The Dvořák Society helps young musicians and Czech and Slovak musical institutions


T he Dvořák Society is dedicated to providing charitable support to young Czech or Slovak artists and appropriate musical institutions whenever a deserving cause is identified and our funds allow. In addition, the Society has led specific fund raising appeals for dedicated projects where the sums involved are outside our usual funding capability. This web page describes some of our fund raising and charitable activities.

The Society welcomes financial support from all sources towards furthering our charitable aims.

United Kingdom tax payers can make donations under the government “Gift Aid” scheme and thereby enable the Society to recover income tax paid on the sum.

For further details, please contact any of the Society’s executive officers listed on our introduction page … 

F  The Dartington Scholarship Appeal

Objective: to enable a Czech or Slovak graduate musician to attend a one-week masterclass at the prestigious International Summer School held annually at Dartington, Devon.

Status: fund is open.

Date Launched: August 1998, to mark the Society’s 25th Anniversary in 1999.

Initial Target: £10,000. Proceeds from sales of donated CDs go towards this continuing appeal.

Achieved: £18,000 as at March 2012.

Sir Charles Mackerras fund to promote UK performances of major works by Czech and Slovak composers

The Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music has established a new fund which we hope will encourage music colleges, universities and conservatoires to perform operas and major works by Czech or Slovak composers. We are particularly keen to support the staging in the UK of some of the lesser known operas. The creation of this fund has been made possible thanks to a generous bequest made to the Dvořák Society by the conductor, the late Sir Charles Mackerras, who was President of the Dvořák Society and a great advocate of Czech opera, particularly works by Leoš Janáček.
Grants will be awarded annually up to the value of £1000 and the Society can also offer further help by means of advice on repertoire, help with the Czech language or access to performing materials.
The Dvořák Society is keen to strengthen its links with the UK’s many music colleges and conservatoires and we would welcome informal enquiries about the application process for grants under this new fund to be made in the first instance to the Secretary,

Scholars awarded Dartington places /

ludmila-pavlová 2018Ludmila Pavlová
Ludmila is a third violin student at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts and attended the Dartington International Music School in August 2017 supported under the Society’s Scholarship Scheme. Ludmila was born in Czech Republic in 1994 and started to play the violin at the age of four. From an early age she already gained first prizes in Czech youth competitions, such as the Plzenecké housličky competition, the duo competition Filcíkova Chrast and the International Violin Competition Josef Muzika. As a part of the concert series Josef Suk Presents Young Talents (Josef Suk uvádí mladé talenty), Ludmila Pavlová played her debut in the Rudolfinum in Prague in 2007 at the age of 13, alongside the famous Czech violinist Josef Suk. This was followed by many solo appearances with several Czech Youth Orchestras and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Ludmila Pavlová studied at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Prague with Prof. Ivan Štraus and Prof. Pavel Šporcl and at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Prof. Jan Pospichal. She has participated in masterclasses with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Charles Avsharian, Robert Davidovici, Zdeňek Gola and Ivan Ženatý. In 2014 Ludmila Pavlová was first prize laureate of the Václav Hudeček Academy, where she was awarded a violin by the contemporary Czech violin maker Petr Rácz and a contract to participate with Václav Hudeček on his tour. Her extensive repertoire ranges from Baroque to Contemporary music, including the complete works for violin by Antonín Dvořák. Ludmila Pavlová has appeared as a soloist in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Austria and Belgium. Her current projects include the Festival Orchestra, Janáček-Philharmony with the Sibelius Violin Concerto and a collaboration with the conductor Jack Martin Händler and the Academy Chamber Orchestra for a concert in honour of the 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin.
At Dartington she participated in Thomas Gould’s solo masterclass. “Dartington is a very beautiful and inspiring place. There are concerts every night and I was also attending the Salsa class. People are extraordinarily friendly and I met the musicians from many different countries.
I played in the final concert of participants. The atmosphere of the audience was great and I performed (Heinrich Wilhelm) Ernst – The Last Rose of Summer (written in 1864 as a virtuosic piece for solo violin).
In Gould´s class I played the Ernst, Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres”, and the Brahms Violin Sonata No.3. Overnight I had to learn the whole of Poulenc’s Sonata for violin and piano, because I was asked to play it with Alissa Firsova in the masterclass of Pascal Rogé.
This summer school has definitely a magical spirit
Ludmila also played Cesar Franck’s Violin Sonata and Ravel’s Tzigane, accompanied by Alissa Firsova on piano.
As a direct consequence of her participation in the Dartington Summer School, Ludmila has been invited to take part in the competition in Plovdiv in Bulgaria.
Ludmila Pavlová recordings:

