^ Posted 17 September 2018
Dvořák American Heritage Association – Fall 2018 Events:
Dvořák: The Chamber Music Survey with Martinů Quartet
Sunday, September 23, 2018
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street New York, NY, 10021
“Dvořák: the Chamber Music Survey” brings Dvořák’s complete chamber music works to New York audiences at the historic Bohemian National Hall. The brilliant Martinů Quartet from Prague will perform at the third annual concert in the series in September 2018. Acclaimed by audiences around the world, they appear regularly at the Prague Spring Festival as well as concerts in many European countries, the United States, Canada and Japan. Formed in 1976 at the Prague Conservatory, the Martinů Quartet (formerly Havlák Quartet) earned prizes at the ARD Munich, Evian, Yehudi Menuhin, and Prague Spring competitions. DAHA is pleased to be bringing the Martinů Quartet to New York audiences: the musical selections will include Dvořák’s Terzetto in C Major Opus 74; String Quartet No. 12 in F Major Opus 96, the “American”; and String Quartet No. 14 in A-Flat Major Opus 105.
The Martinů Quartet will guide listeners on a transcendental listening journey as DAHA continues to explore the chamber music of Czech master Antonín Dvořák. A critic for the musical journal The Strad wrote of them : “The Martinů Quartet played...with such extraordinary homogeneity of sound and technical ease that their reading sounded deceptively laid back. … Here again the Martinů players showed their gift for finding the emotional heart of a piece. This was an exquisitely crafted and profoundly moving performance.”
Martinů Quartet: Lubomír Havlák, 1st violin; Libor Kaňka, 2nd violin; Zbyněk Paďourek, viola; Jitka Vlašánková, cello.
NOTES ON THE PROGRAM
The Terzetto, or trio for two violins and viola in C major, Opus 74 is a charming miniature in which Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) looks back at the Classical Style of Haydn and Mozart. The Neo-Classical writing is deftly synthesized with melodies and rhythms from the Bohemian Folklore. This Terzetto, like much of Dvořák’s work, is a record of the thoughts and impressions that came to Dvořák when walking in nature. He composed the piece in 1887 for close friends, but when it proved to be too difficult for them, the prolific composer immediately wrote another quartet!
The String Quartet in F major Opus 96, the "American" Quartet, is one of the best-known pieces in the entire Standard Repertoire of Classical Music. It was composed by Dvořák during his epoch-making, three-year sojourn in the United States. This composition came to life in a period of great joy and inspiration, experienced during a visit to the Czech-American village of Spillville, Iowa, in the summer of 1893. The melodies have a distinct American flavor, reminiscent of both Native American chants and African American melodies. In the third movement, you hear the delightful bird song of the Scarlet Tanager from the midwestern region. In this work Dvořák largely avoids the rich, late-Romantic style then current in Europe.
The String Quartet in A flat major Opus 105 comes late in Dvořák’s creative life. By the time he wrote this, he had risen from poverty and obscurity to the status of an international celebrity. Dvořák had already proven himself. In this work, the master gives us a glimpse of the excitement, the passion and the sheer joy of Bohemian folklore; and all this within the framework of a large, late-Romantic String Quartet. The youthful enthusiasm of his previous music has now given way to a more philosophical view of life.
Though chronologically the last of Dvořák's chamber works, the opus 105 is numbered second to last. Composed in 1895 (begun in New York and completed in Bohemia), it represents a culminating statement in Dvořák's chamber music output, "an affirmation of life from the standpoint of one who sees and knows, and an expression of thanks for all its material and immaterial beauty," in the words of Dvořák specialist Jarmil Burghauser.
General Admission to be paid at the door: $30; Seniors, Students, Czech Center Club Members $20.
Supported by Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association.
Jarmila Novotná, My Life in Song: Book Launch and Musical Tribute with House of Time Ensemble
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street New York, NY,10021
Join us for the exclusive American introduction of the memoirs of Czech-American opera star and film actress, Jarmila Novotná (1907-1994). Author and editor William V. Madison will speak about the international triumphs of this multi-talented celebrity, who acted as a cultural ambassador for the Czechoslovak nation throughout her career - beginning in Prague with her opera debut as a lyric soprano at age 17 and including 16 years with New York's Metropolitan Opera. Her granddaughter, Tatiana Daubek, with Daubek’s ensemble House of Time, will pay musical tribute with a program featuring music of Mozart, Krommer, and Dvořák. Visit the Dvořák Room exhibition of archival Novotná images, courtesy of the George Daubek Collection. See also: www.houseoftimemusic.org and www.tatianadaubek.com.
The book, Jarmila Novotná, My Life in Song (University Press of Kentucky, 2018), will be available for purchase and signing.
Free admission. Seating is limited, first come, first served.
Celebrating 100 Years of Czechoslovak Independence, 1918-2018
WILLIAM V. MADISON, a former associate editor of Opera News, interviewed Jarmila Novotná while he pursued his MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. A former producer for Dan Rather at CBS News, he is the author of Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). His writings about music and singers have appeared in GBOpera.it, Houston Grand Opera’s Opera Cues, lingua franca, Andante.com, and The Forward, as well as his blog, Billevesées.
