Violin sonata, gentle and with feeling - Sophia Jaffé and Björn Lehmann in Wangen

On December 12th Sophia Jaffé with her violin and the pianist Björn Lehmann in the Weberzunfthaus performed in Wangen.
On the programme for this grandiose evening were four demanding compositions; the concert opened with Bartók's Rhapsody for Violin and Piano Nr.1 followed by three selected Hungarian Dances by Brahms. Scherzo from the F.A.E. Sonata by Johannes Brahms opened the second part of the concert evening. Sophia Jaffé enthused the audience also with the technically very demanding Solosonate Nr. 1 by Ysaÿe.
With a huge applause the concertgoers celebrated Sophia Jaffé's virtuosity and musical sensibility for these compositions which she performed with perfection. Also the newspaper reviews admiringly talked about the expression of her performance.

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Lada Biriucov’s success under the baton of Valery Gergiev

On January 6, 2009 soprano Lada Biriucov has performed Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at Teatr Wielki in Warsaw under the baton of Valery Gergiev.
The gala performance of Mariusz Treliñski’s production of the Queen of Spades was her first cooperation with Valery Gergiev. Lada Biriucov is a regular guest of the Polish National Opera. She has already created Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Turandot on this stage.

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Moravian Christmas in Zagreb

At the beginning of December the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno performed a very special Czech Christmas accented evening together with the Puella Trio and 3 soloists. The Puella Trio features Terezie Fialová on piano, the violin of Lenka Matìjáková and the violoncello of Markéta Vrbková, the 3 soloists were soprano Hana Raková, alto Marie Vrbová and tenor Jakub Tuèek. They were all drawn together under the button of the conductor and Choirmaster Petr Fiala in the Cultural Congress Hall “Lisinski” in Zagreb.

The concertgoers celebrated with warm applause their program where compositions by Gallus, Bruckner and Messiaen served as a wonderful introduction for the Czech Christmas Carols, arranged by Peter Fiala which made the evening a very special experience.

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Rudolf Peèman, the founder of the International Music Festival Brno, has died

Musicologist professor Rudolf Peèman PhDr. DrSc. died suddenly on December 17th 2008 at the age of 77. His much admired publishing activities featured a devotion to Italian opera, oratorios from composers such as Händel and Bach. His name is also aligned with articles and studies about Ludwig van Beethoven and the period of romanticism.

Rudolf Peèman published and demonstrated his supremely cultivated written and spoken word in several music publications and lectures. His name is well known for public talks within the Little Theatre of Music and his articles were also featured in the published programmes of the Society of Friends of Music Brno.

As one of the founders of the International Music Festival Brno, now known as Moravian Autumn, the International Music Scientific Colloquium and the specialised magazine Opus Musicum his name is indelibly written in our culture, at home and abroad.

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Eine beeindruckende Solistin - Ganz in sich versunken

