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Josef Špaček, violín & Miroslav Sekera, piano

FRIDAY, JUNE 28 | 9:00 PM | Municipal Auditorium

Josef Špaček, violín

Praised for his remarkable range of colours, his confident and concentrated stage presence, his virtuosity and technical poise as well as the beauty of his tone Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation.
His performances of a wide range of repertoire demonstrate his “astonishing articulation and athleticism” (The Scotsman) and “a richness and piquancy of timbre.” (The Telegraph).

He appears with orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,
the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg,
the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.

Josef Špaček collaborates with eminent conductors such as Jakub Hrůša, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck, Valery Gergiev, Thomas Adès, Krzysztof Urbański, James Gaffigan, James Conlon, Maxim Emelyanchev, the late Jiří Bělohlávek, Petr Popelka, Thomas Søndergård, Cornelius Meister, Michael Sanderling, David Zinman, Eliahu Inbal, Tomáš Netopil, Pietari Inkinen, Marc Albrecht, Aziz Shokhakimov, Christian Vasquez, Jahja Ling and Lio Kuokman.

He equally enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music and is a regular guest
at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum
in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam,
the Kronberg Academy, the Evian Festival, the Kaposfest and at Schloß Elmau), Asia and
the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., 92Y in New York, La Jolla
in San Diego, the ChamberFest Cleveland and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival).
In the summer of 2021 he made highly successful debuts at the Verbier Festival and Leif Ove Andsnes' Rosendal Festival.

His chamber music partners include Gil Shaham, Kian Soltani, James Ehnes, Clemens Hagen, Julian Steckel, Gerhard Oppitz, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Máté Szücs, Miroslav Sekera, Tomáš Jamník, Federico Colli, Sharon Kam, Kristóf Baráti, Zoltan Fejervari and Suzana Bartal.

In April 2022 Supraphon released Josef Špaček's latest CD recording on which he is joined by cellist Tomáš Jamník. It features works for violin and cello by Janáček, Martinů, Schulhoff and Klein, including a transcription of Janáček's string quartet no. 1 for violin/ cello duo. His previous Supraphon release is a highly praised recording of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, coupled with the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. The Sunday Times wrote: “The violinist’s individual, deeply considered and virtuosic account of Dvorak’s solo part is the highlight of this keenly conceived programme”, adding that “in this repertoire, Špaček is second to none today.”

It was the “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, Recording of the month & of the year” of MusicWeb International and it received 5* in Diapason. Other recordings to date are a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera (Supraphon), works for violin solo and violin and piano by H.W. Ernst (Naxos) and an early CD with the complete Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.

Josef Špaček studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn
at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

He served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in ist history. The orchestra named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016. He held this post until the end of the 2019/20 season and has since devoted himself exclusively to his solo career.

Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.

He lives in Prague with his wife and their three children. In his spare time he enjoys cycling.

Miroslav Sekera, piano

Miroslav Sekera ranks among the preeminent members of the young generation of Czech pianists. His exceptional talent was first spotted at the early age of three years by the distinguished educator, Professor Zdena Janžurová. 

Miroslav was a child prodigy who was ready to take up at that tender age, along with piano also the study of violin with Professors Zdeněk Vyoral and Josef Novák. Very soon, he began to reap triumphs not only in concert appearances, but also in numerous junior performing competitions, as both pianist, violinist and chamber player. 

He then made an unforgettable experience which has remained imprinted in his memory to this day: namely, participation in the making of the marvellous film, Amadeus. As it happenned, the film´s director, Miloš Forman, was looking for a child actor to impersonate Mozart in his early years. The six-years-old Mirek proved the ideal choice, thanks to his unique virtuoso skills at playing violin and piano. Those who have seen the movie will surely recall the little boy displaying incredible bravura performing spinet and violin blindfold... 

Some time after that experience, Mirek found himself confronted with the definitive choice of the instrument on which to concentrate fully in his further study. The piano prevailed, and there followed years of study at the Basic Art School in Prague´s Voršilská Street, from where he advanced to the Prague Conservatory´s class of Professor Eva Boguniová, all through his studies there simultaneously frequenting also the class of Professor Martin Ballý. He then pursued his schooling at the Academy of Music in Prague, with Associate Professor Miroslav Langer. He graduated in 1999, as the Academy´s best solo piano graduate. 

While still studying at the two schools, in 1991, he won first prize in the Chopin Competition at Mariánské Lázně. In the following year, he received first prize from the conservatory students contest in Pardubice. His many awards won in prestigious interpreting competitions at various points of his career have included first prize from the prestigious Chopin Competition at Mariánské Lázně (1991), first prize from the conservatory students contestin Pardubice(1992), first prize from the competition organized by the Prague Academy of Music (1999), where he also received a scholarship from Yamaha: as well as second prize from the international competition at Gaillard, France (2000), and first prize from the Johannes Brahms International Competition at Portschach, Austria (2002). 

Miroslav Sekera makes concert appearances in the Czech Republic and on the international circuit, not only as an outstanding soloist, but likewise as a chamber ensemble player. Since his student years, he has given many full-length recitals in Prague, as well as in other venues in the Czech Republic and abroad. 

In 2006, he was released a solo CD by Multisonic support of Czech Music Foundation with parts J. Brahms, D. Scarlatti, M. Moszkovski. For contemporary Boston composer Joseph Summer recorded three CDs issued by record company Albany Records and Navona Records. In 2013 he recorded with violinist Josef Špaček CD for Supraphon. He regularly collaborates with Czech Radio. For the second time appeared as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestra FOK under the baton of Jiří Kout. He regularly collaborates with the mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková.


L. van Beethoven (1770-1827) :: Sonata para violín e piano nº 4 en La menor, Op. 23

I. Presto

II. Andante scherzoso, piú Allegretto

III. Allegro molto


J. V. H. Voříšek (1791-1825) :: Rondo para piano e violín Op. 8

Rondo. Allegretto

A. Dvořak (1841-1904) :: Pezas Románticas Op. 75

I. Allegro moderato

II. Allegro maestoso

III. Allegro appassionato

IV. Larghetto

S. Prokofiev (1891-1953) :: Sonata para violín e piano nº 2 en Re Maior, Op. 94a

I. Moderato

II. Presto

III. Andante

IV. Allegro con brio

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