Czech Philharmonic
Semyon Bychkov, Chief Conductor & Music Director
Jakub Hrůša & Tomáš Netopil, Principal Guest Conductors
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Manfred Honeck, Petr Altrichter, Tomáš Netopil
Sundays 29 November; 6, 13 and 20 December, 7.15pm GMT

Despite lockdown restrictions across the Czech Republic and wider world, the Czech
Philharmonic continues to make music this winter performing Advent concerts on the
four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Presented in collaboration with Czech TV, Sir
John Eliot Gardiner will launch the first of the four concerts with a programme
featuring Voříšek’s Symphony in D major alongside Martinů’s Sinfonietta La Jolla for
Piano and Chamber Orchestra with soloist Igor Ardašev. Completing the all-Czech
programme, Ondřej Vrabec will conduct Janáček’s Capriccio for Piano Left-Hand and
Wind Ensemble.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, both the management and musicians of the
Czech Philharmonic have proven themselves masters of creative flexibility, ever ready
to adapt and change programmes depending on the public health guidance. The four
Advent concerts are no different: Gardiner together with Manfred Honeck, Petr
Altrichter and Principal Guest Conductor Tomáš Netopil have recreated and tailored
their original programmes this winter to fit the current regulations. Whilst no
audiences are currently permitted in the Rudolfinum, the Orchestra’s Prague home,
its ongoing relationship with Czech TV will mean that whether in the Czech Republic
or abroad, international audiences are able to enjoy live music making by the Czech
Philharmonic from the comfort of their own home.
The belief in music’s power to change lives is a fundamental tenant of the Czech
Philharmonic philosophy. In addition to a summer-long series of chamber concerts,
the Orchestra organised four benefit concerts during the first coronavirus lockdown –
in collaboration with Czech TV, Czech Savings Bank (Česká spořitelna) and Škoda Auto raising funds for hospitals, the charity ŽIVOT 90, the People in Need Foundation
(Člověk v tísni) and World Blood Donor Day.
Last week on 17 November, the Czech Philharmonic was reunited with Chief
Conductor and Music Director Semyon Bychkov to a launch a new annual series of
concerts commemorating the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Presented in collaboration
with the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the performance of Smetana’s Má
vlast was broadcast live on ČT art to over 200,000 homes – a new record in the history
of Czech TV’s art channel – and streamed internationally via Facebook to 73,000
viewers. Thanks to Czech Phil Media’s 4K state of the art equipment and an
international distribution partnership with EuroArts, the Velvet Revolution concert
will be available on demand on Mezzo TV from early 2021.

Sunday 29 November: 7.15pm GMT
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor; Ondřej Vrabec, conductor (Janáček)
Igor Ardašev, piano; Marek Eben, presenter
Voříšek Symphony in D major
Janáček Capriccio for Piano Left Hand & Wind Ensemble
Martinů Sinfonietta La Jolla for Piano & Chamber Orchestra, H. 328

Sunday 6 December: 7.15pm GMT
Manfred Honeck, conductor; Rudolf Buchbinder, piano
Marek Eben, presenter
Grieg Peer Gynt (selection)
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21

Sunday 13 December: 7.15pm GMT
Petr Altrichter, conductor; Jan Mráček, violin; Ivan Vokáč, cello
Marek Eben, presenter
Brahms Double Concerto in A minor for Violin, Op. 102
Dvořák Suite in A major, Op. 98

Sunday 20 December: 7.15pm GMT
Tomáš Netopil, conductor; Stanislav Masaryk, trumpet
Walter Hofbauer, trumpet; Josef Špaček, violin; Marek Eben, presenter
Vejvanovský Sonata Vespertina
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Dvořák Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60