Die junge Sophia Jaffé versprühte mit Ihrer Violine Anmut und offerierte nicht allein akustisches, sondern auch ein optisches Gesamtkunstwerk. Sie satzte nicht auf virtuoses Showgehabe, sondern schien ganz mit ihrem Instrument verschmolzen. Dabei formte sie versunken kristallklar Arabesken, schien aber in anderen Stellen wie von Energie aufgeladen, um die geigerische Tour de force im Allegro assai vivace zu meistern.
Ihre Interpretation des Violinkonzertes in D Dur op. 35 von 1945 von Erich Wolfgang Korngold kann sich dabei durchaus mit der Sichtweise einer Hilary Hahn oder jüngst von Anne-Sophie-Mutter messen.
Das Alma Mahler Werfel gewidmete Werk leitete eine neue Schaffensphase des Oscar-Preisträgers Korngold ein. Dabei verleugnet keine Note seine Filmmusik-Vergangenheit in Hollywood. Daraus bedient er sich auch im Finalsatz mit der Hauptmelodie aus „Der Prinz und der Bettelknabe" (1937).
So verwandelte Sophia Jaffé das volkstümlich wirkende, rustikale Thema mit virtuoser Technik und klanglicher Variabilität zu einem Stück Film für die Ohren. Das Publikum feierte die Solistin mit Bravorufen. Sophia Jaffé sagte selbst ihre Zugabe an und spielte dann voller Hingabe und akkurater Artikulation das Fugato aus der 1. Solosonate des belgischen Geigenvirtuosen Eugen Ysaÿe, dessen Geburtstag sich in diesem Jahr zum 150 Mal feierte.
Oder „Sophia Jaffé überzeugte das Publikum durch höchste Virtuosität - Im ersten Satz bewies sie mit der souveränen Art einer vollendeten Virtuosin, dass die musikalischen Hürden an solistischer Technik im Werk selbst für sie kein Problem darstellten. Die faszinierende Hingabe Jaffé's zog sich ebenso durch die verbleibenden zwei Sätze.
Von der Zart gespielten Romanze bis in das verspielte Allegro des dritten Satzes konnte der Konzertbesucher Zeuge eines wunderbaren Klangerlebnisses werden. So wurde die Solistin in einem explosionsartigen Beifall eine Zugabe abverlangt, die ebenso begeistern konnte, wie das Werk Korngold's.

November 2008 von Uwe Kraus und Robert Hoffmann
(Quedlinburg November 11th, Nordharzer Städtebund, Johannes Rieger - conductor)

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Successful co-operation of Sophia Jaffé with Dennis Russel Davies

Violin star Sophia Jaffé’s first co-operations with conductor Dennis Russel Davies produced very successful and enriching highlights in her concert season.
Sophia appeared next to him for the first time in Stuttgart on June 14th and 15th together with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester playing R. V. Williams' “The Lark Ascending”. Two months later on August 30th Sophia was again beside Dennis Russel Davies and celebrated by the audience at the prestigious Austrian festival Gmundner Festwochen. On the program for this grandiose evening was the technically very demanding Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 2 by Shostakovich, which she performed with perfection and extreme concentration accompanied by the Bruckner Orchestra Linz. Sophia was rewarded with exceptional applause by the concertgoers and received the plaudits of the newspaper Neues Volksblat. The headline “Smashing young violin player” introduced her as a star and admiringly talked about her technical perfection and the expression of her performance.
With the same program, conductor and orchestra, Sophia held absorbed the audience on October 4th in Brno at the final concert of the festival Moravian Autumn. The concertgoers in the Janáèek Theatre sat in awe of her play and made clear with their lengthy standing ovations that this concert will remain in heir hearts and minds for a long time.

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Warmest Czech compliments to the celebrant

On November 23rd hundreds of guests from all over the world filled Warsaw's Grand Theatre (Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa). On the programme for this grandiose evening was the piece Seven Gates to Jerusalem composed by the focus of the evening's festivities, the famous Polish composer, conductor and professor Krzysztof Penderecki, who celebrated his 75th birthday.
Included in the invitation to this unique evening were representatives of the prominent Czech festivals and music agencies. They congratulated him in person and wished him good health as well as creativity and success.
In the photograph, from left to right:
Zdenka Kachlová, Director of the agency ARS/KONCERT and manager of the International Music Festival Brno
Jaromír Javùrek, Director of the International Music Festival Janacek May
Jitka Miková, Manager of the International Music Festival Concentus moravie
David Dittrich, Director of the International Music Festival Concentus moraviae and of the agency C.E.M.A.

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The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno in the Concert Hall Rudolfinum in Prague

Mahler's masterpiece the 3rd Symphony resonated through the Dvorak Hall of the remarkable Rudolfinum for two concerts on December 4th and 5th.
The woman's section of the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, The Kühn Children's Choir and alto Lioba Braun, accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, were celebrated by a standing ovation and seemingly never-ending applause from keen concertgoers.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra already performed with the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno in several projects this year. This co-operation of our foremost Czech musical bodies is appreciated very much by audiences and does justice to Czech culture both and abroad.

