott), Tonhalle Orchester Zurich (M.Sanderling), NHK Symphony (Kout, Stenz, Norrington), Bayerischer Rundfunk Munich (Nézet-Séguin) and Rotterdam Philharmonic (Rattle, Gaffigan, Nézet-Seguin).

Recent concerto highlights have included debuts with the Philadelphia, San Francisco Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Yannick Nézet-Séguin), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Harding), Luxembourg Philharmonic (Manze) and Orchestre National de Lille. Veronika also toured Australia making debut performances with the Auckland Philharmonia, Tasmani Symphony and West Australian Symphony Orchestras as well as with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

The 2020/21 season will see the world premiere performances of the new Violin Concerto by Toshio Hosokawa which Veronika will present with the Hamburg Philharmoniker(Nagano), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Liebrich) and Tonkunstler Orchestra at Grafenegg Festival (Hosokawa). In 21/22 further performances will take place with the NHK and Hiroshima Symphony orchestras in Japan and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Other concerto highlights include with the Kristiansand Symfoniorkester(Stutzmann), Orchestra National de pays de la Loire (Fischer), Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn and Koln Kammerorchester (Poppen), Orquestra Sinfònica de Barcelona (Equilbey). Chamber music projects include performances at the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg) with Alban Gerhardt and Markus Becker, at the Ludwigsburg Festival with Anna Prohaska, Alisa Welerstein and Iddo Bar-Shai and at the Moritzburg Festival 2021.

Born in Donauwörth Southern Germany, she started violin lessons at the age of six and four years later became a junior student at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium in Munich with Olga Voitova. After studying privately with Christoph Poppen for a year, she joined the Hochschule in Munich, where she studied with Ana Chumachenco 2001-2012.

Veronika has benefited from the support of a number of prestigious organisations, including the Nippon Foundation, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust (Fellowship in 2008), the Orpheum Stiftung zur Förderung Junger Solisten (Zurich), the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben (Hamburg) and the Jürgen-Ponto Stiftung (Frankfurt). She was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist 2011-2013 and was a Dortmund Konzerthaus ‘Junge Wilde’ artist 2010-2012.

Veronika Eberle plays on a violin made by the Italian violin maker Antonio Giacomo Stradivari in 1693, which was made available to her on generous loan by the Reinhold Würth Musikstiftung gGmbH.

Source: Askonas Holt

 

Place

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.