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A society for all aspects of Czech and Slovak classical music

T he Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music is devoted to the musical arts of all Czech and Slovak composers and performers, past and present. The Dvořák Society aims to encourage performances and promote interest in this respect. It publish articles and information about all aspects of Czech and Slovak classical musical life and holds lectures: and it gives direct financial and other support to worthy causes. > more + 

Dvořák Portrait


Bohuslav Martinů, composerJiří BělohlávekLeoš Janáček, composer
Vítězslava Kaprálová, composer, conductorLudmila Peterková, clarinettistPetr Eben, composer, organist, pianist
Erwin Schulhoff, composer, pianistGabriela Beňačková-ČápováBedřich Smetana, composer

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/ On-line resource: Antonín Dvořák and His Legacy

Lion The Dvořák Society has funded the translation from Czech into English of a website devoted to Antonín Dvořák compiled by Ondřej Šupka, giving an invaluable information source for English-speaking members and the general public

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^ Posted 9 October 2017
Zuzana Růžičková Zuzana Růžičkováe
It is with much regret that we announce the death of our Vice-President on Wednesday 27th September. In January of this year we had celebrated her 90th birthday. At the time both Czech and UK media gave air-time to live interviews and a look-back at Zuzana’s extensive recording achievement and contribution to the revival of the harpsichord. Supraphon marked her anniversary with the release of a box set of pioneering recordings.
In early September Lady Grenfell-Baines (a relative) and a member of the Society visited her in Jindřichův Hradec at the family home and dined out at a restaurant named Concertino in memory of her husband Viktor Kalabis whose home town it was.
The private funeral will take place on 11th October. There is to be a commemorative concert on the 16th October when her past pupils will play including Mahan Esfahani.
> Obituary: The Guardian
> Obituary: Presto Classical
> Interview: Czech magazine Tyden (23 January 2017)

^ Posted 9 October 2017
Emmy Destinn Prize The Emmy Destinn Young Singers Awards
The final of the 10th Competition will take place on Wednesday, 15th November 2017 at 7.15 pm in the Czernin Hall Velehrad, 39 Lonsdale Road London SW13 9JP. Tickets £8, student and OAPs £5 Complimentary glass of wine, beer or soft drink incl. Please register your interest by email to: awards@destinn.com or call Dana on 07794848075

^ Posted 6 October 2017
Jakub Hrůša The Society is delighted to announce that Jakub Hrůša has accepted our invitation to become our new President following the untimely death of his teacher and mentor, Jiři Bělohlávek, earlier in the year.
Jakub Hruša is currently Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He has been a regular Guest Conductor for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle.

^ 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
Jakob Hrusa "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
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, membership@dvorak-society.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.
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