Jiří Ševčík — flute
The Beauty of Today series has always been based on discovering new music, and the compositions from the 1930s provide an exceptional opportunity for this. I am looking forward to the “cosmic” score by Henry Cowell. When I hear Ullmann and Haas, I wonder how their music might have developed had it not been for the Second World War. I am looking forward to meeting all my musical friends on the podium and I am happy to be meeting in person two excellent debaters who until now I’ve only known from the media.
This programme focusing on the 1930s shows how incredibly forward-looking Czechoslovak music was at the time and how it kept up with the most original musical trends both in Europe and the rest of the world. The second evening with the subtitle 1938 is certain to be a musical surprise and is linked by the works of the American composer Henry Cowell, Béla Bartók, the icon of the Czech pre-war musical avant-garde, Alois Hába, and two composers whose talent was extinguished in the Auschwitz concentration camp — Pavel Haas and Viktor Ullmann. The historian Eduard Stehlík will give a talk on the background to Munich 1938. What was the actual role of Czech politicians? And could this event have been avoided?
The musicologist and educator Vlasta Reittererová studied acting and mime at the Folk Conservatory (now the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory) and at the same time musicology at the Arts Faculty of Charles University. From 1972 to 1987 she worked as a dramaturge at the Pragokoncert Arts Agency, and from 1987 to 2002 as a librarian and researcher at the Institute of Musicology at the Arts Faculty of Charles University, where she also lectured on the history of musical theatre and received her doctorate there in 1988. Since 2002 she has worked as an external lecturer at the Institute of Musicology at the Arts Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno. She is a member of the doctoral studies board for the subjects art of dance and dance theory at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, a member of the Czech Musicological Society, Theatre Research Society, Czech Music Society, Early Music Society and Leoš Janáček Society. Her publications focus mainly on 19th and 20th century music with an emphasis on the period between the wars and musical theatre. She also works as a translator.
The historian and journalist Eduard Stehlík specializes in modern Czechoslovak military history, particularly for the period 1914—1956. He has worked at the Military History Institute in Prague and been an advisor to the Minister of Defence Vlastimil Picek, and he is currently director of the Ministry of Defence War Veterans Department. He collaborates with Czech Television, particularly on the programme Historical Magazine. When the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes was founded, he was the vice-chairman and later chairman of the first Academic Council. In August 2012 he became first deputy to the director, Daniel Herman. He has co-authored a number of exhibition projects, of which the best received was the exhibition Assassination — Operation Anthropoid 1941—1942, which was presented to the public in Milan, Berlin and Bratislava as well as Prague. In the Gloria musaealis competition held by the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Association of Museums and Galleries, his book Lidice — The Story of a Czech Village won the main prize in the category ‘Museum Publication of the Year 2004’ . He is the co-author of the Lidice Memorial museum’s permanent exhibition And the Innocent Were Guilty… Since 27 October 2006 he has been an honorary citizen of Lidice.
Daniel Wiesner won the 1st prize in the Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (1990) and he is a prize-winner at the Vianna da Motta competition in Lisbon. As a soloist and sought-after chamber musician, he has performed in concerts in most European countries as well as in the USA, Japan and Jordan. He is a member of several chamber ensembles, including In modo camerale, which won the ‘Czech Chamber Music Society Award’ in 1996 and in the same year reached the finals of the International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan. He specializes in interpreting contemporary music, especially Czech contemporary music, which he often premieres, and has recorded for Panton, Studio Matouš, Triga publishing house and Bonton. He regularly records for Czech Radio. He performs as a soloist with leading Czech orchestras (Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, etc.). In 2009 he received the Czech Music Council Award for an outstanding interpretation of contemporary music and promoting Czech music. From 2008 to 2013 he taught piano as a major at the Conservatory in Pardubice. Since 2012 he has worked at the Collaborative Piano Department at Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Jan Fišer, the concertmaster of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia, is one of the leading young Czech violinists. He has won numerous prestigious competitions (the Kocian Violin Competition, Concertino Praga, Tribune of Young Artists UNESCO), and outside of the Czech Republic has performed in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, France, Japan and the USA. He has performed as a soloist alongside the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Janáček Philharmonic, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, the North Czech Philharmonic and the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at music festivals in Switzerland (Murten Classics), Spain (Pau Casals International Music Festival) and the USA (Brevard Music Festival). He formed the Dvořák Trio with the pianist Ivo Kahánek and the cellist Tomáš Jamník, which is one of the most successful Czech chamber ensembles. Jan Fišer records for television and radio, and as one of the competition winners he also played on a CD In Honour of Jaroslav Kocian for the 40th anniversary of the Kocian International Violin Competition.
