Pavel Rehberger —percussion
Not only concert halls, but also more unusual spaces with wonderful acoustics, such as the Czech Museum of Music, can be venues for musical events that are more out of the ordinary. The absorption of mysterious music will return us Slavs to the disturbed waters of Eastern Europe of the late 1980s and the early 1990s.
This fourth concert brings together composers from the former Eastern Bloc — Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Baltic region. You will hear one of Henryk Górecki’s most impressive compositions Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka, in which, according to the author, he expressed his sorrow over the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993. This violin and piano duet is today considered to be one of the most moving passages Górecki ever wrote. There will also be a performance of a little-known work in the Czech Republic, Roman Berger’s Soft November Music, which was influenced by the events of November 1989. The evening will conclude with the final version of Part’s Fratres from 1983 for solo violin, string orchestra, claves and bass drum. Fratres was written during a time of great upheaval for Part. The first version was written when he was still in his homeland of Estonia, from which he emigrated in 1980 to Vienna and then a year later to West Berlin. The whole evening could be framed by the words of Part: ‘Before resurrection you must die. Before something is said, nothing should be said’.
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.
PKF — Prague Philharmonia was founded in 1994 on the initiative of the conductor Jiří Bělohlávek under the name Prague Chamber Philharmonic. Since 2015—2016 season the orchestra has been led by the French conductor Emmanuel Villaume. Over the period of its existence the PKF — Prague Philharmonia has played with a whole host of internationally famous conductors and soloists, including Christopher Hogwood, Jakub Hrůša, Julian Rachlin, Martha Argerich, Jefim Bronfman, András Schiff, Sarah Chang, Isabelle Faust, Sarah Chang, Isabelle Faust, Gábor Boldoczki, Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Damrau, Anna Netrebko, Plácido Domingo, Elina Garanča, Juan Diego Flórez, Thomas Hampson, Magdalena Kožená and many others. The orchestra is regularly invited to international music festivals and gives concerts at top world venues (BBC Proms, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, MITO Settembre Musica, Prague Spring, Festspielhaus Baden Baden, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Gasteig Munich and Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, among others). The ensemble has recorded over 90 CDs, released by leading Czech and world music publishers, such as Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics, Decca, Supraphon, EMI, Sony Classical and Harmonia Mundi. Among the numerous prizes the recordings have garnered are: the Gold Record RAC Canada in 2000, Harmony Award 2001 and Diapason d’Or in 2007. The CD Héroïque with Bryan Hymel was in 2016 nominated for the ‘International Opera Award’ and in 2017 the recording of Bohemian Rhapsody with Gábor Boldoczki was nominated at the ‘International Classical Music Award (ICMA)’.
As a member of the composers’ association Bezmocná hrstka (Helpless Handful), the conductor and artistic director of the Brno Contemporary Orchestra Pavel Šnajdr is a twice winner of the Generation competition for composers. Together with the Ars Incognita ensemble he has premiered more than forty works by contemporary composers, and he appeared with them at Prague Spring in 2001 and at the Prague Premieres festival in 2005. During his career he has also worked with leading Czech symphony orchestras such as the North Czech Philharmonic in Teplice and the Hradec Králové Philharmonic, and from 2001 to 2008 he was conductor of the opera company of the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, where as well as the opera repertoire he also conducted a number of ballet performances, both classical and contemporary (the world premiere of the ballet The Garden to music by Zdeněk Matějů). From 2004 to 2007 he had an engagement at the National Theatre Brno, with whom he participated in a tour of Japan. At present he is active there once again as conductor of the Janáček Opera. Pavel Šnajdr graduated in composing and conducting at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno.
Petr Blažek is a Czech historian and journalist. From 1993 to 1998 he studied higher-education teaching at the University of Hradec Kralové (Czech language and literature and history), and from 1996—2001 he did a Master’s degree at the Institute of Czech History at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague, where he went on to defend a post-Master’s dissertation (2002) and a doctoral thesis (2008). His area of specialism is Czechoslovak history, the history of resistance and opposition to the Communist regime and Czechoslovak-Polish relations. He has published numerous historical studies, editions of documents and interviews with eyewitnesses and is co-author of the book Jan Palach ’69 (2009) and author of the monograph Ryszard Siwiec 1909—1968 (Warsaw 2010, Prague 2015). He has acted as an advisor during the making of numerous documentaries (Proces H, Nikomu jsem neublížil, Neznámí hrdinové) and feature films (Pouta, Hořící keř). He has been involved in authoring and co-authoring exhibitions, for example, about the kings of Šumava, Jan Palach and the creation of Charter 77. He is the main author of the website about Jan Palach www.janpalach.cz. He works at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, is a member of the editorial board of the Securitas Imperii journal and a member of the Ethics Committee of the Czech Republic.