^ Posted 8 September 2017
Reviews: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša (conductor), Svatopluk Sem (baritone), BBC Singers
"This was playing of an exactness so fine that at times it felt beyond human. Hrůša assumed rarely heard, rarely popular Czech works with a conducting that transplanted them onto another level of interpretation; an unearthly one. The repetition of a single, brisk motif underwent transformation with every new utterance. This was interpretative stylistic choices at an advanced level; a feat to which only maestri with inarguable taste and intuition can climb. In a time when most great 20th-century maestros have already passed, Hrůša lends a definition to sublime performance for this current era."
Bachtrack (Sophia Lambton)
> Prom 56: Jakub Hrůša raises Czech music to celestial Bohemian heights
"In Martinů's Field Mass, the choir acts as foil to the soloist, voices in hushed unison, mass (in every sense supporting the individual. Though their music is relatively straightforward Miserere, Kyrie and psalm, this simplicity enhances the idea of mutual support, reflecting the relationship between piano with harmonium, voices and soloists surrounded by atmospheric percussion and brass. The version we heard at this Prom is the new edition by Paul Wingfield."
Opera Today (Anne Ozorio)
> Jakub Hrůša : Bohemian Reformation Prom
"[Field Mass] was given a first-rate performance, its astringent harmonies, unusual orchestral textures, and almost-Orthodox choral homophony providing a balance to some of the lusher elements of pieces programmed either side of it."
Music OHM (Barry Creasy
> Prom 56: The Bohemian Reformation @ Royal Albert Hall, London
Jakub Hrůša. Photo: Andreas Herzau
"The highlights were Suk’s lush, atmospheric orchestral portrait Prague, which mixed the mad fervour of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred with the suave sensuality of Richard Strauss, and Martinu’s weird but gripping Field Mass. Written in 1939 to boost morale in the Czech army, it juxtaposed martial trumpets and drums, a wheezy harmonium, an anguished baritone declamation (Svatopluk Sem, masterful) and exquisite close harmony for the male chorus."
The Times (Richard Morrison)
> Proms review
"The highlight came before the interval with a revival of the Field Mass that Martinů wrote for Czech forces in France after the Nazi invasion. Less liturgical service than sacred cantata, its fusion of patriotism and prayer leaves an impression as singular as its scoring, and baritone Svatopluk Sem impressed in the monologues at the heart of this uniquely affecting concept.“
Independent (Richard Whitehouse)
> Prom 56: BBC Symphony Orchestra / Hrůša, Royal Albert Hall, London, review: Suffused with heady Czech sentiment.
^ Posted 9 August 2017
DVOŘÁK AMERICAN HERITAGE ASSOCIATION
DAHA SEPTEMBER 2017 CONCERTS
EXPLORING DVOŘÁK’S AMERICAN EXPERIENCE AND MORE
Thursday, September 7th at 7pm.
On the eve of Antonín Dvořák’ birthday, DAHA celebrates the 125th Anniversary of his arrival in America. The festive music offerings include: Dvořák’s Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Opus 100, written in New York and premiered by the composer’s children, plus selected Humoresques for piano combined with readings from Josef Kovařík’s Three Years with the Maestro: An American Remembers Antonín Dvořák.
Hear rousing Slavonic Dances for piano four-hands and enjoy “A Visit with Antonín Dvořák III at Vysoká,” an illustrated talk by curator Majda Kallab Whitaker. Featuring violinist Laura Jean Goldberg, pianist Moshe Knoll, musicologist and pianist Michael Beckerman, actor Vit Hořejš, and young composer Michael Pineda, who will perform his prize-winning piano work “Discovering a New World,” from the New York Philharmonic New World Initiative Composition Competition. Birthday reception and Dvořák Room viewing to follow.
Free Admission. Reservations required: visit www.dvoraknyc.org or
www.czechcenter.com. Presented by the Dvořák American Heritage Association in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic New World Initiative, Czech Center New York, and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic.
DVOŘÁK: THE CHAMBER MUSIC SURVEY
WITH NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC MUSICIANS AND FRIENDS
Sunday, September 24th at 3pm.
DAHA's unprecedented multi-year Dvořák Chamber Music Survey presents the composer’s chamber music masterpieces as well his lesser known gems. This year’s concert—featuring outstanding New York Philharmonic musicians and friends—pairs Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A, Opus 81 with his first String Quartet, written in 1862. The rarely-heard early work illustrates the mindset of the young composer, the starting point from which Dvořák developed his distinctive and well-known compositional style. In the universally cherished Piano Quintet of 1887, the audience will enjoy the soulful melodies and lively Slavonic dance rhythms that have made Dvořák world famous. Followed by a reception to meet the musicians and Dvořák Room viewing. Join us for this exceptional series!
