May 12, 2015Jun 3, 2015
The Prague Spring International Music Festival, the oldest and most famous classical music festival, with the highest number of concerts in the Czech Republic, enters its 70th year in 2015.
The 70th edition of the festival will traditionally open with the My Country set of symphonic poems, by Bedřich Smetana, on Tuesday 12 May 2015, in the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House in Prague. For the first time ever, My Country will be performed by a German orchestra, the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock. In the past, this orchestra was conducted by significant personalities like John Eliot Gardiner, Herbert Blomstedt, and Christoph Eschenbach. Prague audiences will have the chance to listen to My Country differently, as conceived by foreign artists.
The 70th edition of the festival boasts a representative set of orchestras, and numerous excellent guest artists and ensembles from all over the world. The program´s highlights include artistic personalities like Murray Perahia, Sir Antonio Pappano, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Iván Fischer, Maria João Pires, Sa Chen, Julian Rachlin, Vilde Frang, Vasily Petrenko, and many others. The list of orchestras is domineered by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Ancient music will be represented by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the Bach Collegium Japan, visiting Prague for the very first time. The festival also prepares another debut of a Czech conductor younger than 32 years; this time it is Marek Šedivý. And a freshman to the Metropolitan Opera, Adam Plachetka, brings four young promising singers to the festival stage.
From the program
If you are lovers of works by Dmitri Shostakovich and Gustav Mahler, make sure to come. The St. Petersburg Philharmonic will perform the Symphonies No. 5 and No. 7, and the First Violin Concerto performed by Julian Rachlin at one of the weekends. The Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, included in its program the Mahler´s Symphony No. 3, and conductor Pietari Inkinen will introduce himself as the new chief conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra with Mahler´s Symphony No. 5. The contemporary music scene will enjoy the presence of the composer Heiner Goebbels, who will present his Songs of Wars I Have Seen, and it will see the world premiere of a composition by Petr Wajsar, commissioned by the Prague Spring festival.
For chamber music enthusiasts, Prague Spring has prepared the 2nd edition of the Chamber
Music Weekend – this time with a theme “Beethoven in a dialogue”. While in 2014 the Chamber Music Weekend was fully in the hands of Czech artists, the program of 2015 combines both Czech and foreign ensembles and repertoires. You can listen to the winners of the ARD Music Competition – the piano duo Vilija Poskute and Tomas Daukantas, the Mucha Quartet, the Afflatus Quintet with Yoko Kikuchi, Roman Janál and Barbara Maria Willi, the Zemlinsky Quartet, St Petersburg Chamber Soloists, Viviana Sofronitsky, and many others. Visitors also can look forward to unworn and very beautiful venues for the concerts – the Capitular Hall of the Grand Prior Palace, the Tuscany Palace, the Imperial Hall of the Lobkowicz Palace, the Dvořák Hall, and others.
The 70th Prague Spring International Music Festival is held under the patronage of the President of the Czech Republic.