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Charismatic Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis /2.12.20018/ © Prague Spring Festival – Petra Hajská

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Magnificent Sokolov

Grigory Sokolov /27.11.2018/ © Prague Spring Festival – Petra Hajská

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Thunderous ovation for Yekwon Sunwoo

Thunderous ovation for Yekwon Sunwoo, KBS Symphony Orchestra and Yoel Levi.

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Ethereal Piotr Anderszewski

Nadpozemský Piotr Anderszewski – snová pianissima a sofistikovaně vypointované kontrasty. Sobotní koncert byl opravdovým zážitkem!

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Jazz legend Monty Alexander opened the festival

Jazz legend Monty Alexander opened the festival!

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Greetings from the Firkušný family

Through wartime, political upheavals and pandemics, music remains a messenger that brings to humanity healing, hope and an invincible faith in goodness and beauty. It is with joy and deep appreciation that we congratulate the Prague Spring Festival on the eighth incarnation of the Rudolf Firkušný Piano Festival.  On the occasion of receiving an honorary doctorate from Charles University’s Philosophical Faculty in 1990, Rudolf Firkušný said: “When I am playing Beethoven’s late sonatas, we enter together – my listeners and I – a wondrous world….  Everything transitory moves aside; everything permanent, that which philosophy strives for, comes forward, begins to penetrate our minds, fills our spirits with new knowledge, carries off our souls in new directions.”  We wish all festival listeners a fulfilling experience on this spiritual journey.

The family of Rudolf Firkušný

The Rudolf Firkušný Piano Festival in an alternative form

The eighth annual Rudolf Firkušný Piano Festival, presented by Prague Spring, will take place in an alternative form. “The public health measures in force for early November make it impossible to realize the first four festival concerts with an audience present in the hall, so we have approached the production team from the company Mimesis, which was responsible for the successful live broadcasts of this year’s Prague Spring Festival. This way, these wonderful pianists will be presented through on-line broadcasts, which viewers will be able to watch free of charge at the website www.firkusny.cz,” said the festival director Roman Bělor.

The concerts between 1 and 7 November will take place on their originally scheduled dates. The festival opens with a recital by Francesco Piemontesi. Because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the American pianist Richard Goode has been forced to cancel his European tour. Also unable to travel to Prague is Igor Levit, who was supposed to have introduced himself to the Czech public for the very first time. “Mr Levit is one of today’s most distinctive pianists, and it is with good reason that his planned Czech debut was eagerly anticipated. We are therefore looking for an alternative date, and we hope to be able to introduce him to the local public soon,” said Mr Bělor.

However, the festival has succeeded in securing the participation of Yulianna Avdeeva, who first introduced herself to the Prague Spring public in 2011 immediately after her sensational triumph at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. “This year, she was supposed to have returned to the Prague Spring Festival with the violinist Gidon Kremer, but ultimately the concert did not take place because of the pandemic,” says the festival programming director Josef Třeštík. “I am therefore very pleased that she is coming to Prague on 3 November, and we will be able to present on-line streaming of her performance. Ms Avdeeva were be performing her core repertoire, the music of Frédéric Chopin and Sergei Prokofiev.”

In its updated programme the festival has chosen entrust a concert to the young Czech pianist Marek Kozák.“He is one of the most talented Czech pianists of his generation, and with respect to his choice of repertoire he is one of the most thoughtful. He is unafraid to present works by composers, male and female, whose music is less frequently heard, such as Vítězslava Kaprálová or Karel Kovařovic. His concert, streamed live, will include a performance of a late work, the Sonata Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven, as the 250th anniversary of his death approaches, and the composition Juggler by Adam Skoumal, which was commissioned by the Prague Spring International Music Competition, of which he is a laureate,” says Mr Třeštík.

The festival’s four November concerts will conclude with the pianist Slávka Vernerová, whose recital has been moved to 7 November. The programme remains unchanged.

“We are looking forward hopefully to 12 December, when the legendary artist Daniel Barenboim should be bringing this year’s festival to a close. We very much hope that this will take place before the public in the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall,“ says the festival director Roman Bělor.

The insightful guide for the live broadcasts will be the pianist Ivo Kahánek. Viewers can look forward to interesting interviews with the artists giving the performances and will get a behind-the-scenes look at the art of piano playing.

Ticket purchases will be refunded in the full amount.

Beatrice Rana – video

In its January edition 2019, Gramophone ranked Beatrice Rana as one of the five artists of the new “Golden Age” of pianism and her photograph appeared on the magazine’s cover. She thus stands alongside Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, Igor Levit and Benjamin Grosvenor. The reviewer declared: “If you want a modern-day Alfred Cortot, consider Beatrice Rana […].” Her recording of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky concertos under conductor Sir Antonio Pappano proved a sensation. “Beatrice Rana is a revelation to me, since her level of musical maturity and technical confidence is astounding in one so young,” stated Pappano in admiration of this pianist.

Director: Kateřina Hager.