HOUSE OF TIME known for their “fluency and command” (San Francisco Classical Voice) is dedicated to both well-known and underperformed repertoire of the 17th through the 21st century played on period instruments. Members and guests include Juilliard and Curtis faculty and alumni of The Juilliard School, as well as prize-winners of major international competitions. Using the instruments and techniques of the past to express the vivid passions in the music, House of Time has moved audiences and keeps them coming back for more. Critics have declared oboist, Gonzalo X. Ruiz, “one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell); Tatiana Daubek, is known for her "sleekly elegant playing" (Gazettes Long Beach); Avi Stein, one of NYC’s finest, is described by the New York Times as “a brilliant organ soloist” and Beiliang Zhu, is described by the New Yorker as “elegant, sensual and stylishly wild”. Currently in their 6th season as ensemble in residence at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, home audiences continue to grow. House of Time has been presented by the Berkeley Early Music Festival, Czech Center New York, Early Music Festival: NYC, Music Before 1800, San Diego and San Francisco Early Music Societies, The University Club in NYC, the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. This season the group with perform and give masterclasses at Michigan State University. House of Time continues to give free outreach concerts at Mount Sinai Concerts for Patients in New York City and may be seen giving impromptu pop up concerts in casual venues such as local cafes. House of Time is also on the roster of GEMS Live! Artists.
TATIANA DAUBEK, a “sleekly elegant” player (Gazettes Long Beach) is regular as concertmaster for New York’s oldest Bach cantata series, Bach Vespers Holy Trinity. In addition, she performs with the American Classical Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Musica Angelica, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Ms. Daubek is a founding member of House of Time, a chamber ensemble with a thriving series in Manhattan dedicated to performing music on period instruments. They are currently in their sixth season as ensemble in residence at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan and have been presented by The Czech Center New York, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Early Music Festival: NYC, San Diego and San Francisco Early Music Societies, The University Club in New York City and Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. Ms. Daubek has taken part in multiple tours across North and South America with Musica Angelica/Wiener Akademie of The Infernal Comedy and The Giacomo Variations starring John Malkovich. An active member of her Czech heritage, Ms. Daubek helped start the Festival Jarmily Novotne, a festival in the Czech Republic commemorating the life of star soprano and grandmother, Jarmila Novotna. She has collaborated abroad with the Czech ensemble, Musica Florea and was a featured soloist broadcast live on Czech Radio. Daubek holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Boston University and The Juilliard School. Aside from music, Tatiana is also a photographer specializing in portraiture and street photography and her work can be seen at www.tatianadaubekphotography.com.
GONZALO X. RUIZ is one of America’s most sought after historical woodwind soloists. In recent seasons Mr. Ruiz has appeared as principal oboist and soloist with leading groups in the U.S. and Europe, such as The English Concert, Sonnerie, Wiener Akademie, Philharmonia, Trinity Wall Street, The Boston Early Music Festival, and Musica Angelica, under such conductors as McGegan, Savall, Manze, Antonini, Huggett, Goodwin, Pinnock, Hasselböck, Rattle, Hogwood, and Egarr. He has been featured in numerous recordings of orchestral, chamber, and solo repertoire and his reconstructions of the original versions of Bach’s Orchestral Suites received a Grammy nomination in 2010. Critics have declared Mr. Ruiz “one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell) and “a master of expansive phrasing, lush sonorities, and deft passagework” (San Francisco Chronicle). For years he has taught at Oberlin Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and most recently was appointed professor at The Juilliard School. Mr. Ruiz has given master classes at Yale University, Indiana University, the New World Symphony, and his former students now fill the ranks of many top groups across the country. Equally accomplished on the modern oboe, he has been principal oboe of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, with recent performances including the concertos of Mozart, Vaughn Williams, and Strauss. For many years Mr. Ruiz led the ensemble American Baroque, specializing in new music commissions, for which he received the 2000 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. He is an acknowledged expert in historical reed techniques and examples of his work are on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Boston-Based cellist JACQUES LEE WOOD enjoys an active career as performer, educator, scholar, and composer. His eclectic interests have led to a diverse range of musical genres and styles: historical performance on period instruments, commissioning new works for both modern and baroque cello, improvisation in both classical and non-classical styles, and most recently composing his own works. Recent compositions include a multi-movement work for 5 string electric cello with live electronics, and a collaborative composition for guitar and cello with StringLab partner, Simon Powis. Dr. Wood is a founding member of StringLab, Antico Moderno, a period chamber ensemble that commissions new works for period instruments, and the NYC-based bluegrass band Cathedral Parkway where he adopts a multi-faceted role as a vocalist, mandolin, banjo, and cello player. An avid chamber musician and orchestral musician, Wood is a member of the Pedroia String Quartet and recently appointed principal cello of the Cape Symphony. He is a frequent guest artist with A Far Cry, Aston Magna, Yale Schola Cantorum, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Bachsolisten Seoul, Bach Collegium Japan, Juilliard 415, Firebird Ensemble, and the Handel and Haydn Society. A recognized pedagogue, Wood is an Artist-in-Residence at the University of New Hampshire and holds faculty positions at Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (Intensive Community Program) and Milton Academy. He has held residencies at Yale University, University of Ulsan, Tufts University, and the Boston Conservatory. Wood is currently on the faculty of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Yale Summer School), Summer Youth Music School (University of New Hampshire), and is a frequent guest artist at the Great Mountains Festival (South Korea), Korea Strings Research Institute, Bari International Music Festival, Banff Centre, Avaloch Farm, Aston Magna, and the Manchester Summer Chamber Music Festival. As a recording artist, Wood has released recordings on the Hyperion and Navona labels, and is currently recording a new album with the Pedroia Quartet for Naxos/Navona Records. Dr. Wood completed his BM at the New England Conservatory of Music under Laurence Lesser, and holds a MM and DMA from Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot.