Events take place at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York City. General Admission for September 24th event to be paid at door: $20; Seniors, Students, Czech Center Club Members $10.
Concerts organized by Laura Jean Goldberg of DAHA. Supported by the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association. Images of Antonín Dvořák and New York Philharmonic Honorary Membership Certificate, DAHA Archive.
^ Posted 25 July 2017
To celebrate the recent CD release by Prima Facie,
Rainsongs, the Dvořák Society is pleased to invite you to a concert and reception
on Sunday 10th September from 3.00 to 5.30
at Velehrad London, 39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP.
Three of the artists on the recording
John Turner (recorder), Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano), Joan Taylor (piano)
will perform items from the CD: Sonata for Recorder and Piano, Passages of Flight, Sonata for Piano (2005), Rainsongs, plus other works including a Janovický world première.
Karel Janovický will talk about the music and its origins with John Turner. The CD will be available to purchase at the discounted price of £10.
All are welcome: admission is free for members of the Dvořák Society, and £10 per head (payable at the door) for others.
For catering purposes please inform Terry Heard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 8852 9263, by 4th September if you are planning to come.
Velehrad London is located at 39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP.
The nearest underground station is Hammersmith (District, Circle, Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City lines). From there continue by bus 419 from the bus terminal (stop L) at Hammersmith station ground floor. Bus 419 goes along Lonsdale Road, which is a ‘hail and ride’ section, so you can ask the driver to stop right outside the house, which is at the second zebra crossing, opposite the entrance to St. Paul´s School. The journey takes about 10 minutes, but allow more for delays on Hammersmith Bridge.
Buses 33, 72, 209, 283, 485 from Hammersmith bus terminal also cross Hammersmith Bridge to Castelnau and stop near the end of Lonsdale Road (about 5 minutes walk from the house).
A pleasant brisk walk from Hammersmith station via Hammersmith Bridge takes about 20 minutes.
Another way is to take a train from Waterloo to Barnes and then bus 33 or 72 to Castelnau (10 min) which stop near the end of Lonsdale Road (about 5 minutes walk from the house).
For those coming by car there are plenty of car parking spaces in front of the Velehrad building and there is also free parking in Lonsdale Road.
^ Posted 25 May 2017
Special Ticket Offer
The Pavel Haas Quartet will be performing a programme of Beethoven & Dvořák in London on Friday 2 June as part of the Southbank Centre’s prestigious International Chamber Music Series at St John’s Smith Square.
The quartet’s programme will be Beethoven’s String Quartet No.12 in E flat and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2, with the outstanding Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin. This will be a really special concert and a wonderful chance to hear these world-class musicians perform in the stunning and intimate setting of St John’s Smith Square.
There is a special ticket offer available for this concert.
Use promo code DVORAK for 20% off full ticket prices when booking online or over the phone
Ticket link is:
Please note the code can be used to book through the Southbank Centre only (not St John’s Smith Square).
^ Posted 19 May 2017
Leoš Janáček's Kát’a Kabanová returns to Opera Holland Park, London 2017
This season OHP are producing and performing a revival of their production of Leoš Janáček’s Kát’a Kabanová.
OHP say, ‘One can’t help but sympathise deeply with Kat’a as she journeys through internal conflicts of love, adultery, innocence, guilt… feelings heightened by the claustrophobia of a repressed society. Gradually descending into madness, Kat’a’s story ends as she commits suicide in a moment of heart-breaking pathos – the composer’s Madama Butterfly’.
Janáček’s distinctive score brings the drama to life, replete with traditional Czech folk styles and lyricism. A revival from 2009, Fuchs’s production was hailed at the time as ‘not simply the highlight of Holland Park’s season, [but] the highlight of the summer’ (Anna Picard, Independent).
Kát’a Kabanová runs from 15–28 July 2017, at Opera Holland Park in Holland Park, London.
For more information visit the OHP website:
^ Posted 15 May 2017
Jagthuis Festival, 19-21 May 2017
We have received notification of the Jagthuis Festival, a Dvorak Festival in the Netherlands from 19-21 May 2017, or rather a festival about Dvorak and his students (and their students). There are several interesting premières, including Rubin Goldmark (student of Dvorak in New York) – piano trio; works by Emil Hlobil and Viktor Kalabis for Cembalo (‘klavecimbel’) and chambermusicplayers; the string quartet by Emil Burian.
