Lukáš Sommer Live from The National Technical Museum
“The opportunity to present my own compositions at the Prague Spring as a comprehensive overview of my work is one of the greatest artistic challenges I have ever faced. The idea for the programme centres on guitars, on my love for them, and on the impossibility of sticking with one instrument alone. It’s a handmade instrument, whose distinctive sound inspires me in my work,” says Lukáš Sommer.
Date of EventSunday, 31. 5. 2020 from 20.00
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This multi-genre composer, guitar player, arranger and improviser is a highly prominent figure on the Czech music scene, while he is also enjoying huge success abroad as a composer and concert guitarist, both in Europe and particularly in the USA.
His composition work is rooted in the traditions of the European compositional school, which he complements with his own unconventional approaches. He enjoys pushing the borders of classical music and endeavours to incorporate elements of ethnic and jazz music as well. Five of his works received their premieres over the last six months alone.
Lukáš began composing at the age of thirteen. He chose the guitar and composition at the conservatoire in his home town of České Budějovice, he briefly attended the Prague Conservatoire’s composition department, and then studied composition with Ivan Kurz at Prague’s Academy of Music, graduating in 2009. Today his music is performed by renowned Czech and international soloists, orchestras and chamber ensembles, and a good number of his works have been commissioned by major festivals. These include the Prague Spring, for which he wrote Letter to My Father. Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orchestra in 2011, becoming the youngest composer to be approached in this way in the event’s history.
The guitar recitals in which he presents his own works – similar to the one he is performing tonight – are special projects that Lukáš has been putting together since 2012; held variously in the Czech Republic and beyond its borders, they have been described by professionals in the field as “real-time documentaries” (Guitar Magazine 4/2017). Sommer gave his debut as performer and composer at Washington’s Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in 2019, and he’ll be giving a solo recital in New York’s Carnegie Hall. He has been a guitar ambassador for Strunal Schönbach since 2019.
Leading countertenor Jan Mikušek, dulcimer player, singer, actor, conductor and choirmaster, performs on the Czech music and theatre scene in projects spanning all genres and styles. As an opera singer he has collaborated with Prague’s National Theatre since 2004, when he was a hit as Dominik Hašek in Martin Smolka’s opera Nagano.
He is involved in the period interpretation of early music and he is also enthusiastic about music by contemporary composers and takes a keen interest in alternative projects. Jan Mikušek is the cofounder of the International Dulcimer Festival in Valašské Meziříčí, his hometown. As an active performer and promoter of this instrument he has given dozens of premieres of works for dulcimer in the Czech Republic and the USA. The part of the TV series Můj pokus o mistrovský opus [My Attempt at a Masterful Opus] featuring Jan Mikušek won 1st prize for Czech Television at the Prix Circom 2017 in the music category.