Lenka Dundrová 2017Adam Sikora and Lenka Dundrová attended The Dartington International Summer School during Week 4 (20-27 August ) where they attend the Master Class of Martin France and participated in the Jazz Ensembles and Open Big Band.
Adam, who comes from the Moravian town of Orlova is a second year student at Janáček Academy of Music (JAMU) in Brno. Lenka is studying jazz drums at the Academy of Music in Prague.
Both students clearly enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Summer School and took advantage of all the activities that the Summer School has to offer. Whilst clearly acknowledging the quality of the tuition Adam is not afraid to point out, what in his words are “organisational flaws”. These comments have now been passed onto the administrators of the Summer School as part of the overall feedback.
Concerning the Dartington International School of Music, I was really happy to be part of it, the venue is amazing, organisation as well, food, concerts that you can see there etc. There is plenty of amazing stuff that makes the time spent there really enjoyable. However, there were some minor flaws with the teaching part of this summer school. First of all, lack of bass players among the jazz students (not even jazz bass teacher who would teach or play with ensembles) was making ensembles slightly more difficult to play within. Also it would be easier for students to be divided into several groups, so more advanced players don't have to "wait" somehow for students that are at different stage of their development - it's not something intolerant I would say. It's just a matter that everybody would gain much more then I guess. Anyway the teacher who was my main instrument tutor was perfect in that regard (that he gave us quite a lot of material to work on) so everybody could make the most out of it. So at the end it's more organisational flaw rather than a teaching one, as all of the tutors are amazing teaching-wise as well as human-wise.
We would both like to thank you once again for the possibility you have given us - to participate in the Dartington Music School 2016 with these world-class tutors.
Adam Sikora /Lenka Dundrová

2016Jan Nečaský (violoncello) participated in the Masterclass of Adrian Brendel and played in the chamber orchetra for the opera productions.

Jan was born in Semily in 1993 and started playing the violoncello at the age of seven. After several years, he moved to Prague to take classes with Jan Vychytil.

In 2009, he was accepted at the Music Gymnasium in Prague where he was taught by Martin Škampa and his father Mirko Škampa. After graduating from the gymnasium, he spent one year studying at the Prague Conservatory in the class of Michal Kaňka. Jan has been studying with him also at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU) where he is now in his second year.

In 2007 Jan won the 1st prize and the jury prize in the competition Prague Junior Note. He won the first and second prizes at the Talents for Europe in Slovakia and in the national competition of the Czech music schools.

Since the beginning of his music studies, Jan has been active as an orchestral and chamber player. He was a member of a string quarter which was awarded in the national music school competition as well as in Karl Ditterse competition. Currently, he is a member of a piano trio and a piano quartet giving concerts mainly in Prague. Jan also plays with well known orchestras, such as PKF (Prague Philharmonia) and PKO (Prague Chamber Orchestra).

His repertoire includes concertos by J. Haydn, C. Saint-Saëns (Concerto in A minor), Dvořák (Concerto in B minor), Honnegger, Martinů (Concerto No. 1), sonatas and solo suites by J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and D. Shostakovich. Although he enjoys playing compositions by almost all composers, he has a special liking for Martinů’s sonatas and his chamber pieces.

Jan collaborates with the young conductor Chuhei Iwasaki, with whom he performed Dvořák’s violoncello Concerto B Minor in April 2015.