ALISSA SMITH, violist, holds music degrees from the Australian National University and the Juilliard School, where she was a Teaching Fellow. Her chamber music experience has included recitals at Carnegie Hall; performances at the Park City, Aspen, Bravo! Colorado, Steamboat Springs, and Verbier music festivals; and a residency with the Emerson String Quartet. A versatile performer on modern and baroque violas, Alissa has appeared with The Knights at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, and toured Australia and North America with The Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, American Composers Orchestra, Klangforum Wien and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. International festival appearances include the Sydney Festival alongside Lou Reed and at the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. As a baroque violist Alissa currently performs with Clarion, NYBI and The Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and recently appeared with Apollo’s Fire, The Sebastians, Opera Lafayette, NY Collegium and at the Staunton and Carmel Bach Festivals. Alissa can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including “Casanova”, “Julie and Julia”, “True Grit” and “Keeping Up with the Joneses”; on period instrument recordings of Bach Motets (The Trinity Choir) and Mozart Symphonies (Apollos Fire); and on the multi Grammy award winning album “Winter Morning Walks” with Dawn Upshaw and The Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Gilded Age Newsmakers: Antonín Dvořák, Jeanette Thurber, and the National Conservatory of Music of America
Thursday, October 18, 2018
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73rd St New York, NY USA
From the moment Czech composer Antonín Dvořák stepped ashore to assume the post of Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in September 1892, he was besieged by reporters anxious to follow his every move. Active behind the scenes was music impresario Jeanette Meyer Thurber, Founder and President of the Conservatory and a New York mover and shaker. In a talk by cultural historian Majda Kallab Whitaker of the Dvořák American Heritage Association, learn how these unlikely partners charged the musical scene with excitement in Gilded Age New York. Their combined efforts inspired a new generation of American composers and led to the creation of some of Dvořak's greatest works - from the "New World" Symphony to the Cello Concerto - during his epoch-making three-year American residency. Visit the Czech Center exhibition of the original manuscript of Dvořák's magnificent Cello Concerto, a national treasure on loan from the Czech National Museum, as well as an associated exhibit in the Dvořák Room. Presented in collaboration with Czech Center New York.
Admission is free, limited seating.
MAJDA KALLAB WHITAKER is an independent scholar and curatorial consultant specializing in late nineteenth and early twentieth century cultural and design history, and has acted as curatorial advisor for DAHA's Dvořák Room in the Bohemian National Hall since 2006. She has presented lectures, walking tours, and exhibitions including "New World Diplomacy: The Contract that Brought Antonín Dvořák to America," and recently authored an article on Antonín Dvořák, Jeannette Thurber and the National Conservatory of Music of America in 19th Century Magazine, a publication of the Victorian Society in America. Born in Prague, she is a graduate of Vassar College and Bard Graduate Center for material culture studies in New York City, and serves as a Board Member of the Dvořák American Heritage Association and the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association.
^ Posted 17 July 2018
SALES MANAGER URGENTLY REQUIRED.
Antony Gordon has now stepped down from this role and despite a number of appeals we are yet to find a new person to fulfil this position.
At the recent Leamington Festival we sold over £200 of materials. This is a source of revenue of the Society but more importantly it enables our members to buy titles not available in the UK. Through the Society website we also sell our publications to non-members both in the UK and overseas.
This publicizes the work of the Society.
For more information please contact The Secretary
Tel: 01782 631274
^ Posted 9 May 2018
Under the General Data Protection Regulations which came into effect on 25 May 2018 the Dvořák Society, like many other organisations, is required to consider how it uses personal data and to inform its members. Our Privacy Notice is to be found here.
^ Posted 16 April 2018
Czech Composer Focus: Antonín Dvořák and Kryštof Mařatka
Friday, April 20th at 7 PM. The Dvořák American Heritage Association presents the world premiere of the exciting new piano arrangement of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony “From the New World,” created and performed by contemporary Czech composer/conductor/pianist Kryštof Mařatka. Originally composed and premiered in New York City by the New York Philharmonic in 1893, the “New World” Symphony is symbolic of Czech and American musical dialogue and cultural understanding. Musicologist Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music at New York University, will offer pre-concert remarks and have a discussion with the artist.
More information (leaflet).
Complete program listed on DAHA's website.
^ Posted 17 March 2018
The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
in Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA is seeking to appoint a President & CEO.
For details click here.
^ Posted 28 February 2018
SALES MANAGER REQUIRED. Antony Gordon wishes to step down from this role due to health issues and relocation.
The Society is seeking someone to take over this important role. Enquiries to Antony please.
^ Posted 28 February 2018
The Dvořák Society Collection and Library
The Society’s collection of publications, recordings and scores formerly held in the basement of Glamorgan Records Office, Cathays Park, Cardiff University have now been moved to Egham, to the Depository of Senate House Library . There are opportunities for members to assist in cataloguing, especially those with Czech /Slovak language skills and musical knowledge.
Please note that all volunteers are given guidance and an initial training. If you are interested in volunteering please contact David Roberts, the Secretary.
For more information please see the guidlelines and policy on the library page.
^ Posted 28 February 2018
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The AGM of the Dvořák Society will take place on Sunday, 6th May 2018.
Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa, at 2.30pm
With the exception of David Bridges, Committee Members offer themselves for re-election. Nominations for places on the Committee should be made in writing to the Honorary Secretary by Friday, 20th April 2018.
To be followed by refreshments and a talk on by
Katya Kocourek and Patrick Lambert
on the creation of Czechoslovakia and music during the Great War.
