23 June 2016, Thursday, 20:00-0:00
Social event will take place in the unique spaces of Prague Crossroads, in a long-deconsecrated church, founded by St Wenceslas in 927 A.D., located in the heart of the historic city of Prague. The space and the project is related to Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.
The main inspiration for the creation of the Prague Crossroads came from the former Czech President – the dissident, writer and dramatist Václav Havel. His concept was an evocative venue for all kinds of meetings, where lectures, discussions, concerts, performances, exhibitions, meditation and happenings can take place in a spirit of respect for the multicultural diversity of the modern world.
The event will be accompanied with music performance of Škampa Quartet.
The Škampa Quartet
The Škampa Quartet is among the very finest of an outstanding group of current Czech string quartets that has represented their country in major Concert Halls around the world for twenty six years.
Through their mentors, the legendary Smetana Quartet (Milan Škampa is a viola player, for many years a member of the Smetana Quartet), they trace their roots to the earliest quartets – such as the Bohemian Quartet – in a land described in the 18th century as the Conservatoire of Europe and that remains, to this day, the very cradle of European Chamber Music.
To this innate musicality they have added their own particular research to inform their understanding of the folk-song and poetry, rhythms and dance from which their native music grew – to the extent that their recordings of the quartets by Janacek and Smetana particularly are quoted as the bench-marks against which other performances are judged.
This research resulted in, among other things, the production of an illustrated talk – ‘Janacek and his Moravian Roots’ – and led to collaboration with singer Iva Bittova which successfully crossed many musical boundaries.
Prizes at International Competitions, Awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society and others – and appointment as the first-ever Resident Artists at Wigmore Hall – marked the solidity of their early years and provided recognition which led to invitations to perform at major Festivals world-wide including Prague Spring, Schwetzingen, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein and Melbourne.
These engagements included collaboration with many fine internationally recognised artists including Melvyn Tan, Itamar Golan, Josef Suk, Michael Collins, Kathryn Stott and Janine Jansen among many others.
From the beginning they have established a close relationship with BBC Radio 3 resulting in regular broadcasts from Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, LSO St Luke’s and the Chamber Music Proms.
The Škampa quartet have been award-winning recording artist for Supraphon for most of the Quartet’s career. They are now also among the elite artists whose performances have been selected for release on the Wigmore Hall Live label.
Education has long been an important facet of their work, and one that they find particularly rewarding. They teach in many places around the world but particularly at the Royal Academy of Music in London where they were appointed Visiting Professors of Chamber Music in 2001.
„Their interpretations and performances of the music of their homeland have been foremost in establishing the Škampa Quartet’s esteemed reputation … it was plainly evident why they have been celebrated as masters of the Czech repertoire.”
Claire Seymour, Seen and Heard International, June 8, 2014
- Helena Jiříkovská – violin
- Adéla Štajnochrová – violin
- Lukáš Polák – violoncello
- Radim Sedmidubský – viola
Programme 23 June 2016:
- Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet in F major, Op. 96 “The American”
- Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 1 „Kreutzer Sonata“ (“Inspired by Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata”)
- BBC live recording from the Wigmore Hall, London, 22 June 2011
- Antonín Dvořák, String Quartet Op 105, First Movement Excerpt 4,55 MB, 3min58s, Courtesy of the BBC