The festival takes place in The Jagthuis, Middenweg 88, Nederhorst den Berg (which is 30 minutes drive from Schiphol Airport)
Friday 19th May, 20:15h
Vitezslav Novák - Pianotrio Quasi una ballata in d, op.27 (1902)
Bedrich Smetana - Pianotrio in g (1855)
Antonín Dvorák - Pianokwintet in A, op.81 (1887)
Saturday 20th May, 16h
film : Neznámy Antonín Dvorák /The unknown Antonín Dvorák (in het Engels)
Saturday 20th May, 17:15h
Emil Hlobil - Quartet, op.23 voor viool, altviool, cello en klavecimbel (1943)
Viktor Kalabis - Four Images voor fluit en klavecimbel (1991)
Jirí Teml - Two pieces voor altviool en klavecimbel (1990)
Bohuslav Martinu - Sonata, H368 voor klavecimbel (1958)
Saturday 20th May, 18:15h
Bohuslav Martinu - Promenades, H274 voor fluit, viool en klavecimbel (1939)
Martin Smolka - Haiku voor klavecimbel (2007)
Jirí Teml - Shakespeare Motifs voor klavecimbel, fluit, viool en cello (1990)
Saturday 20th May, 20:15h
Pavel Borkovec - Strijkkwartet nr 4 (1948)
Emil Burian - Strijkkwartet nr 4, op.95 (1947)
Josef Suk - Meditation, op.35a (1914)
Antonín Dvorák - Strijkkwartet in F, op.96 "Amerikaans" (1893)
Sunday 21st May, 15h
Rubin Goldmark - Pianotrio in d, op.1 (1896)
Sunday 21st May, 15:45h
Aaron Copland (program in progress)
Ukulele Serenade voor viool en piano (1926)
Billy the Kid: Waltz and Celebration voor cello en piano (1938)
Vitebsk voor pianotrio (1928)
Sunday 21st May, 16:45h
Antonín Dvorák - Pianotrio nr 3 in f, op.65 (1883)
^ Posted 15 April 2017
Premiere of piano work by Pavel Zemek Novák
The premiere of a new piece by Dvořák Society member and lecturer in composition at the Conservatory in Brno, Pavel Zemek Novák, will take place at Hoxton Hall, London N1 6SH on 26 April. The concert will be given by pianist and Dvořák Society member, William Howard.
^ Posted 31 March 2017
New: Sir Charles Mackerras fund to promote UK performances of major works by Czech and Slovak composers
The Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music has established a new fund which we hope will encourage music colleges, universities and conservatoires to perform operas and major works by Czech or Slovak composers. We are particularly keen to support the staging in the UK of some of the lesser known operas.
The creation of this fund has been made possible thanks to a generous bequest made to the Dvořák Society by the conductor, the late Sir Charles Mackerras, who was President of the Dvořák Society and a great advocate of Czech opera, particularly works by Leoš Janáček.
Grants will be awarded annually up to the value of £1000 and the Society can also offer further help by means of advice on repertoire, help with the Czech language or access to performing materials.
The Dvořák Society is keen to strengthen its links with the UK’s many music colleges and conservatoires and we would welcome informal enquiries about the application process for grants under this new fund to be made in the first instance to the Secretary, email@example.com
^ Posted 31 March 2017
Rare performance of Novák’s dramatic tone poem, Pan
A piano recital by the acclaimed French pianist, Patrick Hemmerlé, follows the Dvorak Society AGM at 4.00pm on Saturday 8 April. The recital is at Velehrad, 39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9JP and includes the dramatic tone poem Pan Op. 43 by Vítězslav Novák. Admission to the concert is £10 for non-members, to include refreshments from 3.30pm. Tickets on the door only.
^ Posted 20 March 2017
Brikcius UK concert dates
The Czech cellist, František Brikcius, will be touring the United Kingdom from 23rd March to 20th April 2017 to play a series of concerts. Many of the concerts will be given by Duo Brikcius, a Czech chamber music ensemble formed by František and his sister, Anna, also a cellist. For a full list of the concerts dates and programmes, please click here.
^ Posted 22 February 2017
The Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) was established in 1891 and was founded as an umbrella organization representing approximately eighty Czech and Slovak cultural, educational and athletic community groups and clubs.
The original mission of the BBLA was and continues to be to preserve the Czech and Slovak culture in New York City.
The Dvořák American Heritage Association is one of several current BBLA member organisations.
