Top ambassadors of Czech music, Ivo Kahánek and Jakub Hrůša, will perform the greatest Czech piano concertos with Bamberger Symphoniker

  • Top ambassadors of Czech music, Ivo Kahánek and Jakub Hrůša, will perform the greatest Czech piano concertos with Bamberger Symphoniker

Pianist Ivo Kahánek, one of the most sought-after Czech pianists, and the rising star of global conducting, who has been the leader of a foremost German orchestra with a “Czech” sound, the  Bamberger Symphoniker, are joining forces again on 18 and 19 January 2019. At their home scene the orchestra and Ivo Kahánek will play the Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 4, “Incantation” by Bohuslav Martinů. They will also conclude a grand recording project: Supraphon will capture their joint performance of exceptional Czech concertos – the Concerto for piano and orchestra in G minor by Antonín Dvořák and the Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 4, “Incantation” by Bohuslav Martinů. The recording will be released on CD this autumn.

Pianist Ivo Kahánek and conductor Jakub Hrůša have been long-time friends in life and art. “We do not just agree as people as well as artists, but I am again and again amazed by how creative and yet professionally perfect the orchestras under Jakub sound”, says Ivo Kahánek. “He makes no difference between a symphony and ‘just an accompaniment’ – on the contrary, he always goes all the way to the very limits of what is possible, which is extremely attractive and motivational for me. He is simply the kind of person you want to tell something in music you have never told anyone before him!”.

Ivo Kahánek is at the moment without any exaggeration the best possible artist to perform the piano concerto by Bohuslava Martinů, the “Incantation”. He has had tremendous success with the piece many times all over the world, e.g. when he was joined by BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms under Jiří Bělohlávek, or with the Berliner Philharmoniker (performing with them only as the second ever Czech after Rudolf Firkušný) with Sir Simon Rattle as the conductor. In January 2018 his performance of the work with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo under the baton of Jean Deroyer at the prestigious Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo festival was awarded the Classic Prague Award for Solo Performance.

“It fills me with pride that Czech music is not seen in the world as merely an exotic curiosity to spice up established programmes, but that it has indeed become a respected and sought-out part of the world repertoire”, states Ivo Kahánek.

Ivo Kahánek

himself is often called the “Czech Chopin” for his sensitive, elegant and singing expression and many would not hesitate to call him the best Czech pianist of today. He won the Prague Spring competition in 2004 and has had many successful performances: with BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, at Wigmore Hall in London with the Pavel Haas Quartet, or the Berliner Philharmoniker under Sir Simon Rattle.  In September 2015 he was the main protagonist and curator of the chamber series of the Dvořák’s Prague music festival. In 2019 he will tour Germany, China, Portugal, Mexico, Switzerland, Poland and other countries of the world. In the Czech Republic he regularly appears e.g. at the Prague Spring, Smetanova Litomyšl, Dvořák’s Prague and other international music festivals, In 2018 he won the Classic Prague Award for the best solo performance of the year, and he presented himself in several concerts with the Czech Philharmonic under its new chief conductor, Semyon Bychkov.

Jakub Hrůša

is without any exaggeration one of the leading creative personalities among the young generation of world-class conductors and he has been the head of Bamberger Symphoniker since 2016. He has also become the principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic since the 2018/2019 season. He has regular guest performances with the foremost European and US orchestras and he also is the principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the principal guest conductor of the London-based Philharmonia orchestra. His debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the autumn of 2018 was hugely successful. Hrůša is as fond of concert repertoire as he is of that of the operatic genre, leading to cooperation with the most elite of opera houses. He extended his contract with the Bamberger Symphoniker in the summer of 2018 to stay for another 5 years, remaining as the leader of the prominent German orchestra until 2026. He systematically focuses on Bohuslav Martinů’s works and also happens to be the President of the International Martinů Circle.

Bamberger Symphoniker

are an orchestra of the so-called ‘Czech sound’, whose roots are Czech as well. They are considered to be one of the best orchestras in Germany. Its founding members in 1946 included former members of the German Philharmonic in Prague, which was disbanded after the Second World War.