Star Violinist Leila Josefowicz with the PRSO

The meeting with Leila Josefowicz, a violinist admired the world over, promises artistic charisma, breath-taking technique and an emotionally charged performance. She will perform Alban Berg’s Concerto “To the memory of an angel” at the seasonal concert of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (March 9) and on the following premiere evening (March 10). The orchestra will then perform compositions by Viktor Ullmann and Johannes Brahms under Alexander Liebreich’s baton. 

Monday’s concert will be broadcast live by Czech Radio Vltava. 

No long ago, Leila Josefowicz was hailed a child prodigy. Today she is one of the most distinct violinists of her generation. She seeks out and studies new compositions with energy and passion. Contemporary composers such as John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Colin Matthew and Steven Mackey turn to her in confidence to perform their new works, many of which are written especially with her in mind. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Washington National Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. 

This time we will hear her play the extraordinarily captivating concerto “To the memory of an angel” with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Alban Berg composed this piece in the last year of his life (1935) at the time when Nazism was rearing its ugly head. He wrote it in memory of the prematurely deceased 18-year-old daughter of Alma Mahler and Walter Gropius. The piece combines dodecaphony with tonality and even references Bach. It is the author’s most performed work. 

The evening at the Rudolfinum will also include the overture to Viktor Ullmann’s opera The Broken Jug. Despite being interned in Theresienstadt concentration camp, Ullmann never stopped creating, thereby helping to give his fellow prisoners the strength to cope with their cruel fate. He finished writing the opera The Broken Jug  just before his deportation to Theresienstadt. He composed it on his own libretto based on Heinrich von Kleist’s play and gave it an extensive overture.

After the break we will hear Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, which conductor Hans von Bülow called, hyperbolically but fittingly, Beethoven’s Tenth. It is dramatically rapacious and striking in the first movement, serene in the second, carefree in the third and victorious in the finale. 

PROGRAMME

Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944): The Broken Jug, Overture
Alban Berg (1885–1935): Violin Concerto “To the memory of an Angel”
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897): Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68    

Leila Josefowicz – violin 

Alexander Liebreich – conductor

DVOŘÁK HALL, RUDOLFINUM, MONDAY, MARCH 9, AND TUESDAY, MARCH 10 AT 7:30 P.M.

Concert tickets on sale:  

9 March 2020 here.

10 March 2020 here.