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68th season 2023 | 24

A Year of Czech Music, but interestingly done. Careful attention to unfairly neglected composers. Great monumental symphonies. The marking of important anniversaries.

Filharmonie Brno is introducing its 68th season, which continues its approach of many years, while introducing new features for subscribers. The orchestra begins its new season on 14 September with Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”, conducted by Chief Conductor Dennis Russell Davies.

Dennis Russell

The Chief Conductor and Artistic Director
of Filharmonie Brno

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To the friends and supporters of the Filharmonie Brno!

The brilliant performance by the Filharmonie Brno on February 8, 2023 in Carnegie Hall, New York City, symbolized the arrival of our great orchestra to the highest international level. Our exciting concert program for 2023–2024 will give our Czech public, especially our loyal Brno audience, the opportunity to hear their musicians at home, performing some of the greatest orchestral masterpieces, with a special emphasis on Czech music during the calendar year 2024.

Gustav Mahler’s magnificent Second Symphony opens our season with performances in Germany in August at the Rheingau Festival, and at the Janáček Theater in September, featuring wonderful Czech soloists and Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. Other monumental works on my programs with the Filharmonie Brno include Anton Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony, paired with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s atmospheric Passacaglia Imaginaria. My dear friend Skrowaczewski, a great conductor who was performing into his nineties and whose one hundredth birthday would have occurred in October, was, like Gustav Mahler, a conducting composer, and I have paired him with his much beloved Bruckner.

In December our concert in the Janáček Theater with a Spanish theme includes Richard Strauss’ poetic and dramatic Don Quichotte, featuring our concertmasters as soloists, as well as my mentor and friend Luciano Berio’s colorful homage to Luigi Boccherini. For me the Year of Czech Music has already begun, as I have started to learn Brno’s own Jan Novák’s fascinating Spring Symphony together with Antonín Reicha’s Der Neue Psalm. And we will ring in the New Year together with a program featuring music celebrating the wonderful, strong bonds between the Czech and American people. Our composers: Dvořák, Martinů, Morton Gould, Gershwin.

In the spring we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s ground breaking and beloved Rhapsody in Blue, performing in Ferdie Grofe’s original arrangement for the Paul Whiteman Dance Orchestra. Shortly thereafter my wife Maki Namekawa and I will celebrate in Besední dům Bedřich Smetana’s 200th birthday (and my 80th) with a performance of Má vlast, in the composer’s own four hand version, together with newly created visuals from the Ars Electronica and Cori O’Lan. In July of 2023 we will be visiting the many places in Bohemia that inspired Smetana for this work, in order to gather visual material and perhaps gain emotional insight into this great Czech masterpiece. Please join us this season on this great musical adventure.

Dennis Russell Davies

We are entering the 68th season together…

…and we are still growing. We prepare concerts, festivals, extraordinary performances and children’s events for you. Come here, we’ll tune you.