Prague Spring 2019 – programme announced

Stellar moments

There is always a huge sense of anticipation surrounding the opening of the festival itself – Smetana’s My Country will be performed by the Bamberg Symphony under its Chief Conductor Jakub Hrůša.

Few orchestras are as capable of effortlessly combining inner passion with flawless unity of sound, perfectly rendered down to the smallest detail, as Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – Roma under its Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano (17 May).

New York’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra demonstrates the way in which the intimacy characteristic of chamber ensembles merges with the rich sound of a large orchestra. Returning with them to the Prague Spring is the excellent pianist Jan Lisiecki (21 May). The audience will hear a rousing example of Spanish temperament in orchestral music thanks to Orquestra de Cadaqués, who have put together a programme one doesn’t get the chance to hear all that often (30 May). The charm of French music and performance artistry comes to us courtesy of the famous Les Arts Florissants (27 May), Ensemble Intercontemporain (27 May), and two concerts given by the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse with Music Director Tugan Sokhiev, flautist Emmanuel Pahud and violinist Renaud Capuçon. The Czech Philharmonic will be performing a French programme with stellar French conductor Louis Langrée (31 May).

Czech orchestras

Czech orchestras will be presenting programmes which deviate from the fare offered during their regular concert seasons. I myself am looking forward to the concert celebrating the visionary Hector Berlioz; his monumental Te Deum returns to the Prague Spring after a period of forty years. Leading the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is respected specialist in Berlioz’s music, conductor John Nelson (15 May). Alexander Vedernikov headed the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in the years 2001–2009 and, under his
baton, the Prague Symphony Orchestra will perform Prokofiev’s majestic and fascinating cantata Alexander Nevsky (28 May).

Classical music entered the 21st century with Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra, as predicted by the French daily Le Monde. Her concert with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra on 2 June will be enhanced by a performance from the winner of the renowned ARD Music Competition, trumpeter Manuel Blanco.

Czech artists

The Prague Spring programme features a host of other Czech artists: On 20 May Kateřina Englichová with Ensemble 18+ will give the world premiere of Ondřej Kukal’s harp concerto, and the Bennewitz Quartet will launch the Chamber Music Weekend on 24 May with a concert that includes a piece for the theremin, performed by leading specialist in this instrument Carolina Eyck. Shortly after his stunning victory at the International Fritz Kreisler Competition in Vienna, Czech violinist Milan Al-Ashhab was approached by the festival with an offer to give a recital in the Rudolfinum (29 May).

The Prague Spring is always on the lookout for talented young musicians who are invited to perform in a series of morning concerts – this year we’ll be hearing pianists Matyáš Novák and Pavel Zemen and violinist Ludmila Pavlová. The Prague Spring International Music Competition, which has been an integral part of the festival since 1947, this year welcomes talents from all over the world for its flute and oboe categories. Don’t miss the exciting final rounds, which will take place in the Rudolfinum.

The Prague Spring festival 2019 is offering a truly varied programme. We trust that it will appeal to you!

Complete programme