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,” 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.