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Czech Chamber Soloists, Kateøina Englichová and Vilém Veverka performed at the Haydnbiennale Festival 2008 in Mechelen, Belgium

Czech Chamber Soloists, Kateøina Englichová – harp and Vilém Veverka – oboe performed in three concerts in October within the framework of Haydnbiennale Festival in Mechelen.
The first concert was on Saturday October 18th in the Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, where Czech Chamber Soloists and Vilém Veverka performed two famous concertos for oboe and strings, composed by A. Marcello and A. Vivaldi, together with some other pieces for strings by J. Haydn and his contemporaries.
On Sunday October 19th there were two recitals of duo Veverka–Englichová in the winter garden of monastery in Waver, one of the European most important buildings of the “Art nouveau” style. All the three concerts were great success, as you can read on the web site and see on the photos.

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Applause for Brahms from Spanish audience

Completely filled to capacity, the Valencian music Hall Palau de la Musica, celebrated through huge applause and chants of "Bravo!". Thus they marked the performance of the German Requiem by Brahms performed by Orquesta de Valencia under the button of the conductor Yarona Trauba, The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno and soloists Rebecca Evans (soprano) and Markus Eich (barytone) as one of the top musical events of the season. Furthermore the Spanish newspaper reviews acclaimed the great performance of the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, which has already been invited to co-operate with the orchestra for the upcoming seasons.

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Igor Ardašev performed B. Martinù 4th piano concerto in Bonn

Beginning October pianist Igor Ardašev performed in Bonn with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under the button of Maestro Paolo Olmi. On the programme was challenging, but rarely performed piece - B.Martinu 4th Piano Concerto “Incantations”.

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The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno recording was nominated for the P2 Danish Music Awards Classical 2008

Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno performed with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Paul Mann at concerts with Paul von Klenau composition Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Kornetts Christoph Rilke. The concerts were recorded by DACAPO company, and the recording was nominated for important Danish music prize P2 Danish Music Awards Classical 2008.
The cooperation between the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno and the Odense Symphony will continue in January 2009, when the two ensembles will perform together in Odense under the button of Maestro Bernhard Klee at two concerts, on the programme is Janáèek Glagolitic Mass and Brahms Alto Rhapsody.

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Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, concerts 08. - 15.10. 2008

On October 8th the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra appeared under the baton of their chief conductor Vladimír Válek in the sold-out Music Hall in Herkulessaal in Munich performing the world famous program by Dvorak; My Fatherland. One day later they were acclaimed together with the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno by the concertgoers in Konzerthaus Freiburg. There they introduced another Czech composer; Leoš Janáèek and his Glagolitic Mass, which was conducted by Leoš Svárovský. Great soloists such as Eva Drizgova-Jirusova, Jana Wallingerova, Otokar Klein and Martin Gurbal appeared on this superb evening.

Another enthusiastic audience awaited them and the same program in Brixen, where they appeared in a unique church and created a wonderful festive atmosphere into this peaceful place.
On October 13th and 14th the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra continued their concert trip to Graz in Austria. A concert hall with filled with an amazed audience celebrated this orchestra again in Stephaniensaal where they conclude their tour with their Chief Conductor performing the symphonic poem My Fatherland.

Jukka Pekka Saraste and the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, November in the Koelner Philharmonie

The men section of the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno and the WDR Choir performed the Oratory Oedipus Rex together with the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Koeln under the baton of their Chief Conductor elect Jukka Pekka Saraste in one of the most remarkable concert halls in Europe; The Koelner Philharmonie in Column.

Alongside these excellent ensembles appeared well known soloists including Jorma Silvasti, Jocastu Michaela Schuster, Benjamin Brust, Jevgenij Nikitin and Philip Ens. Georg Blueml was introduced as narrator.

The ladies section embarked on their concert trip one week later. As a complete Choir they performed in Stuttgart together with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker the 2nd Symphony by Mahler with their Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz. All 2000 seats in the Liederhalle Concert Hall were sold out, as they were in the next beautiful town, Aschaffenburg, where the second performance of the same program took place in the City Hall in the Castle square (850 seats).