All are cordially welcome.
RSVP - to Hon. Secretary (address in the Yearbook).
The Dvořák Society is a Registered Charity: No. 267336
Officers and Committee Members (Trustees)
Chairman: Annette Percy
Hon.Secretary David Roberts
Hon. Treasurer Gordon Watts
Membership Sec. Terry Heard
David Bridges (standing down at AGM),
Karel Janovický, Susan Jenkinson,
^ Posted 14 February 2018
Duo Brikcius, a Czech chamber music ensemble
created by two promising young cellists (brother and sister), Anna Brikciusová and František Brikcius, is perfoming a series of concerts in the UK in March 2018. They will be performing in Aylesbury, Brighton and London.
Their programme includes a premiere of Leos Janáček’s Presto (1910) arranged for Two Cellos by Frantisek, as well as works by Klein, Kosikova and Offenbach
For further details please click here
^ Posted 13 February 2018
Dvořák's Rusalka from Harrow Opera
Harrow Opera are giving four performances of Dvořák's Rusalka on Thursday 16th, Friday 17th, Saturday 18th March at 7.30pm (+ Saturday matinee at 2.30pm) at the Compass Theatre, Glebe Avenue, Ickenham UB10 8BD (directly opposite Ickenham Station). The opera will be sung in English, fully staged, with piano accompaniment.
For more information about this production, see http://www.harrowopera.com/
And to book go to https://www.ents24.com/uxbridge-events/compass-theatre
^ Posted 12 February 2018
Volume 26 of the Journal of Czech and Slovak Music is out now.
It is the first edition to be published under the new Editor, Patrick Devine.
Contents include articles on Oscar Nedbal, Czech music through the eyes (and ears) of an Englishman, Tomášek’s Goethe Lieder, Uncovering early Martinů, supplements to the Vilém Tauský and Rudolf Firkušný discographies, and much, much more.
The Journal is provided free of charge to all members of the Dvořák Society, so if you are not already a member why not join us today! Click here for all details of membership.
^ Posted 7 February 2018
A concert to enjoy in the comfort of your own home!
To be performed by the Hebrides Ensemble on the 12 February
Bartók Mikrokosmos [selection]
Osborne Piano Tuner
Dvořák Piano Trio No 4 in E minor 'Dumky'
The live streaming of this lunchtime concert marks the Ensemble’s commitment to reaching audiences in remote and rural places across the country, as well as engaging music-lovers all over the world with high quality performances coming out of Scotland. This performance sees the Ensemble join forces with BBC Arts Digital who will be showing the concert on their dedicated arts site www.bbc.co.uk/arts. The audience in Perth will be joined virtually by audiences in Orkney, Skye, Mull and Kinlochbervie who will give their feedback on the streamed concert experience, leading to the development of future digital projects by the Ensemble and their partners at Horsecross Arts. Members of the public are also encouraged to tune-in to watch the concert live on www.hebridesensemble.com or to view at a later date as the concert will be available on-demand for the next 12 months.
^ Posted 1 February 2018
Dennis Russell Davies named Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra.
Conductor Dennis Russell Davies has been named Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra (Brno, Czech Republic). Davies' contract starts with the 2018-19 season and runs through 2022. The timing coincides with the initiation of the construction phase of the Janáček Cultural Centre in Brno, a state-of-the-art concert hall with a seating capacity of 1,250, which will become the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra's new home and is projected to open in 2020.
Maestro Davies will next be conducting the Brno Philharmonic in Brno at the Easter Festival in April 2018, in a concert that will include Leoš Janáček's Glagolitic Mass, the world premiere of a work by British composer David Matthews, and Arvo Pärt's Te Deum, which Davies conducted in its world premiere in 1985.
The date of the Brno Philharmonic's official first concert with Maestro Davies as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor will be on September 18, 2018, with the details of the programme still to be announced.
Please click here for further details.
^ Posted 2 December 2017
A lecture on Baroque Castle Theatres in the Czech Lands by Daniel Špička, has been organised by The Friends of Czech Heritage on 30 January 2018 in the Embassy of the Czech Republic, 26-30 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY. Online booking: www.czechfriends.net
Daniel Špička, architect and musician, will talk about the theatres in Český Krumlov, Litomyšl, Valtice, Kačina, Mnichovo Hradiště and Žleby.
More details can be found at
> Download leaflet
^ Posted 9 October 2017
It is with much regret that we announce the death of our Vice-President on Wednesday 27th September. In January of this year we had celebrated her 90th birthday. At the time both Czech and UK media gave air-time to live interviews and a look-back at Zuzana’s extensive recording achievement and contribution to the revival of the harpsichord. Supraphon marked her anniversary with the release of a box set of pioneering recordings.
In early September Lady Grenfell-Baines (a relative) and a member of the Society visited her in Jindřichův Hradec at the family home and dined out at a restaurant named Concertino in memory of her husband Viktor Kalabis whose home town it was.
The private funeral will take place on 11th October. There is to be a commemorative concert on the 16th October when her past pupils will play including Mahan Esfahani.
> Obituary: The Guardian
> Obituary: Presto Classical
> Interview: Czech magazine Tyden (23 January 2017)
^ Posted 6 October 2017
The Society is delighted to announce that Jakub Hrůša has accepted our invitation to become our new President following the untimely death of his teacher and mentor, Jiři Bělohlávek, earlier in the year.
Jakub Hruša is currently Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He has been a regular Guest Conductor for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle.
