The Brno Philharmonic will launch its 65th season and continue its collaboration with Dennis R. Davies

7 September 2020, 1:00
The Brno Philharmonic will launch its 65th season and continue its collaboration with Dennis R. Davies

The Brno Philharmonic will launch its 65th season with Arvo Pärt and Anton Bruckner on Petrov. The chief conductor and artistic director Dennis Russell Davies, who will conduct the concert, is entering his third season in Brno this year. Davies has signed an extension to the cooperation, so his contract will now last until 2024. 

Marie Kučerová, director of the Brno Philharmonic, described the past cooperation and extension of the contract with Dennis Russell Davies: "Under his leadership, the Brno Philharmonic is experiencing a happy era of focused work at the highest level. That is why I am glad that an extension of the cooperation with Maestro Davies has been agreed for another two years".

Dennis Russell Davies is happy to work in Brno. "I gladly accepted the offer. Our first two seasons together were beautiful, enriching and along with my wife Maki Namekawa we have really fallen in love with Brno and everything it has to offer," commented Davies on the extension. His contract will therefore last until 2024 with an option for the next two years. According to him, the beginning of the season will not be quite easy. "We are facing a huge challenge. Not only as a leading orchestra in this country, but also as a civilised society that is coping with an unpredictable pandemic. The health and safety of our musicians and audiences comes first for us," he added.

The season will be opened by the Brno Philharmonic in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. "It's interesting that we play Pärt exactly on the day he celebrates his 85th birthday," Kučerová remarked. At the beginning of the evening, his composition for string orchestra and bells Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten will be featured. It is one of the first works in which the author definitively detached himself from the avant-garde and manifested his new style based on simplicity, diatonic scales, staticity and inspirational support in medieval music. "Pärt called this style tintinnabuli from the Latin word tintinnabulum, meaning a bell, and characterised it as a voluntary escape into poverty," said the dramaturge of the Brno Philharmonic Vítězslav Mikeš. The opening concert is to take place on Friday 11 September from 7:00 p.m. in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul; there will be no intermission.

Anton Bruckner never heard his Symphony No. 5 in orchestral form. In 1887, Bruckner's supporter, Franz Schalk, planned to produce his own arrangement for two pianos, but Bruckner did not agree with his modifications and even threatened him with the police. The premiere of the orchestral version took place in April 1894 under the baton of Schalk, but without the presence of the composer who was of poor health at the time.

Dennis Russell Davies/ photo from archive of the Brno Philharmonic



No comment added yet..

For the end of this summer, the National Theatre Brno prepared a children's opera, written by the composer Evžen Zámečník under the title Ferdy the Ant  (original Czech title: Ferda Mravenec), based on the story by Ondřej Sekora. The stories of an optimistic ant who "can do anything and knows everything" and doesn’t turn his nose up at “work of all kinds", however, are actually not appearing at the Janáček Theatre for first time. Zámečník's work in eight scenes won the hearts of the Brno audiences between the years 1977 and 1986 with astounding success; it helped bring a number of children to opera – the most refined form of musical theatre. Today, these already adult musicians, actors, directors, lighting technicians and many others have decided to pay tribute to the composer, who also carried out a lot of "work of all kinds" for Brno's musical life.  more

The municipal council of Velká nad Veličkou decided already in mid-April that this year's Horňácké Festivities (original name: Horňácké slavnosti) would not take place on the traditional dates around the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, and their scope, previously meant to be of three to five days, would also be modified. Obviously, it was impossible to foresee the development of lockdown measures towards the third week of July, but musicians from the Horňácko district tried to come up with at least a partial alternative solution in order to maintain continuity. Eventually, two concerts were officially held on two consecutive Saturdays:  On 18 July,  live broadcast of a public radio recording of Czech Radio Brno under the title Hrajte že ně, hrajte aneb Horňácké trochu jinak (Play for Me, or Horňácké Festivities in a Slightly Different Fashion) took place at the Culture House in Velká nad Veličkou. A week later, at a sports complex in Javorník, a traditional competition for "the biggest expert on Horňácko peasant songs" was held under the auspices of the Horňácko Dulcimer Band of Libor Sup. Needless to say, both events have found their spectators and listeners.  more

The Brno-based rock band Kulturní úderka (which translates loosely as "Culture Brigade"), led by singer and guitarist Štěpán Dokoupil, did not keep its fans waiting for too long this time. While there was a fifteen-year break between their first and second albums, the new album Black Metall was released less than two years after the previous album Sarajevská Katarzija (Sarajevo Catharsis). The name of the new album must be handled with care. Úderka has never had anything to do with black metal as a music genre. And once again, we are treated not to metal, but to relatively raw rock, which in some moments is pleasantly softened by the keyboard of Omer Blentič, or the trumpet of their guest artist Jan Kozelek.  more

Cultural life has endeavoured to move into a sterile and "life-safe" social networking environment in an unequal struggle against the viral phantasm and government lockdown regulations. In the darkest months, music institutions competed with one another in staging recordings of memorable concerts, and major opera houses broadcast to the world those of their performances that gained the most success from spectators.  more

Shortly before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the Brno-based group Plum Dumplings released a new album. As opposed to their official debut L'épitaphe des papillons (The Epitome of Butterflies, 2014), sung in French, the band went for Czech lyrics this time. We are talking to the band's vocalist, who presents herself as Adéla Polka.  more