The concert of the young ensemble Duo Bohémo takes us to the rich, colourful world of repertoire for violin and cello. “When writing for these two instruments, composers used all of their possibilities to the fullest extent”, says the cellist Kristina Vocetková. “Listeners can look forward to the full sound characteristic of bigger ensembles, and at the same time they won’t miss out on the very colourful, delicate sonic combination of the two instruments”, adds her musical partner, violinist Matouš Pěruška.
An example is the Sonata for Violin and Cello by Maurice Ravel. The French composer began working on it at the suggestion of the journal La Revue Musicale, which had asked him for a contribution to a number dedicated to Claude Debussy. He created an enormously bold work that is sonically surprisingly jarring at times. The Sonata has become core repertoire for violin and cello. “For our programme, we have also chosen Arthur Honegger’s Sonatina – a work of smaller dimensions, but no less interesting, which has so far been overshadowed by the more famous work of his French colleague”, says Pěruška. Also with ties to France is a brief work by the contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho titled Aure. The Finnish composer’s sonically subtle piece is dedicated to another French classic of the 20th century, Henri Dutilleux. It documents Saariaho’s admiration for the Dutilleux’s work for children’s voices and orchestra titled The Shadows of Time. “I took a phrase, the first one sung by the child’s voice, as a point of departure for my little homage because it has often come to my mind since 1998, the year I first heard the work”, explains Saariaho. “No doubt, what is closest to us in the music language of Bohuslav Martinů,” says Pěruška. “It was our enthusiasm for his music that brought us together,” says Pěruška, and Kristina Vocetková adds: “The first duo by this composer was also the first composition that we learned together. Over the years, the Duo No. 2 has become very dear to us. Martinů wrote it just a year before his death, and it oscillates between sparkling joy and passages that still take our breath away to this day.”
Both members of the Duo Bohémo are winners of international competitions, and they give concerts regularly in the Czech Republic and abroad. Matouš Pěruška has been a finalist at the Prague Spring International Competition, and in 2015 he won second prize and the audience’s prize at the Johannes Brahms International Competition in Pörtschach, Austria. On the basis of his victory at an international competition in Verona, Italy in 2014, he was lent a violin made by Giuseppe Sgarbi (1885).
Kristina Vocetková is a winner of the international Anton Rubinstein Competition held in Berlin in 2018. In 2017 she won second prize and the prize for the best performance of a work by Viktor Kalabis at the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Competition, and a year earlier she won first prize at the Concorso Musicale città di Filadelfia ‘Paolo Serrao’ in Italy.
Pěruška and Vocetková became chamber music partners back in 2012 while students at the Prague Conservatoire. They are now both studying chamber music at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest under the guidance of Mezö Péter. As a duo, in Austria in 2015 they won the Bohuslav Martinů Prize and the Zoltán Kodály Prize. In May 2016 they won the Concorso musicale città di Filadelfia ‘Paolo Serrao’ in Filadelfia, Italy. In 2018 they appeared at the EuroArt Festival, the Antonín Dvořák Music Festival, and the Kutná Hora International Music Festival. In 2019 they appeared in concert in Austria at the ISA Festival and at a gala concert on the Austrian radio network ORF. In November 2019 they became the winners of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Competition, winning the prizes for the best performance of a composition by Bohuslav Martinů and the best entrants in the category of chamber music without piano. They are invited regularly to collaborate with larger chamber ensembles. They have given concerts with such musicians as Miklós Perényi, Markus Shirmer, Magda Amara, Hagai Shaham, Gilad Karni, and Jiří Bárta.