Details of this association and the events it promotes can be found on its website http://www.bohemianbenevolent.org
^ Posted 20 December 2016
Listen again via the BBC iPlayer to a feature on the Radio 4 Today programme about the miraculous and extraordinary life of Czech harpsichordist and Dvořák Society Vice President, Zuzana Růžičková (first broadcast on 19th December 2016 at 8.20am), or visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38340648 to read a short article by BBC Arts Correspondent, Rebecca Jones. Zuzana celebrates her 90th birthday on 17 January 2017.
^ Posted 20 October 2016
The Dvorak Society is back on Twitter after a short break! David Bridges has taken over from Ray Latham and will be tweeting about all things related to Czech and Slovak music!
Twitter is a great way for us to let you know what events and concerts are coming up, and other news, and it is free!
Please follow us on Twitter @DvorakSociety
^ Posted 14 October 2016
The Dvořák Mass in D - towards a new edition
A special Dvořák Society event has been organised at rather short notice, which you are invited to attend. No reply is necessary - just turn up.
Our member Haig Utidjian is visiting England briefly to lecture at Oxford, and has kindly offered to give an illustrated talk for us on The Dvořák Mass in D - towards a new edition.
Haig will describe the work he has done recently in researching, editing and performing a little known intermediate version made by Dvořák of his "Lužanská" Mass, which adds lower strings to the original organ accompaniment.
Haig Utidjian is a British conductor and musicologist of Armenian descent, who works mainly in the Czech Republic and elsewhere on the continent. His extensive activities are outlined in http://www-control.eng.cam.ac.uk/hu/hu.html, and several of his performances can be found on YouTube.
The talk will be at 2.30 pm on Monday 31 October. There will be time for questions and discussion, plus a cup of tea, ending by 4.30.
By kind invitation of Velehrad this will be at their splendid new premises at
39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP.
The nearest underground station is Hammersmith which is served by four underground lines: District, Circle, Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City. Continue by bus 419 from the bus terminal (stop L) outside Hammersmith station on the ground floor. Bus 419 goes to Lonsdale Road and stops outside the house. The journey takes about 10 minutes. You can ask the driver to stop right outside the house, which is opposite the entrance to St. Paul´s School (at the second zebra crossing). There are many other frequent buses from Hammersmith bus terminal that cross the river (to Castelnau) and stop at the entrance to Lonsdale Road (about 3 minutes walk from the house). An alternative is to take a train from Waterloo to Barnes and then a 33 or 72 bus going to Castelnau which stops at the entrance to Lonsdale Road.
A brisk walk from Hammersmith station across the river takes about 15 minutes.
For those coming by car there are parking spaces in front of the Velehrad building and there is also free parking in Lonsdale Road before 10 am and after 12 noon.
^ Posted 9 May 2016
LONDON GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC & DRAMA PERFORM TWO MARTINŮ OPERAS
Two one-act operas by Bohuslav Martinů — “Ariadne (Ariane)”, H.370 (1958) and “Alexandre Bis (Dvakrát Alexandr)”, H.255 (1937) — are being performed by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Silk Street Theatre, Silk Street, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DT. The performance dates are 31 May and 2, 4 & 6 June 2016. All performances start at 7.00pm and are conducted by Timothy Redmond > more +
• Guildhall School > website
^ Posted 8 May 2016
CZECH COMPOSER/PIANIST DUSSEK IS BBC RADIO 3 “COMPOSER OF THE WEEK”
Jan Ladislav Dussek (Václav Jan Dusík) is a name that will probably be unfamiliar to many general music lovers today, but he was an important figure in his lifetime (1760–1812) both as one of the first travelling piano virtuosos and as a composer. He is BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week from 9–13 May 2016. Each daily episode will be broadcast at 12.00 (noon) and repeated at 6.30pm. After each broadcast, episodes will be available for online listening for a limited period on BBC iPlayer > more +
• Wikipedia page about Dussek > link
• Toccata Classics currently a have special offer on a recording of Dussek’s solo piano music > Toccata page
^ Posted 7 May 2016
FRIENDS OF CZECH HERITAGE CONCERT, LONDON
The Friends of Czech Heritage — a charity campaigning to raise funds for the repair and conservation of historic buildings in the Czech Republic, their contents, artefacts, gardens and parks — has organised a concert of chamber music by Beethoven, Dvořák, Suk and Martinů
with the cooperation of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic. The event will take place on Thursday 19th May 2016 at 6.30pm in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, 25 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY > more +
^ Posted 6 May 2016
