Tomáš Netopil will bring his Essen Philharmonic to the Prague Spring Festival

One of the last concerts of the Essen Philharmonic with Tomáš Netopil as its chief conductor awaits Prague. At the end of this season, the ten-year collaboration with the leading German orchestra, which began after the conductor’s engagement at the National Theatre in Prague, will complete.

The concert of the Essen Philharmonic at the Prague Spring Fetsival will bring two masterpieces of the romantic repertoire – Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5 and, in the Prague Spring premiere, the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by the English composer Edward Elgar. Frank Peter Zimmermann, one of the world’s best violinists today, will perform as a soloist.

“Next to the Cello Concerto and the Enigma Variations, the Violin Concerto ranks among Edward Elgar’s greatest symphonic works. Unlike them, however, it is practically unknown in our country. I am very happy that an artist like Frank Peter Zimmermann will be able to present it to the Prague audience,” says programme director Josef Třeštík.

“In Essen, he is our regular and always rare guest. The performance at Prague Spring Festival will be the culmination of our cooperation this year,” says Tomáš Netopil and continues: “The Fifth Symphony is one of those that we missed in this season’s repertoire. I am very happy that it can be heard at the festival in our version.”

“Thanks to our long-term cooperation, and I think not only thanks to it, the Essen Philharmonic has a very deep and intense relationship with Czech music,” says Tomáš Netopil. During his time in Essen, he studied with the orchestra, which divides its creative energy between symphonic work and opera productions, e.g. Greek Passions, Jenůfa, Rusalka, as well as symphonic music by Josef Suk, Karel Husa and Antonín Dvořák. Other Czech creators also took part in the Essen productions: directors Jiří Heřman, Ondřej Havelka or the Skutr duo.

Tomáš Netopil is known to Prague audiences primarily as the chief conductor of the National Theater Orchestra (2009–2012), who excelled both in the Mozart repertoire and the Czech works. He is also one of the two main guest conductors of the Czech Philharmonic, with whom he opened Prague Spring Festival in 2018. His opera productions in Europe are highly valued. In addition to two dozen productions in Essen, he also musically staged Káťa Kabanová at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Jenůfa in Amsterdam or the The Makropulos Affair in Ghent, Belgium.