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Concert Partner


Beautiful melodies and lively dance rhythms from the Caribbean await us with the concert of the Prague Symphony Orchestra led by their chief conductor Tomáš Brauner. The programme features works by the great American composers George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein along with music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, a native of Brno who made his second home in the USA. The superb German violinist Caroline Widmann will be the soloist in his romantic Violin Concerto, with its atmosphere of the “Old World”.


  • George Gershwin: Cuban Overture
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major Op. 35
  • Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story


  • Prague Symphony Orchestra
  • Tomáš Brauner - conductor
  • Carolin Widmann - violin
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400 - 1200 CZK
29 5 2024
Wednesday 20.00

Carolin Widmann is a fabulously assured and poetic soloist, taking minute care over the smallest, apparently most insignificant details,” wrote the British newspaper The Guardian. Her repertoire combines the classics with music by contemporary composers who have often written works specifically for her. “One can only understand the old when one understands the new and the other way around,” the artist explains. She appears with the world’s top orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and with such conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Chailly, and Daniel Harding. She recently made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Finnish conductor Essa-Pekka Salonen, and this year she is returning to the Berlin Philharmonic to perform a violin concerto by her brother, the composer, clarinettist, and conductor Jörg Widmann, who was the artist-in-residence for the 2021 Prague Spring Festival.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a child prodigy, and his early works astonished Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. In the 1930s he moved to the United States, where he became one of the founders of Hollywood film music as we now know it, and he became the first composer to win an Oscar. In America, he also wrote his Violin Concerto in D major. The virtuosic composition is especially remarkable for its wealth of melodic beauty. About his own concerto, the composer wrote that it was “contemplated for a Caruso, rather than a Paganini”.

George Gershwin composed his Cuban Overture under the impression of a visit to Havana. Originally titled Rumba, the lively overture is full of rhythms and instruments that are typical of traditional Cuban music. It was under that title that the work was given its 1932 world premiere at New York’s no longer existing Lewisohn Stadium before an incredible crowd of 18,000 listeners.

Inspiration from Caribbean music is clear in the ingenious musical West Side Story, perhaps the most famous work by the conductor, composer, and music populariser Leonard Bernstein. Inspired by Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, the musical depicts a love story set against the background of rival gangs, one of which consists of immigrants from Puerto Rico. The Symphonic Dances from the musical are overflowing with melodic ideas and lively rhythms, and the orchestration dazzles listeners with the brass and saxophones coming to the fore and with a whole array of Latin American percussion instruments.