The concert-goers celebrated this performance with huge applause. Great soloists were introduced to the audience such as Viktoria Kamisnkaite and Manuela Bress. Successful and regular co-operation between Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno has been confirmed until 2012.

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HEAVEN AND EARTH – Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno at Gergiev Festival 2008

Heaven and Earth – this was the topic of the 13th Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam, held form September 6–13,2008.The festival organizer choose this topic to confront the sacred with the profane and unite the human with the Divine to which the Beethoven´s Missa solemnis, which perfectly suited and invited Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno to participate.
Together with Rotterdam Philharmonic under the batton of young canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who replaced after 20 years Valery Gergiev in position of chief conductor and vocal quartet ((Claycomb, Burggraaf, Güra, Maltman) they got enthusiastic and warm welcome from the fully seated hall.

Vilem Veverka and Katerina Englichova at the Festival Carintischer Sommer

Vilem Veverka and Katerina Englichova performed, on August 21st, various pieces for oboe and harp in Ossiach, in the southern part of Austria at the Bergkirche Tiffen. One of the compositions they presented in the auditorium was a work by Ernst Wally, composed specially for this event. The programme was celebrated as a huge success by the local concert-goers, who filled the hall to capacity.

Puella Trio at the Festival Allegro Vivo

The Puella Trio was invited to play, on September 5th, at the Allegro Vivo Festival held through August and September in several concerts halls and Churches in northern Austria. This time the violin was played by the concertmaster of The Prague Philharmonia, Jan Fisher. On the programme were compositions by Beethoven, Turina and Brahms. The concert took place in Stift Geras, in the wonderful and renowned Marmorsaal, a unique little hall with a remarkable atmosphere perfectly suited for such chamber pieces

The Czech Philharmonic Choir at festival in Grafenegg

Chief conductor Kristjan Järvi led his Tonkuenster Orchestra Niederoesterreich and The Czech Philharmonic Choir as they performed LA DAMNATION DE FAUST by Hector Berlioz. The concert was a feature of the second Grafenegg International Music Festival held in the open air in the Grafenegg Castle grounds.

This dramatic work also featured soloists Iris Vermillion, Guiseppe Sabbatini, Hanno Mueller-Brachmann and Alfred Muffopened. The wonderful performances of choir, orchestra and soloists were rewarded by huge applause marking a fabulous opening of the festival on August 21th.

Brno Philharmonics and The Czech Philharmonic Choir at the Rheingau festival.

The 21st edition of the International Rheingau Festival, considered one of the most important and popular festivals in Germany always presenting great musicians of the world, this year also featured The Brno Philharmonics and The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno. On August 22nd they performed Listz’s Christus, conducted by Leos Svarovsky with excellent soloist including Jana Wallingerova, Franciska Hirzel and Tomas Cerny and Jiri Sulzenko as well as the organ player Martin Jakubicek. The sold out concert ended with a standing ovation from a thrilled audience.

The Czech Chamber Soloists and the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno performed at two renowned music festivals in Germany

The first concert was for the Mitte Europa festival and took place at the nice chateau of Weesenstein near Dresden. The soloist of this programme was oboist Vilem Veverka.

The second concert, or better series of 3 concerts in one day, was in the monastery St.Marienthal in the town of Ostritz, in beginning of August.
This one day the monastery was visited by numerous visitors and audience of the concerts. The first concert was performed at the monastery courtyard by the Czech Chamber Soloists and Vilem Veverka as oboe soloist.
The second concert inside the monastery building Celsa Pia Haus was a recital of a two brilliant instrumentalists – Vilem Veverka and cembalist Barbara Maria Willi.

The highlight of the whole evening was in the monastery church under the button of Maestro Petr Fiala. The audience listened to the ensembles, Czech Chamber Soloists and Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno, and the vocal soloists in programme of sacred pieces by Vivaldi, Mozart and Schubert.

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