The oboist Vladislav Borovka is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory (Bedřich Vobořil) and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Jiří Mihule) and went on to expand his musical education through residencies in Toyama, Japan, and particularly in Paris at the Conservatoire de Paul Dukas with Professor J. L. Capezzali. In 2000 he was awarded a Yamaha scholarship. His competition successes include 3rd prize and the title of laureate at the Prague Spring International Music Competition (2001). From 1994 he was a member of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia and in 2011 he went over to the Czech Philharmonic, where he currently plays the oboe and the cor anglais. As a chamber player he has worked with the Czech at the Prague Conservatory. He is a member of the organizational team for the Summer Bassoon Academy and the Czech Double Reed Society.
The clarinettist Jan Brabec graduated from the Conservatory in Teplice in Miroslav Maleček’s class and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Vlastimil Mareš. During his studies he participated in numerous international master classes under the guidance of prominent figures such as Michel Arrignon, Michel Lethiec, Maurice Bourgue and Michel Raison. He won 1st prize in the wind instrument competition in Chomutov and was awarded a ‘Golden Diploma’ in the Music of Eastern Europe competition and the ‘City of Prague Award’ in the Prague Spring International Music Competition (1996). From 1997 he was a member of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia and from 2008 to 2014 he was principal clarinet in the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra. Following a successful audition, he became a member of the Czech Philharmonic in 2014. He regularly collaborates with a number of chambre ensembles such as the PKF — Prague Philharmonia Wind Quintet, the Actaeon Trio, Prague Modern, the Baborak Ensemble, Czech Sinfonietta and others.
Cellist Lukáš Pospíšil studied at the Prague Conservatory, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. During his studies he also attended a number of masterclasses (Heinrich Schiff, Martin Hornstein) and appeared at competitions (Beethoven’s Hradec, the Janáček International Music Competition in Brno). From 1988 to 1991, he was a member and then later concertmaster of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and from 2004—2005 he was the solo cellist in the Kammerorchester Berlin. In addition, Lukáš Pospíšil is a recognized chamber musician (Zeiher Quartett), and he has appeared regularly as a soloist in the Czech Republic as well as abroad. He is an enthusiastic promoter of works by Czech composers and together with the Czech Philharmonic premiered the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra by Zdeněk Šesták. He has been the concertmaster of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia since 1994 with which he as the soloist recorded a CD conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek in 2000.
Ondřej Martinovský started playing violin at the age of five under the guidance of Zdeněk Vyoral at the Music School of the City of Prague. In 1998 he entered the Jan Neruda Gymnasium where he continued his violin studies in the class of Magdalena Micková. In 2002 he began studying the viola under the guidance of Karel Doležal, in whose class he was also later to study at the Prague Conservatory. He studied at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts in the class of Professor Lubomír Malý. Ondřej Martinovský was a member of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia and he took part in the PKF — Prague Philharmonia and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academies. He successfully gained a place in the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the Youtube Symphony Orchestra. At present he is a member of the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
Since 2016 the double-bass player Adam Honzírek has been a member of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy. He studied at the Conservatory in Brno and the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague, in both cases under the leadership of Pavel Klečka. His greatest competition successes include victory in the 40th Showcase of Czech Conservatories and Music Schools (2017) and 1st prize in the national heat of the Eurovision Young Musicians 2016 competition. In addition, he won 2nd prize in the competitions Pro Bohemia Ostrava (2017) and the Czech Philharmonic Interpretation Competition (2018). Adam Honzírek has participated in a number of masterclasses led by prominent figures such as Ödön Rácz, Igor Eliseev, Volkan Orhon and Leon Bosch./p>
Dechové kvinteto PKF—Prague Philharmonia
The PKF — Prague Philharmonia Wind Quintet was formed in 2007 by soloists of the woodwind section of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia. Its members are the recipients of national and international awards and are leading players in several other chamber and symphonic ensembles (the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre in Prague, the Baborak Ensemble, etc.). The ensemble has appeared at international festivals including Prague Spring 2017 and the Festival dell Arte in Wojanow in Poland. It has toured Spain and made recordings for Czech Radio and Czech Television. Since it was formed it has worked closely with the outstanding Czech pianist Ivan Klánský. The repertoire of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia Wind Quintet not only focuses on the most famous compositions written for this ensemble by composers such as W. A. Mozart, Antonín Rejcha, Darius Milhaud and Paul Hindemith, but also on work by contemporary composers.