In January 2016 Jan performed Dvořák´s Concerto in Harbin Opera House in China.

He attended the Dartington International Summer School between 13th-20th August where he participated in the Masterclass of Adrian Brendel playing Honegger‘s Cello Concerto and Martinů’s Variations on a Theme of Rossini. He also played in the chamber orchetra for the opera productions. To quote Jan… “Everything was wonderful – organisation, workshops, concerts and masterclass. And everybody was helpful and great…”.

Clearly he made an impression on Adrian Brendel who recommended him for postgraduate study in London.

Jaromir Nosek (bass) 2012 —Jaromír Nosek (bass) from Prague attended Dame Emma Kirkby’s Masterclass.

Jaromír Nosek graduated first from the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague, in the field of choir conducting under Professor Miroslav Košler. After that he fully focused on his main area of professional interest: having finished his opera singing studies at the Prague Conservatory in Jiří Kotouč’s class, he went on to the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague where he studied under Professor Roman Janál from 2009. He is a laureate of the Mozartian Dušek Vocal Competition in Prague.

He specialises in Rennaissance, Baroque and Classical repertoire. A member of Collegium Vocale 1704, he also performs with other Czech Baroque music ensembles such as Musica Florea, Collegium Marianum, Ensemble Inégal and Capella Mariana.

2011 —  Lenka Kotrbová (soprano) from České Budějovice was the awarded place (but this was not taken up).

Veronika Klírová (flautist) Vojtěch Urban (cellist)

2010 — The Dvořák Society funded two scholars in 2010.

Veronika Klírová (flautist) from Plzeň attended the Woodwind Workshop led by Sarah Francis.

Vojtěch Urban (cellist) from Ústí nad Labem attended the Masterclass led by Karine Georgian.

Veronika Klírová was born in 1988. From 2003 to 2009 she studied at the Plzeň Conservatory in the class of Jana Brejchová. In 2010 she graduated from the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU) and later studied in Cologne (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln). On 26 June 2014 Veronika was appointed as Principal Second Flute by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Vojtěch Urban graduated from the music department of the Jan Neruda Grammar School (Gymnázium Jana Nerudy) in Prague. He has also studied at the Academy of Music (HAMU), Prague.

2004 — a plan for a scholarship award in 2002 had to be curtailed because of major reconstruction work on the Dartington Estate, so 2004 was chosen instead. To mark the Year of Czech Music (which commemorated the centenary of Dvořák’s death and the 150th anniversary of Janáček’ birth) the Society decided to award two scholarships, including one of the two week courses (either composition or conducting). Dartington’s own Trust funding was secured for the second week. The selected students were chosen in consultation with the Academy of Music in Prague (HAMU) and the Janáček Academy in Brno (JAMU).

Ivana Mikesková (soprano) from Nitra, Slovakia: had the opportunity to work with Patricia Rozario in the master-classes and Pippa Longworth in the vocal workshops. Both her teachers at Dartington felt that she was among the best students of the week and had the potential for a good singing career ahead of her.

Tomáš Pálka (composer) from Brno, Czech Republic: attended the Advanced Composition Course, which was under the direction of Pavel Novák. At the end of the two weeks, all seven of the very talented young composers had the benefit of hearing their compositions played by the members of two leading Czech ensembles — the MoEns (the Czech Republic’s leading contemporary music group) and the Martinů Quartet. Tomáš Pálka’s work Moon silences was the longest of the main compositions and was scored for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello and piano, spatially placed around the hall, while his miniature, Shortly from Dartington Gardens, was scored for the same ensemble.

Ivana Mikesková and Tomáš Pálka with Graham Melville-Mason
Ivana Mikesková and Tomáš Pálka
with Graham Melville-Mason at Dartington

September 1999 —  first award: to Lukáš Bendl (organ scholar), to study with David Titterington.

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F  Emmy Destinn Singing Competition

Andrew Dickinson (tenor)

Biennial Prize: £500 to be awarded for the best performance of a vocal piece composed by a 20th century Czech composer (sung in Czech).

