Date of EventSunday, 24. 5. 2020 from 11.00
Expected end of the concert 12.10
- Fryderyk Chopin: Barcarolle in F sharp major Op. 60
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 18 in E flat major Op. 31/3
- Sergej Prokofjev: Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major Op. 83 “Stalingrad”
- Fryderyk Chopin: Nocturne in B major Op. 32 No. 1
- Fryderyk Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor Op. posth.
- Jan Čmejla - piano
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Jan Čmejla (*2003) is one of the up-and-coming hopes of the Czech piano school. He has played the piano since he was six, supplementing this with the study of composition two years later. He received his first musical education at the Ilja Hurník Children’s Art School and at the Grammar and Music School of the Capital City of Prague under the guidance of Taťána Vejvodová and Lukáš Klánský. In 2018 he enrolled at the Prague Conservatoire to study the piano in the class of Eva Boguniová.
Jan has already acquired a remarkable number of triumphs in music contests, such as the international Virtuosi per musica di pianoforte in Ústí nad Labem (2013, 2018), Chopin for the Youngest (2015), the Novák International Piano Competition (2015), the Peter Toperczer International Piano Competition in Košice (2017; Second Prize), the Beethoven Festival Teplice (2018), and Concertino Praga (Overall Winner of 2019). He is a laureate of the prestigious Golden Nut Award (2013), which highlights the most talented children in the Czech Republic, and the Kern Foundation Prize, which is held under the auspices of the excellent Russian pianist Olga Kern.
His competitive success has allowed Jan to perform with the Brno Philharmonic and repeatedly take to the stage with the Prague Symphony Orchestra or the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. In March 2019 he gave a solo recital at the National Bohemian Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington as part of the prestigious Millennium Stage series. In autumn 2019 he recorded his first album, which is being released by Czech Radio’s Radioservis label.
He has an artistic paragon in the Chinese pianist Lang Lang, whom he met in person in Vienna during the Allianz Junior Music Camp in 2015, an exclusive annual event for ten talents selected from all over the world.
Three iconic composers
“I formed my Prague Spring programme from three iconic composers of piano music,” says Jan Čmejla. “I will start with Ludwig van Beethoven, represented by one of his piano sonatas, which are a staple of every pianist’s repertoire and also proof of Beethoven’s genius.”
The young pianist’s recital would not be complete without Frédéric Chopin – perhaps the most frequently performed composer for the piano. “I chose two contrasting nocturnes. One of them is full of love and sweet melodies, the other speaks mostly with sadness and tragedy. I will bring Chopin to a close with Barcarolle in F sharp major, which is his most beautiful work of all in my opinion,” divulges Čmejla.
Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7, sometimes called “Stalingrad”, stands in stark contrast to the previous numbers. “I find it incredible how Prokofiev was able to move piano music to a completely different level. I think that the audience will find it interesting to see the difference between how Beethoven wrote in the sonata form and how Prokofiev did 140 years later. The first movement is very restless and dark – the very first bars are followed by audible shots and shouts of war. The second movement begins with a delightful melody, which gradually transforms into pain and martial tragedy full of despair, fear, and the endless march of the enemy. The third movement brings a sudden turn and triumphantly explosive finale,” Čmejla describes.
“My intention was to create a programme that maintains a certain structure but also has a lot to offer. I chose compositions that I can connect with, and I will hope that my interpretation will speak to the audience,” he concludes.