EuroArt International Festival.
The Prague EuroArt Festival is international in its foundation, presents music by international composers and brings leading foreign musicians to the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, let us now take a look at the way in which the festival promotes Czech music and helps Czech musicians on their way to an honourable position alongside renowned foreign ensembles.
In its very first year, 2000, the Prague EuroArt Festival already managed to offer visitors two significant musical experiences by presenting the works of Czech contemporary composers on the one hand and top Czech performers on the other. Seven pieces by 20th-century Czech composers, five of them contemporary and mainly from the ranks of teachers at the Prague Music Academy AMU, were played at the Lichtenstejn Palace in the Lesser Town in this first festival. In the second year the programme was comparable, and in subsequent seasons works by important composers from EU and candidate countries were played in juxtaposition with Czech work. Audiences therefore had the chance to hear the Czech premieres of many pieces, and what is more they were played by outstanding foreign ensembles, which is a rather rare privilege for Czech composers. In the 2002/2003 and following seasons, composers whose work was performed at the festival have included Marek Kopelent, Peter Graham, Jan Klusak, Milan Slavicky, and Svatopluk Havelka as well as the classics L. Janacek, B. Martinu, I. Krejci, J. Suk, A. Dvorak, B. Smetana, L. Kozeluh and J. L. Dusik. The world premiere of R. Z. Novak's String Quartet, played by the British Arditti String Quartet started a tradition of the performance of works specially commissioned for the festival. This policy was crowned with the premiere in December last year of "Fragments of One Afternoon" for vibraphone, piano and string quartet, which the well-known jazz pianist and composer Karel Ruzicka wrote specially for the occasion. Czech Radio expressed an interest in the piece, which is soon to be jointly recorded. One of the festival's aims is to provide a space for young composers, students at Prague's Musical Academy HAMU. In this context the performance of Tomas Palka's 1st String Quartet with Tape was an interesting aspect of the festival and for the next season the festival is planning to present the premiere of Michaela Plachka's String Octet performed by the brilliant American ensemble the Alexander String Quartet and the Stamic Quartet.
Currently, the festival's choice of programme as far as Czech music is concerned is focused on the promotion of gifted young musicians, to whom it offers appearances at the festival as part of the prizes in international competitions. This meant that in 2005/2006 season, for example, the festival included a performance by the winners of the International Prague Spring Festival Competition for string quartet, the Pavel Haas Quartet, and from the next season the Stamic Quartet will be joined as resident musicians of the festival by the young pianist Ivo Kahanek, who is likewise a laureate of the Prague Spring competition. Other outstanding Czech soloists and ensemble have also had the chance to shine at the festival. Just at random, let us mention the cellist Jiri Barta, the violinist Hana Kotkova, the harp player Jany Bouskova, the oboist Vilem Veverka, the vibraphonist Radek Krampl and the young Zemlinsky Quartet.
One important development is the increasing organisation of festival concerts outside Prague, in the Czech regions. This extends the audience base and the festival's aim, which is now not just to offer excellent Czech and international chamber music in Prague, but to bring its concerts to listeners in what are already ten partner cities.
The next season will offer audiences keen to hear Czech musicians the pleasure of concerts by the Skampa Quartet and clarinettist Katerina Soukalova--Vachova, winner of the Prague Spring Competition, and also a recital by the piano Trio Concertino, at which the resident musician Ivo Kahanek will introduce himself in the form of a chamber player. In the opening festival concert Kahanek will also partner the Swiss soprano Brigitte Fournier, and at the end of the festival accompany the Japanese violinist Okazaki Keisuke and the Stamic Quartet.
We look forward to seeing you there!
International Festival of the Chamber Music EuroArt Praha www.euroart.cz Season 2006/2007 Opening concert Brigitte Fournier, Soprano 19.9.2006 Praha (Switzerland); Ivo Kahanek, Piano; Stamic Quartet 17.10.2006 Praha Jing Zhao, Cello (China)--Award for the Winner of the ARD Munich Competition 2005; Stamic Quartet 21.11.2006 Praha Skampa Quartet; Katerina Soukalova--Vachova, Clarinet 12.12.2006 Praha WORLDS BEYOND TRIO: Daniel Schynder, Saxophone (USA / Switzerland), Kenny Drew, Jr., Piano (USA), David Taylor, Trombone (USA); Stamic Quartet 16.1.2007 Praha Faust Quartett (Germany); Stamic Quartet 20.2.2007 Praha Trio Concertino; Kaspar Zehnder, Flute (Switzerland) 20.3.2007 Praha Quartet Amedeo Modigliani (France)-- Winner of AFAA Declic and Young Concert Artists New York; Vladimir Leixner, Cello 17.4.2007 Praha Javier Echecopar Mongilardi, Guitar and Baroque Guitar (Peru); Stamic Quartet 22.5.2007 Praha Alexander String Quartet (USA); Stamic Quartet Closing concert Okazaki Keisuke, Violin (Japan)--Award 12.6.2007 Praha for the Winner of the ARD Munich Competition 2005; Ivo Kahanek, Piano; Stamic Quartet 20.9.2006 Trutnov, D. Milhaud, E. Chausson, A. Honegger, 21.9.2006 Jicin J. Turina 16.10.2006 Domazlice, A. Vranicky, Work by Chinese composer 18.10.2006 Brno for Cello solo, A. Borodin I. Krejci, H. Sutermeister, D. Shostakowich, W. A. Mozart 13.12.2006 Liberec J. C. de Arriaga, G. Gershwin, K. Weil, D. Schnyder 15.1.2007 Kralupy nad Vltavou J. C. de Arriaga, G. Kurtag, J. S. Svendson 23.2.2007 Chrudim W. A. Mozart, D. Shostakovich, Works by Swiss composers in negotiation 21.3.2007 Jicin R. Schumann, K. Beffa, G. Onslow 18.4.2007 Decin, Works by Baroque Peruvian Composer, 19.4.2007 Jablonec A. Vivaldi, L. Boccherini 23.5.2007 Olomouc, S. Barber, A. Copland, Ch. Ives, 24.5.2007 Ostrava M. Plachka, B. Martinu 14.6.2007 Jablonec D. Shostakovich, M. Ravel, T. Takemitsu, E. Chausson Festival EuroArt Praha is a member of Association of Czech Music Festivals and Europeane Association of Music Festivals