Emmy Destinn Prize

The final of the Emmy Destinn Young Singers Competition took place at Velehrad in Barnes in SW London on Wednesday 15th November. This year’s finalists included four sopranos, a baritone and a bass-baritone.
The Dvořák Society Prize of £500 was won by lyric dramatic soprano Erika Mädi Jones. Erika sang Ellen Orford’s Embroidery aria from Peter Grimes, Clara Schumann’s Loreley, Love went a-riding by Bridge as well as Kaprálová’s Jak na hedvábný mech from Sparks from the ashes, Jenůfa’s aria Where am I? by Janáček and Vtak mnohém srdci jest from Love Songs, op. 83 by Dvořák.
Tribute must be paid to Society member, Jarmila Karas, for the enormous amount of hard work and determination needed to organise this very worthwhile biennial competition.

First awarded: November 2011 to the British tenor, Andrew Dickinson, for his performance of two of Pavel Haas’s 7 Songs in Folk Style/7 písní v lidovém tónu (“Připoved/A Promise” and “Což je vic?/It’s Your Affair” and Skuratov’s aria from Janáček’s House of the Dead/Z mrtvého domu.

Andrew Dickinson began his singing career as a chorister at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool, where he was made Head Chorister in his final year in 1997. After studying piano and he began to discover his tenor voice, initially studying with Ted Roberts for 2 years. At 17 he studied for a further two years with Colin Iveson of the Royal Northern College of Music. Subsequently, he studied with Peter Alexander Wilson in Glasgow at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). At the Royal Academy of Music in London he studied with Ryland Davies.

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F  Biarritz International Organ Festival (2009)

Balázs Szábo (organist)

Prize: 500 euros was given for the best performance of an organ piece by Czech composer Petr Eben. The competition was won by Balázs Szábo of Hungary for his performance of Laudes IV.

Balázs Szábo was born in Miskolc, north-eastern Hungary, in 1985. He began his musical training at age 15 in his hometown. From 2003 he studied organ at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, then in Würzburg , Trossingen and Rome. Since 2011 he has taught at the Ferenc Liszt Academy.

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F  Dvořák Website

Objective: To fund the translation from Czech into English of the comprehensive website devoted to Antonín Dvořák compiled by Ondřej Šupka. This will provide an invaluable information source for English-speaking members and the general public. A link to the website will be contained on the Society’s own website.

Cost: £4,500 (made up of the unused money held in reserve for the Prague Computer Fund, topped up from Society reserves.) Estimated date for completion mid 2013.

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F  The Vysoká Project

Objective: Dvořák’s summer home at Vysoká near Příbram is a place where he found solace and inspiration leading to the creation of many important works. The house, still owned by the family, was in need of significant remedial work and the Society decided to raise funds towards its preservation.

This project had 3 phases —
Phase 1: To produce a photographic and video record of all contents and artefacts.
Phase 2: To provide sufficient funds to assist the Dvořák family in making immediate repairs to the fabric of the building. This was to include repairs to the roof and windows to make the building weatherproof and to the boundary wall for security. An on-going series of repairs and improvements was planned in order to preserve this important location and its contents.
Phase 3: Provision for longer-term preservation, repairs and security as funds allow.

Date Launched: July 1994.

Date Completed:
Phase 1, July 1994;
Phase 2, November 1994;
Phase 3, on going.

Target: £3,500.

Achieved: £6,000.

Status: Fund is now closed with £5,648 reserve.

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F  The Computer Fund

Objective: to provide the Dvořák Society of Prague with the hardware and software for the establishment of an International Dvořák Database. The system comprises computer, printer and database software in three languages (Czech, English & German) and is installed at the Dvořák Museum, Villa America, Ke Karlovu 20, Prague 2.

Date Launched: April 1991.

Date Completed: September 1991.

Target: £3–4,000 (revised to £7,000).

Achieved: £8,000 (£2,300 reserve for future upgrades & maintenance)

Status: the fund is now closed. In 2011 it was agreed to terminate the project and reallocate the money to another initiative.

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