Czech Philharmonic 2014-15 National Tour and CD/Documentary Release
With Maestro Belohlavek back in the leadership role he was voted out more than two decades ago, his own history with the orchestra is a story of its own. The players thought that Gerd Albrecht would bring lucrative record deals, foreign tours, and major success to the philharmonic. In 2012 Jiri Belohlavek came back and has taken the orchestra on a grand international tour including China, Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Slovakia.
Their US tour this season hits 11 cities in November with guest artists: pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Josef Spacek and the Prague Philharmonic Choir. Planned repertoire includes works by Dvořák, Janáček, Suk and Liszt. The culmination of the tour happened on November 17, 2014, and the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution: the peaceful transition from Czechoslovakia to the Czech Republic ending its Soviet-style Communism. This concert occurred at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and is part of a larger celebration of the Czech Republic.
As part of the Czech Philharmonic’s new season, a new film ‘Sketches of Dvorak,’ directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, documents the work and process of Maestro Belohlavek and the Czech Philharmonic from 2012-2014 in recording the complete Dvorak symphonies and concertos. More information on the complete Dvorak symphonies and concertos can be found here.
A Trailer for the Documentary, click here.
I believe that the amount of history surrounding this venerable philharmonic and the considerable energy and vigor of Maestro Belohlavek in recent years sets the philharmonic as one of the most internationally recognizable and powerful institutions around. A timeline capturing the fascinating history of the orchestra can be found here. The very fact that this philharmonic was originally conducted by Dvorak himself and has survived for so long, bearing witness to revolutions and over a century of change, and has had one of the most extensive international tours only in this past year provides ample enough evidence that this philharmonic is a force to be reckoned with.