PIANIST WILLIAM HOWARD LAUNCHES HIS NEW ALBUM WITH LONDON RECITAL
William Howard has recorded a new album, Sixteen Love Songs, for Orchid Classics to be released in June. To launch the release he will perform pieces from the album, which features some of the most hauntingly beautiful and romantic music in the piano repertoire, at The Forge, 3–7 Delancey Street, Camden, London NW1 7NL on Monday 6 June 2016 starting at 7.00pm. The programme will include love songs for solo piano by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, (all arranged by Liszt), Liszt, Smetana, Dvořák, Fibich, Novák, Suk, Janáček, Fauré, Granados, and Kreisler (arranged Rachmaninov). William will also launch a new commissions project — Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs — with the world premiere of a brand new love song from Cheryl Frances-Hoad and a recently written love song by David Matthews. The recital will last 75 minutes, without an interval, and include introductions to the stories behind the pieces. Audience members are invited for a glass of wine after the concert > more +
• Orchid Classics > website
^ Posted 30 April 2016
JUNE 2016 RELEASE DATE FOR FIRST RECORDING OF MARTINŮ BALLET SÍN (THE SHADOW)
Toccata Classics have recorded the 1916 Martinů one act ballet Sín (The Shadow) H.102. Ian Hobson conducts the Polish orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia: the other performers are Dorota Szczepańska (offstage soprano), Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (violin) and Agnieszka Kopacka (piano) > more +
• for more information about this composition, please visit the Martinů Institute’s database > here +
^ Posted 3 April 2016
GLYNDEBOURNE 2016 — SPECIAL PICNIC OFFER FOR SOME PERFORMANCES OF JANÁČEK “THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
Jakub Hrůša is conducting thirteen performances of Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen (Příhody lišky Bystroušky) at the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival, in June and July. At eight of these — Sunday 12 June, Saturday 18 June, Saturday 2 July, Saturday 9 July, Wednesday 13 July, Friday 22 July, Thursday 28 July and Sunday 31 July 2016 — Glyndebourne is offering a free Leith’s Sharing Picnic Platter (for groups of two, four, six, eight or ten people) plus a shared bottle of house wine. The offer is part of Glyndebourne’s mission to introduce opera to new audiences, and is aimed at newcomers to the venue. For details please visit Glyndebourne’s web site > more +
^ Posted 9 March 2016
NEW WEBSITE DEDICATED TO SIR CHARLES MACKERRAS
A new website dedicated to the life and work of the distinguished conductor Sir Charles Mackerras CH, AC, CBE has been launched. Created as a hub for people interested in his work and music, the administrators intend to keep this as a fairly simple site, but with Facebook and Twitter where news can be updated and shared > more +
• Sir Charles Mackerras was President of the Dvořák Society for many years
^ Posted 9 January 2016
JANÁČEK “JENŮFA” AT ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA, LONDON
Mark Wigglesworth will conduct six performances of Janáček’s opera Jenůfa for English National Opera Orchestra at the London Coliseum in June and July 2016. The cast includes Laura Wilde in the title role, Michaela Martens (Kostelnička), Peter Hoare (Laca Klemeň), Nicky Spence (Števa Buryja) and Felicity Palmer (Grandmother Buryja). Performance dates are 23, 25 & 28 June; and 1, 6 & 8 July > more +
• Arts in Residence course on Janáček’s music at The Grange Hotel, Sherborne, Dorset, 1 – 3 April 2016
> more +
^ Posted 19 November 2015
WORD AND MUSIC IN THE WORKS OF DVOŘÁK: A NEGLECTED TREASURE TROVE
Listen/watch on YouTube™. An international audience can now enjoy an important event held in New York City on 18 October 2015, when the Dvořák American Heritage Society presented its inaugural DAHA Annual Lecture/Recital Program featuring Dvořák scholar David Beveridge and a vocal music performance by mezzo-soprano Mirjam Frank. Dr. Beveridge chose as his topic one of his most striking discoveries during decades of research in all aspects of Dvořák’s life and work, namely the amazing quantity and stunning beauty of the Czech composer’s vocal music — operas, choral works, duets, and songs — and the peculiar circumstances that have caused music historians to underrate most of this music and performers to neglect it. > more +
^ Posted 28 May 2015
MANCHESTER DVOŘÁK FESTIVAL — MAY 2016
Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra are presenting a festival of Dvořák’s music at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester between 5 and 21 May 2016. Featured works include the Erben-inspired symphonic poem The Golden Spinning Wheel, concert overtures, the final three symphonies and the oratorio Saint Ludmila (this last featuring a newly-commissioned English translation by David Pountney). In all there are seven events > more +
• also in the Bridgewater Hall: Vassily Sinaisky conducts the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in Mahler’s
Symphony No 2 in C minor “Resurrection” on 14 May