PRSO with hope and determination
It is these words we can use to perhaps best characterise the feelings and plans with which the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra looks out upon the 2021/22 concert season.
PRSO unveiled an attractive programme with a diverse range of guest performers today, among them for example the season's artist-in-residence pianist Gabriela Montero, clarinettist Kari Kriikku, violinists Leila Josefowicz and Sergey Khachatryan, and cellist Alban Gerhardt.
The orchestra will perform world premieres of compositions by Ondřej Štochl, Zbyněk Matějů and Jana Vörösová, while also venturing traditionally into inter-genre waters, for example with the icon of contemporary jazz, American pianist Brad Mehldau, or its Broadway musical project with bass baritone Adam Plachteka.
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Alexander Liebreich will lift his baton for the season's gala inaugural concert on Friday 1 October at Dvořák Hall. Gabriela Montero will perform Tchaikovsky's Concerto in B-flat minor, and we will also hear Dvořák's Othello and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
Classical at the Rudolfinum
The other concerts have been arranged into three series. The traditional series R – Classical at the Rudolfinum offers a reunion with composer Petr Popelka (R1), who left an excellent impression during his first gig with PRSO in January 2021 and will take his place at the head of the orchestra as its new Chief Conductor and Artistic Director from the 2022/23 season. Also returning will be Armenian violinist Sergey Khachatryan, this time with Brahms's Concerto in D major (R2). Romanian conductor Ion Marin will evoke Vienna and with it the rhythm of the waltz (R3).
Jan Kučera will offer up the lovely music of Oskar Nedbal (R4). A fairytale evening with conductor Holly Mathieson of New Zealand has been prepared (R5) and the harp of French virtuoso Xavier de Maistre will also receive plenty of space (R6).
Incredible performers will come together to perform Brahms's German Requiem under the baton of Chief Conductor Liebreich (R7). Gabriela Montero will return in February and perform concertos by Mozart and Shostakovich (R8). A spectacular show is promised by the performance of one of the world's best percussion players Alexej Gerassimez (R9). Singers of the highest quality accepted an invitation to give a concert performance of the first act of Wagner's opera Die Walküre (R10). Three Movements on Acceptance by Ondřej Štochl with a solo clarinet by the renowned Kari Kriikku from Finland will be heard in a world premiere at the April concert with Estonian conductor Olari Elts (R11). The monumental Faust Symphony will be staged by PRSO Principal Guest Conductor Marek Šedivý (R12). And at the very end of the season we will be visited by star American violinist Leila Josefowicz (R13).
The series K – Chamber comprises five evenings at the St Agnes Convent. Laureates of the Concertino Praga competition, violinist Daniel Matejča and Russian pianist Vsevolod Zavidov, will be presenting their artistry here with the support of conductor Robert Kružík (K1). Jitka Hosprová will, let's hope, finally break out her viola in the already twice-planned world premiere of the concerto Virus by Zbyněk Matějů (K2). The Advent concert will highlight the skill of violinist Olga Šroubková, PRSO trumpet player Marek Vajo and the Czech Radio Children's Choir, which will perform the world premiere of Jana Vörösová's composition The Boy and Distance (K3). The concert by Marek Šedivý, violinist Martina Bačová and PRSO oboist Zdeněk Rys promises French esprit (K4). The final evening is reserved for concertmaster Vlastimil Kobrle, principal second violin David Pokorný and their dialogue against the backdrop of the Four Seasons (K5).
The series N – New Horizons proffers quite distinctive projects. You can look forward to a unique pairing of the music of Ravel and Stravinsky played live with a specially adapted film projection (N1), or the intertwining of poetry and jazz music by young artists Štěpánka Balcarová and Martin Brunner along with the symphony orchestra (N2).
Alongside Adam Plachetka, we planned out a trip to Broadway for musicals (N3), and a jazz project E.S.T. Symphony has also been prepared (N4). And take note – we will be welcoming one of the most inspiring jazz pianists of the present day, Brad Mehldau (N5). In keeping with tradition, live broadcasts and recordings of the concerts are offered by the stations ČRo Vltava and ČRo D-dur. You can find a number of audio recordings on Czech Radio's audio portal mujRozhlas.
Selected concerts will also see a video recording in HD quality on the YouTube channel "Koncerty Českého rozhlasu" and a new feature is that you can also find them on your smart television on the platform HbbTV, which offers over fifty selected PRSO concerts, easy to find via the red button on ČRo stations.
Advance sale of subscriber and individual tickets will be launched on Wednesday 9 June. As of this date, interested parties will be able to buy subscriptions for the concert series R – Classical at the Rudolfinum and the chamber series at the St Agnes Convent (K), as well as individual tickets for concerts from the P, K and N series and the public dress rehearsals. Individual tickets for the R concert series will be released for sale starting 21 June. "It is with great pleasure we can state that we have kept prices at the same level as in the 2020/21 season. In fact even the prices for the individual tickets for the concert series at the Rudolfinum and St Agnes Convent will not be raised," added the orchestra's director Jakub Čížek.
Cooperation with renowned companies represents an essential source of support for PRSO's artistic activities, such as that with Expobank CZ, which will be supporting the orchestra in its new season as its official partner. The main media partner remains Czech Radio Vltava. Other media partners are Czech Radio D-dur, the trade journals Harmonie and Hudební rozhledy, the music portal KlasikaPlus.cz, the weekly Týdeník Rozhlas and the news portal iRozhlas.cz. Individual concerts have been supported by Prague City Hall, the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation, Forum Karlín, the National Gallery Prague and the DOX+ Centre for Contemporary Art. Cooperation will also continue with Aerofilms and Dachser Czech Republic, our partner for transporting instruments.