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When the entire world witnessed the gala opening of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie in January 2017, seated at the console of the new organ, crafted by the celebrated Bonn-based firm Klais Orgelbau, was Iveta Apkalna. This leading, world-class organist shared in the inauguration with a performance of two world premieres, written specially for the occasion by Wolfgang Rihm and Jörg Widmann. Since that time the Latvian native has served as titular organist of the Elbphilharmonie’s Klais organ with its impressive 4,765 pipes, and she was also the artist behind the first solo album to be recorded on the instrument.

After the concert there will be a meeting with Iveta Apkalna in the Smetana Hall.
Moderated by Josef Třeštík, dramaturge of the Prague Spring Festival.
Discussion in English, no interpretation into Czech will be provided.


  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565
  • Franz Liszt: Funérailles from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses S 173
  • Johannes Brahms: Chorale Preludes Op. 122 (selection)
  • Petr Eben: Requiem and Walpurgis Night from Faust
  • Léon Boëllmann: Suite Gothique Op. 25
  • Pēteris Vasks: Te Deum
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor BWV 1004 (arrangement for organ)


  • Iveta Apkalna - organ


200 - 500 CZK
26 5 2024
Sunday 20.00

Iveta Apkalna and her performance at the organ are something quite exceptional; her talent is beyond question. Both in concert and on recordings this outstanding artist has, for years, delivered organ culture of the highest quality,” wrote the German magazine Organ – Journal für die Orgel. She has won a series of prestigious awards, including the Latvian Grand Music Award; she is also the first organist to receive a coveted Echo Klassik award. Apkalna has been a top-league international performer since 2007, when she gave her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under conductor Claudio Abbado. She appears regularly with some of the world’s finest orchestras, among them the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. This season sees her joining the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Antonio Pappano, with whom she will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony. Solo recitals are also an integral part of her concert career; in addition to regular appearances at the Elbphilharmonie, we can also hear her perform at Berlin’s Konzerthaus, and she also gave a critically acclaimed debut in 2018 at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Iveta Apkalna’s Prague Spring concert presents the most popular works in the organ repertoire – Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, Suite gothique by Léon Boëllmann, along with music by Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, contemporary Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, and a selection from the cycle Faust by Czech organ classic Petr Eben.

Iveta Apkalna will bring to life an instrument which, at the time of its completion in 1912, was one of the largest and most advanced in Austria-Hungary. The organ console was attached right from the start via electric cables, thanks to which it is also mobile; this enables Iveta to sit at the console on the Smetana Hall podium, and the festival audience will thus be able to watch her perform as if they were attending a piano recital – the only difference being that Iveta Apkalna will have at her disposal a number of organ manuals and pedals.