Season opening (not only) with Beethoven

21. září 2020

On Friday, September 25, PRSO will return to the stage of Dvořák's Hall in Rudolfinum after a long time. After serious consideration - given the unfavorable and deteriorating epidemical situation in the Czech Republic - the orchestra management decided to change the program of the 94th season opening concert in order to reduce the risks associated with the spread of coronavirus.

The Symphony Orchestra have prepared an instrumental-only program, which is no less attractive. Toshio Hosokawa's opening composition remains unchanged in the program. We will commemorate this year's Beethoven's 250th birth anniversary with his First Symphony. The highlight of the evening will certainly be Dvořák's Cello Concerto in D minor, one of the most famous and most played pieces of classical music, performed by top cellist Alban Gerhardt.

The concert will be broadcast live by Prague radio Vltava
The recording of the concert will be broadcast by Prague radio D-dur / September 30, 8 pm

Toshio Hosokawa is one of the Asian artists who have been trained and inspired in Western Europe, but at the same time find a number of stimuli in the music traditions of their country. He studied in Berlin with Ysang Yun and also in Freiburg; he took summer courses in Darmstadt, the mecca for avant-garde music, and worked there as a lecturer later. After returning to Japan, he founded the International Seminar of Contemporary Music in Akiyoshidai and the festival in Yamaguchi.

Symfonický orchestr Českého rozhlasu zahájí koncertní sezonu v Dvořákově síni v Rudolfinu

He was a resident composer-in-residence of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra for many years and he taught at the Tokyo College of Music. His work is inspired not only by Japanese court music, but also by the art of calligraphy and Noh drama. His compositions are performed at prestigious festivals. Meditation was created to honor the victims of the tragedy, very soon after the earthquake, commissioned by the South Korean music festival Tongyeong International. It premiered there in March 2012, performed by the Festival Orchestra and under the baton of Alexander Liebreich.

Beethoven's first symphony premiered at the author's concert in April 1800. It is a peaceful and carefree composition, but it still provoked negative reactions. It was clear that the author was talented, but he was reproached for "caricaturing Haydn" and for leaving too much freedom to "inappropriate outbursts of conceited arrogance". From today's point of view and with the knowledge of further development of the composer's manuscript, such judgments seem comic. In his No. 1, he has certainly not yet reached complete liberation from traditional solutions, the influence of Haydn and Mozart is clear.

The expected highlight of the evening will be Dvořák's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor from 1895, a proof of the master's magnificent creative invention. It has the distinctive intonation and expression, just like other compositions born in America. The solo part of extremely high technical demands will be performed by Alban Gerhardt, who has been addressing audiences all over the world for almost three decades with his extraordinary musicality, captivating expression and unceasing artistic curiosity. He has an exceptional gift of presenting well-known scores in a new light and at the same time he has the desire to reveal a hitherto unknown repertoire of past centuries and the present.
The festive experience of the concert in Dvořák Hall will certainly be contributed by the expectations of the audience, which will listen to "their" PRSO musicians in a live production for the first time since March of this year.


Toshio Hosokawa (1955)
Meditation. To the victims of Tsunami in March 2011

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Symphony No. 1 C major, op. 21

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
Cello Concerto in B minor, op. 104

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Alexander Liebreich, conductor
Alban Gerhardt, violoncello

Spustit audio

Buy our CDs