^ Posted 8 September 2017
Reviews: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša (conductor), Svatopluk Sem (baritone), BBC Singers
"This was playing of an exactness so fine that at times it felt beyond human. Hrůša assumed rarely heard, rarely popular Czech works with a conducting that transplanted them onto another level of interpretation; an unearthly one. The repetition of a single, brisk motif underwent transformation with every new utterance. This was interpretative stylistic choices at an advanced level; a feat to which only maestri with inarguable taste and intuition can climb. In a time when most great 20th-century maestros have already passed, Hrůša lends a definition to sublime performance for this current era."
Bachtrack (Sophia Lambton)
> Prom 56: Jakub Hrůša raises Czech music to celestial Bohemian heights
"In Martinů's Field Mass, the choir acts as foil to the soloist, voices in hushed unison, mass (in every sense supporting the individual. Though their music is relatively straightforward Miserere, Kyrie and psalm, this simplicity enhances the idea of mutual support, reflecting the relationship between piano with harmonium, voices and soloists surrounded by atmospheric percussion and brass. The version we heard at this Prom is the new edition by Paul Wingfield."
Opera Today (Anne Ozorio)
> Jakub Hrůša : Bohemian Reformation Prom
"[Field Mass] was given a first-rate performance, its astringent harmonies, unusual orchestral textures, and almost-Orthodox choral homophony providing a balance to some of the lusher elements of pieces programmed either side of it."
Music OHM (Barry Creasy
> Prom 56: The Bohemian Reformation @ Royal Albert Hall, London
Jakub Hrůša. Photo: Andreas Herzau
"The highlights were Suk’s lush, atmospheric orchestral portrait Prague, which mixed the mad fervour of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred with the suave sensuality of Richard Strauss, and Martinu’s weird but gripping Field Mass. Written in 1939 to boost morale in the Czech army, it juxtaposed martial trumpets and drums, a wheezy harmonium, an anguished baritone declamation (Svatopluk Sem, masterful) and exquisite close harmony for the male chorus."
The Times (Richard Morrison)
> Proms review
"The highlight came before the interval with a revival of the Field Mass that Martinů wrote for Czech forces in France after the Nazi invasion. Less liturgical service than sacred cantata, its fusion of patriotism and prayer leaves an impression as singular as its scoring, and baritone Svatopluk Sem impressed in the monologues at the heart of this uniquely affecting concept.“
Independent (Richard Whitehouse)
> Prom 56: BBC Symphony Orchestra / Hrůša, Royal Albert Hall, London, review: Suffused with heady Czech sentiment.
^ Posted 9 August 2017
DVOŘÁK AMERICAN HERITAGE ASSOCIATION
DAHA SEPTEMBER 2017 CONCERTS
EXPLORING DVOŘÁK’S AMERICAN EXPERIENCE AND MORE
Thursday, September 7th at 7pm.
On the eve of Antonín Dvořák’ birthday, DAHA celebrates the 125th Anniversary of his arrival in America. The festive music offerings include: Dvořák’s Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Opus 100, written in New York and premiered by the composer’s children, plus selected Humoresques for piano combined with readings from Josef Kovařík’s Three Years with the Maestro: An American Remembers Antonín Dvořák.
Hear rousing Slavonic Dances for piano four-hands and enjoy “A Visit with Antonín Dvořák III at Vysoká,” an illustrated talk by curator Majda Kallab Whitaker. Featuring violinist Laura Jean Goldberg, pianist Moshe Knoll, musicologist and pianist Michael Beckerman, actor Vit Hořejš, and young composer Michael Pineda, who will perform his prize-winning piano work “Discovering a New World,” from the New York Philharmonic New World Initiative Composition Competition. Birthday reception and Dvořák Room viewing to follow.
Free Admission. Reservations required: visit www.dvoraknyc.org or
www.czechcenter.com. Presented by the Dvořák American Heritage Association in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic New World Initiative, Czech Center New York, and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic.
DVOŘÁK: THE CHAMBER MUSIC SURVEY
WITH NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC MUSICIANS AND FRIENDS
Sunday, September 24th at 3pm.
DAHA's unprecedented multi-year Dvořák Chamber Music Survey presents the composer’s chamber music masterpieces as well his lesser known gems. This year’s concert—featuring outstanding New York Philharmonic musicians and friends—pairs Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A, Opus 81 with his first String Quartet, written in 1862. The rarely-heard early work illustrates the mindset of the young composer, the starting point from which Dvořák developed his distinctive and well-known compositional style. In the universally cherished Piano Quintet of 1887, the audience will enjoy the soulful melodies and lively Slavonic dance rhythms that have made Dvořák world famous. Followed by a reception to meet the musicians and Dvořák Room viewing. Join us for this exceptional series!
Events take place at the Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York City. General Admission for September 24th event to be paid at door: $20; Seniors, Students, Czech Center Club Members $10.
Concerts organized by Laura Jean Goldberg of DAHA. Supported by the Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association. Images of Antonín Dvořák and New York Philharmonic Honorary Membership Certificate, DAHA Archive.
^ Posted 25 July 2017
To celebrate the recent CD release by Prima Facie,
Rainsongs, the Dvořák Society is pleased to invite you to a concert and reception
on Sunday 10th September from 3.00 to 5.30
at Velehrad London, 39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP.
Three of the artists on the recording
John Turner (recorder), Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano), Joan Taylor (piano)
will perform items from the CD: Sonata for Recorder and Piano, Passages of Flight, Sonata for Piano (2005), Rainsongs, plus other works including a Janovický world première.
