PRESS RELEASE, Brno, 18. 5. 2022
Filharmonie Brno has introduced its 67th season. A season which begins on 18 September with the concert Ne válkám! (No to Wars!). Its fifth season headed by Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Dennis Russell Davies. A season featuring world and Czech premieres and new projects. A season in which the orchestra shall undertake major foreign tours to the USA, South Korea and Great Britain. A season with new recordings for its own label. “And also a season in which Besední dům is celebrating 150 years since it was opened,” stresses Filharmonie Brno Managing Director, Marie Kučerová.
The common thread running through the concert programme is inspiration in early music and discovering its forgotten gems, the Chief Conductor’s long-term projects and the performance of major works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The season is once again a synthesis of tradition and innovation. “I really appreciate our audience, who support and value an adventurous atmosphere with an international perspective. I’m even more pleased that we can showcase this to audiences on our international tours,” says Filharmonie Brno Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Dennis Russell Davies.
When Davies took charge of the orchestra five years ago, he declared that he wanted to play Czech music, great works from great composers, and also pieces from contemporary composers whom he is linked to through friendship. “Our audience will hear Janáček, Martinů and Dvořak. Plus Bruckner, Wagner and Brahms. This year, we’re including Berio and Henze, who affected my own life and career to a large degree. I was lucky enough to collaborate with both back in the 1960s when I was studying in New York, and then subsequently in the 1970s when I was developing as a young conductor,” says Davies. He notes that Henze invited him to the Stuttgart Opera, leading to Davies eventually becoming European. “Just as Berio had a large influence on me in both human and artistic terms. So I’m thrilled to be able to present their music to the wonderful Brno audience,” he stresses.
A major theme of the new season is early music. “We want to discover forgotten gems, as we managed to, for example, regarding Reicha’s Lenora. But we are even more interested in younger composers who found inspiration in this music,” says Filharmonie Brno Programme Director, Vítězslav Mikeš. Concerts put together with this in mind will be played in Besední dům in particular, such as during evenings entitled Ve starém slohu (Old Style), Poslové starých časů (Emissaries of Old) and Schubert meets Berio. Thus during one evening Salieri, Henze, Malecki and Beethoven come together, while in another we see Haydn alongside Mansurian and Silvestrov. “Of Czech composers, we could mention Vranický, Vaňhal, plus Ditters von Dittersdorf, who was closely associated with the Czech lands,” he adds.
Israeli pianist, conductor and composer, Benjamin Jusopov, wrote a piece on commission for the new season, having been the orchestra’s artist-in-residence eight years ago. “We are playing his piece inspired by Leoš Janáček, which we commissioned. We trust that we will be able to lay the foundations for a long-term project in collaboration with the Leoš Janáček Foundation, in which we plan to contact other composers with a similar commission,” notes Mikeš.
Those who hold our main subscription packages can look forward to grand concerts with our Chief Conductor featuring the symphonies of Brahms, Dvořák, Rachmaninoff, Bruckner and Schubert, and violin concertos by Bolcom and Schnittke. Our permanent guest conductor, Robert Kružík, is investigating Suk’s Asrael and Mozart’s Requiem. Brno will be welcoming back Michael Schnøwandt with a Nordic programme, Alexander Liebreich, Tomáš Netopil and Petr Altrichter. “Our concerts will be adorned with a number of fantastic soloists from around the world, such as pianists Melvyn Tan, Igor Ardašev and Elisabeth Leonskaja, violinists Yumi Hwang-Williams and Milan Paľa, and guitarist Pablo Márquez,“ notes Kučerová.
This season will be a record for Filharmonie Brno in regard to foreign tours. In addition to prestigious guest performances in Europe, three large tours are planned: in early October in Britain, at the end of October in five cities in South Korea, and in particular a three-week American tour in February. “We haven’t undertaken so many trips for decades. We’ve got a concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall, and as well as New York we’re playing in another seven cities. We’re taking Janáček’s Taras Bulba, Sinfonietta and Glagolitic Mass, Glass’s Symphonies No. 3 and 12, and pieces by Dvořák and Martinů to America. We’ll also be playing Laurie Anderson, Bolcom, Britten and Hovhaness,” says Orchestra Manager, Pavel Šindelář.
Early May sees celebrations of 150 years since Besedni dům’s opening. “We’re arranged a thirteen-day mini-festival featuring, for example, concerts with programmes inspirited by events from that time, specifically performances from a young Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček, which we are here combining with Horňácká muzika Petra Mičky, and also Mozart’s Requiem. In collaboration with the Moravian Gallery, we are planning an exhibition on Theophil von Hansen, who not only designed Besední dům, but also the neighbouring Pražák Palace. The international conference, Concert Hall of the 19th to 21st centuries, children’s educational programmes and other notable events have also been arranged,” says Kučerová.
New this season is the Na půlku za půlku (Half for Half) project for children from 7 to 12 years old. “Loads of children this age can manage and enjoy a concert, but not a whole one. So we’ve selected three Friday evenings, where the first half is for children and parents together, and we have a music workshop for the kids during the second half, while the parents remain in the hall. We trust that this way we can encourage children to learn about symphony music in an unforced way,” explains Filharmonie Brno’s educational activities teacher, Kristýna Drášilová. Alongside the standard child discount, our young audience receive a further 50% discount on their tickets.
As for last season, the orchestra is offering nine subscription packages: two subscriptions with four concerts in Janáček Theatre, a “home” subscription with six concerts, a Chamber subscription with five evenings, and a prepaid Special Concerts, also with five evenings. The very popular Family, Jazz and World Music, Kantiléna Concerts and Young Blood, or Music from Up Close, which gives space to members of Filharmonie Brno’s Orchestra Academy, are continuing.
The season will be on sale from 30 May, when current subscribers can prolong their subscription (to 10 June), and tickets to Special Concerts will also be available. Fourteen days later, i.e. 13 June, places from any non-renewed subscriptions will be released, and sales of all individual tickets will begin, including Season of your Choice, in which you can set up a subscription of your own selection. “Once again, these will all be available to purchase online, and so you needn’t turn up in person to presales. We don’t really recommend that this year anyway because of construction work which is taking place near the new concert hall. We’re doing our utmost to make purchases as convenient as possible for our esteemed audience,” says Kučerová, and adds that subscribers can save up to half the price compared to purchasing single tickets.
Media contact Kateřina Konečná, Head of PR and Marketing, Filharmonie Brno
+420 775 426 040 email@example.com