Karel Janovický will talk about the music and its origins with John Turner. The CD will be available to purchase at the discounted price of £10.
All are welcome: admission is free for members of the Dvořák Society, and £10 per head (payable at the door) for others.
For catering purposes please inform Terry Heard, email@example.com, 020 8852 9263, by 4th September if you are planning to come.
Velehrad London is located at 39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP.
The nearest underground station is Hammersmith (District, Circle, Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City lines). From there continue by bus 419 from the bus terminal (stop L) at Hammersmith station ground floor. Bus 419 goes along Lonsdale Road, which is a ‘hail and ride’ section, so you can ask the driver to stop right outside the house, which is at the second zebra crossing, opposite the entrance to St. Paul´s School. The journey takes about 10 minutes, but allow more for delays on Hammersmith Bridge.
Buses 33, 72, 209, 283, 485 from Hammersmith bus terminal also cross Hammersmith Bridge to Castelnau and stop near the end of Lonsdale Road (about 5 minutes walk from the house).
A pleasant brisk walk from Hammersmith station via Hammersmith Bridge takes about 20 minutes.
Another way is to take a train from Waterloo to Barnes and then bus 33 or 72 to Castelnau (10 min) which stop near the end of Lonsdale Road (about 5 minutes walk from the house).
For those coming by car there are plenty of car parking spaces in front of the Velehrad building and there is also free parking in Lonsdale Road.
^ Posted 25 May 2017
Special Ticket Offer
The Pavel Haas Quartet will be performing a programme of Beethoven & Dvořák in London on Friday 2 June as part of the Southbank Centre’s prestigious International Chamber Music Series at St John’s Smith Square.
The quartet’s programme will be Beethoven’s String Quartet No.12 in E flat and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No.2, with the outstanding Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin. This will be a really special concert and a wonderful chance to hear these world-class musicians perform in the stunning and intimate setting of St John’s Smith Square.
There is a special ticket offer available for this concert.
Use promo code DVORAK for 20% off full ticket prices when booking online or over the phone
Ticket link is:
Please note the code can be used to book through the Southbank Centre only (not St John’s Smith Square).
^ Posted 19 May 2017
Leoš Janáček's Kát’a Kabanová returns to Opera Holland Park, London 2017
This season OHP are producing and performing a revival of their production of Leoš Janáček’s Kát’a Kabanová.
OHP say, ‘One can’t help but sympathise deeply with Kat’a as she journeys through internal conflicts of love, adultery, innocence, guilt… feelings heightened by the claustrophobia of a repressed society. Gradually descending into madness, Kat’a’s story ends as she commits suicide in a moment of heart-breaking pathos – the composer’s Madama Butterfly’.
Janáček’s distinctive score brings the drama to life, replete with traditional Czech folk styles and lyricism. A revival from 2009, Fuchs’s production was hailed at the time as ‘not simply the highlight of Holland Park’s season, [but] the highlight of the summer’ (Anna Picard, Independent).
Kát’a Kabanová runs from 15–28 July 2017, at Opera Holland Park in Holland Park, London.
For more information visit the OHP website:
^ Posted 15 May 2017
Jagthuis Festival, 19-21 May 2017
We have received notification of the Jagthuis Festival, a Dvorak Festival in the Netherlands from 19-21 May 2017, or rather a festival about Dvorak and his students (and their students). There are several interesting premières, including Rubin Goldmark (student of Dvorak in New York) – piano trio; works by Emil Hlobil and Viktor Kalabis for Cembalo (‘klavecimbel’) and chambermusicplayers; the string quartet by Emil Burian.
The festival takes place in The Jagthuis, Middenweg 88, Nederhorst den Berg (which is 30 minutes drive from Schiphol Airport)
Friday 19th May, 20:15h
Vitezslav Novák - Pianotrio Quasi una ballata in d, op.27 (1902)
Bedrich Smetana - Pianotrio in g (1855)
Antonín Dvorák - Pianokwintet in A, op.81 (1887)
Saturday 20th May, 16h
film : Neznámy Antonín Dvorák /The unknown Antonín Dvorák (in het Engels)
Saturday 20th May, 17:15h
Emil Hlobil - Quartet, op.23 voor viool, altviool, cello en klavecimbel (1943)
Viktor Kalabis - Four Images voor fluit en klavecimbel (1991)
Jirí Teml - Two pieces voor altviool en klavecimbel (1990)
Bohuslav Martinu - Sonata, H368 voor klavecimbel (1958)
Saturday 20th May, 18:15h
Bohuslav Martinu - Promenades, H274 voor fluit, viool en klavecimbel (1939)
Martin Smolka - Haiku voor klavecimbel (2007)
Jirí Teml - Shakespeare Motifs voor klavecimbel, fluit, viool en cello (1990)
Saturday 20th May, 20:15h
Pavel Borkovec - Strijkkwartet nr 4 (1948)
Emil Burian - Strijkkwartet nr 4, op.95 (1947)
Josef Suk - Meditation, op.35a (1914)
Antonín Dvorák - Strijkkwartet in F, op.96 "Amerikaans" (1893)
Sunday 21st May, 15h
Rubin Goldmark - Pianotrio in d, op.1 (1896)
Sunday 21st May, 15:45h
Aaron Copland (program in progress)
Ukulele Serenade voor viool en piano (1926)
Billy the Kid: Waltz and Celebration voor cello en piano (1938)
Vitebsk voor pianotrio (1928)
Sunday 21st May, 16:45h
Antonín Dvorák - Pianotrio nr 3 in f, op.65 (1883)
^ Posted 15 April 2017
Premiere of piano work by Pavel Zemek Novák
The premiere of a new piece by Dvořák Society member and lecturer in composition at the Conservatory in Brno, Pavel Zemek Novák, will take place at Hoxton Hall, London N1 6SH on 26 April. The concert will be given by pianist and Dvořák Society member, William Howard.
^ Posted 31 March 2017
New: 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
^ Posted 31 March 2017
Rare performance of Novák’s dramatic tone poem, Pan
A piano recital by the acclaimed French pianist, Patrick Hemmerlé, follows the Dvorak Society AGM at 4.00pm on Saturday 8 April. The recital is at Velehrad, 39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9JP and includes the dramatic tone poem Pan Op. 43 by Vítězslav Novák. Admission to the concert is £10 for non-members, to include refreshments from 3.30pm. Tickets on the door only.
^ Posted 20 March 2017
Brikcius UK concert dates
The Czech cellist, František Brikcius, will be touring the United Kingdom from 23rd March to 20th April 2017 to play a series of concerts. Many of the concerts will be given by Duo Brikcius, a Czech chamber music ensemble formed by František and his sister, Anna, also a cellist. For a full list of the concerts dates and programmes, please click here.
^ Posted 22 February 2017
The Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) was established in 1891 and was founded as an umbrella organization representing approximately eighty Czech and Slovak cultural, educational and athletic community groups and clubs.
The original mission of the BBLA was and continues to be to preserve the Czech and Slovak culture in New York City.
The Dvořák American Heritage Association is one of several current BBLA member organisations.
Details of this association and the events it promotes can be found on its website http://www.bohemianbenevolent.org
^ Posted 20 December 2016
Listen again via the BBC iPlayer to a feature on the Radio 4 Today programme about the miraculous and extraordinary life of Czech harpsichordist and Dvořák Society Vice President, Zuzana Růžičková (first broadcast on 19th December 2016 at 8.20am), or visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38340648 to read a short article by BBC Arts Correspondent, Rebecca Jones. Zuzana celebrates her 90th birthday on 17 January 2017.
^ Posted 20 October 2016
The Dvorak Society is back on Twitter after a short break! David Bridges has taken over from Ray Latham and will be tweeting about all things related to Czech and Slovak music!
Twitter is a great way for us to let you know what events and concerts are coming up, and other news, and it is free!
Please follow us on Twitter @DvorakSociety
^ Posted 14 October 2016
The Dvořák Mass in D - towards a new edition
A special Dvořák Society event has been organised at rather short notice, which you are invited to attend. No reply is necessary - just turn up.
Our member Haig Utidjian is visiting England briefly to lecture at Oxford, and has kindly offered to give an illustrated talk for us on The Dvořák Mass in D - towards a new edition.
Haig will describe the work he has done recently in researching, editing and performing a little known intermediate version made by Dvořák of his "Lužanská" Mass, which adds lower strings to the original organ accompaniment.
Haig Utidjian is a British conductor and musicologist of Armenian descent, who works mainly in the Czech Republic and elsewhere on the continent. His extensive activities are outlined in http://www-control.eng.cam.ac.uk/hu/hu.html, and several of his performances can be found on YouTube.
The talk will be at 2.30 pm on Monday 31 October. There will be time for questions and discussion, plus a cup of tea, ending by 4.30.
By kind invitation of Velehrad this will be at their splendid new premises at
39 Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP.
The nearest underground station is Hammersmith which is served by four underground lines: District, Circle, Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City. Continue by bus 419 from the bus terminal (stop L) outside Hammersmith station on the ground floor. Bus 419 goes to Lonsdale Road and stops outside the house. The journey takes about 10 minutes. You can ask the driver to stop right outside the house, which is opposite the entrance to St. Paul´s School (at the second zebra crossing). There are many other frequent buses from Hammersmith bus terminal that cross the river (to Castelnau) and stop at the entrance to Lonsdale Road (about 3 minutes walk from the house). An alternative is to take a train from Waterloo to Barnes and then a 33 or 72 bus going to Castelnau which stops at the entrance to Lonsdale Road.
A brisk walk from Hammersmith station across the river takes about 15 minutes.
For those coming by car there are parking spaces in front of the Velehrad building and there is also free parking in Lonsdale Road before 10 am and after 12 noon.
^ Posted 9 May 2016
LONDON GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC & DRAMA PERFORM TWO MARTINŮ OPERAS
Two one-act operas by Bohuslav Martinů — “Ariadne (Ariane)”, H.370 (1958) and “Alexandre Bis (Dvakrát Alexandr)”, H.255 (1937) — are being performed by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Silk Street Theatre, Silk Street, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DT. The performance dates are 31 May and 2, 4 & 6 June 2016. All performances start at 7.00pm and are conducted by Timothy Redmond > more +
• Guildhall School > website
^ Posted 8 May 2016
CZECH COMPOSER/PIANIST DUSSEK IS BBC RADIO 3 “COMPOSER OF THE WEEK”
Jan Ladislav Dussek (Václav Jan Dusík) is a name that will probably be unfamiliar to many general music lovers today, but he was an important figure in his lifetime (1760–1812) both as one of the first travelling piano virtuosos and as a composer. He is BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week from 9–13 May 2016. Each daily episode will be broadcast at 12.00 (noon) and repeated at 6.30pm. After each broadcast, episodes will be available for online listening for a limited period on BBC iPlayer > more +
• Wikipedia page about Dussek > link
• Toccata Classics currently a have special offer on a recording of Dussek’s solo piano music > Toccata page
^ Posted 7 May 2016
FRIENDS OF CZECH HERITAGE CONCERT, LONDON
The Friends of Czech Heritage — a charity campaigning to raise funds for the repair and conservation of historic buildings in the Czech Republic, their contents, artefacts, gardens and parks — has organised a concert of chamber music by Beethoven, Dvořák, Suk and Martinů
with the cooperation of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic. The event will take place on Thursday 19th May 2016 at 6.30pm in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, 25 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY
> more +
^ Posted 6 May 2016
PIANIST WILLIAM HOWARD LAUNCHES HIS NEW ALBUM WITH LONDON RECITAL
William Howard has recorded a new album, Sixteen Love Songs, for Orchid Classics to be released in June. To launch the release he will perform pieces from the album, which features some of the most hauntingly beautiful and romantic music in the piano repertoire, at The Forge, 3–7 Delancey Street, Camden, London NW1 7NL on Monday 6 June 2016 starting at 7.00pm. The programme will include love songs for solo piano by Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, (all arranged by Liszt), Liszt, Smetana, Dvořák, Fibich, Novák, Suk, Janáček, Fauré, Granados, and Kreisler (arranged Rachmaninov). William will also launch a new commissions project — Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs — with the world premiere of a brand new love song from Cheryl Frances-Hoad and a recently written love song by David Matthews. The recital will last 75 minutes, without an interval, and include introductions to the stories behind the pieces. Audience members are invited for a glass of wine after the concert > more +
• Orchid Classics > website
^ Posted 30 April 2016
JUNE 2016 RELEASE DATE FOR FIRST RECORDING OF MARTINŮ BALLET SÍN (THE SHADOW)
Toccata Classics have recorded the 1916 Martinů one act ballet Sín (The Shadow) H.102. Ian Hobson conducts the Polish orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia: the other performers are Dorota Szczepańska (offstage soprano), Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (violin) and Agnieszka Kopacka (piano) > more +
• for more information about this composition, please visit the Martinů Institute’s database > here +
^ Posted 3 April 2016
GLYNDEBOURNE 2016 — SPECIAL PICNIC OFFER FOR SOME PERFORMANCES OF JANÁČEK “THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN
Jakub Hrůša is conducting thirteen performances of Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen (Příhody lišky Bystroušky) at the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival, in June and July. At eight of these — Sunday 12 June, Saturday 18 June, Saturday 2 July, Saturday 9 July, Wednesday 13 July, Friday 22 July, Thursday 28 July and Sunday 31 July 2016 — Glyndebourne is offering a free Leith’s Sharing Picnic Platter (for groups of two, four, six, eight or ten people) plus a shared bottle of house wine. The offer is part of Glyndebourne’s mission to introduce opera to new audiences, and is aimed at newcomers to the venue. For details please visit Glyndebourne’s web site > more +
^ Posted 9 March 2016
NEW WEBSITE DEDICATED TO SIR CHARLES MACKERRAS
A new website dedicated to the life and work of the distinguished conductor Sir Charles Mackerras CH, AC, CBE has been launched. Created as a hub for people interested in his work and music, the administrators intend to keep this as a fairly simple site, but with Facebook and Twitter where news can be updated and shared > more +
• Sir Charles Mackerras was President of the Dvořák Society for many years
^ Posted 9 January 2016
JANÁČEK “JENŮFA” AT ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA, LONDON
Mark Wigglesworth will conduct six performances of Janáček’s opera Jenůfa for English National Opera Orchestra at the London Coliseum in June and July 2016. The cast includes Laura Wilde in the title role, Michaela Martens (Kostelnička), Peter Hoare (Laca Klemeň), Nicky Spence (Števa Buryja) and Felicity Palmer (Grandmother Buryja). Performance dates are 23, 25 & 28 June; and 1, 6 & 8 July > more +
• Arts in Residence course on Janáček’s music at The Grange Hotel, Sherborne, Dorset, 1 – 3 April 2016
> more +
^ Posted 19 November 2015
WORD AND MUSIC IN THE WORKS OF DVOŘÁK: A NEGLECTED TREASURE TROVE
Listen/watch on YouTube™. An international audience can now enjoy an important event held in New York City on 18 October 2015, when the Dvořák American Heritage Society presented its inaugural DAHA Annual Lecture/Recital Program featuring Dvořák scholar David Beveridge and a vocal music performance by mezzo-soprano Mirjam Frank. Dr. Beveridge chose as his topic one of his most striking discoveries during decades of research in all aspects of Dvořák’s life and work, namely the amazing quantity and stunning beauty of the Czech composer’s vocal music — operas, choral works, duets, and songs — and the peculiar circumstances that have caused music historians to underrate most of this music and performers to neglect it. > more +
^ Posted 28 May 2015
MANCHESTER DVOŘÁK FESTIVAL — MAY 2016
Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra are presenting a festival of Dvořák’s music at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester between 5 and 21 May 2016. Featured works include the Erben-inspired symphonic poem The Golden Spinning Wheel, concert overtures, the final three symphonies and the oratorio Saint Ludmila (this last featuring a newly-commissioned English translation by David Pountney). In all there are seven events > more +
• also in the Bridgewater Hall: Vassily Sinaisky conducts the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in Mahler’s
Symphony No 2 in C minor “Resurrection” on 14 May