CLASSIC PRAGUE AWARDS 2018



  • Winners 2017
  • Winners 2016
  • The 2017 Nominations

2017 Winners

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Libor Pešek

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Libor Pešek is a prominent Czech conductor who studied under the tutelage of Karel Ančerl, Václav Smetáček and Václav Neumann. Between 1987-1997, he served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. As a guest conductor at the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) and other ensebles both in Czechoslovakia and abroad, he was instrumental in showcasing the works of Josef Suk and Bohuslav Martinů. In 1996, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire, and in 1997, he received the Medal of Merit of the 1st Grade from the hands of the then President Václav Havel. Since 2007, he has been head of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

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John Tyrrell

2017 International Ambassador of Czech Music

Prof. John Tyrrell ranks among the world’s most respected musicologists. All his professional life has been tied to Czech music-- most notably with the work of Leoš Janáček. Born in South Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Tyrrell completed his musicology studies in Cape Town, followed by his PhD studies at Oxford University from 1962. While his thesis (Oxford, 1969) zeroed in on Czech opera, he later focused exclusively on the life and work of Janáček. Thanks to the scholarship of the British Council and the Czech Music Fund, he had the opportunity to study the original sources in the Janáček archive in the Czech city of Brno.


He has been returning to the Czech lands ever since. Serving as professor at the University of Nottingham, later in Cardiff, he has for many years been the editor-in-chief of the prestigious Encyclopedia of New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which extensively covers topics on Czech music. Tyrrell's main contribution, however, lies in promoting Czech music and, above all, the work of Leoš Janáček in the world. He is the author of the book Czech Opera, which has enjoyed a great deal of appreciation both in the Czech Republic and abroad. He has devoted a number of excellent studies and books to the work of Leoš Janáček; to name but a few, Leoš Janáček's: Káťa Kabanová or Janáček's Operas - A Documentary Account, or English translations of Janáček’s correspondence entitled Intimate Letters. Leoš Janáček to Kamila Stösslová, or Zdenka Janáčková's memoirs labelled My Life with Janáček: The Memoirs of Zdeňka Janáčková. Tyrell also co-authored the catalogue of Janáček’s work Janacek's Works: A Catalog of the Music and Writings of Leoš Janáček.
An important part of Tyrrell's work is the extensive two-part Janáček biography: Years of a Life, 1 (1854-1914), 2 (1914-1928), published by the prestigious Faber and Faber.
Together with conductor Sir Charles Mackerras, Tyrell recorded Janáček's operas for DECCA, showcasing Janáček’s work in a truly world context. Tyrell and Sir Mackerras have also worked on the critical edition of the 1908 opera Její pastorkyňa (Her Stepdaughter) for Universal Edition publishing. Last year, Tyrell finished the critical edition of the opera Z mrtvého domu (From the House of the Dead), returning to the original shape of the piece. Through his activities and academic work, Tyrell has markedly contributed to the awareness and appreciation of Czech music around the world.

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Petr Nekoranec

2017 Talent of the Year

Petr Nekoranec is a tenorist, and one of the rising stars of the upcoming generation of Czech singers. Since September 2016, he has been on the roster of New York Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. In the years 2014-2016, he was a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, cast in a number of roles, including title roles in Rossini’s opera Count Ory and Britten's Albert Herring. His Albert Herring performance earned him the Bavarian Art Award, presented on November 28, 2016 in Munich. In 2015, he advanced to the semi-finals of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Norway, and he took the main prize in January 2017 at the Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest in Barcelona, Spain.

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IVO KAHÁNEK - paino

Best Solo Performance

Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 4;
Monte Carlo International Festival, March 25, 20177


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KATEŘINA KNĚŽÍKOVÁ
and KATEŘINA ENGLICHOVÁ

Best Chamber Music Performance

Kouzelné spojení harfy a zpěvu Leoš Janáček,
Jan. H. Trneček, Bohuslav Martinů, Benjamin Britten, Jan F. Fischer, Sylvie Bodorová.
November 28, 2018; City of Zlin Congress Center

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NATIONAL THEATRE CHORUS,
STATE OPERA CHORUS,
THE KUHN CHILDREN’S CHOIR

Best Vocal Performance

Choirmasters Pavel Vaněk, Adolf Melichar, Jiří Chvála
Hector Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust
Staged in the National Theatre in the form of a concert

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CZECH FLIRHARMONY

Best Orchestral Performance


conductor Jiří Bělohlávek


Gustav Mahler : Symphony č. 5
May 3, 2017; Rudolfinum, Prague

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PETR NOUZOVSKÝ
AND THE PILSEN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Recording of the Year


conductor Tomáš Brauner

Bohuslav Martinů: Complete Works for Violoncello and Orchestra,
Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm

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CLARINET FACTORY

Crossover

Meadows Project

Meadows, an amalgamation of classical music with jazz, ethnic music, electronica, folk and other genres, zeroes in on traditional folk music, as well as found sounds of nature and humans.

Contemporary Composition

None of the applicants were nominated. The prize of 100 000 Czech crowns will be donated to the Magdalena Kožená Endowment Fund..

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CZECH PHILHARMONIC

CENA ČESKÉ TELEVIZE - klasika roku


conductor Jiří Bělohlávek

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5
May 3, 2017, Rudolfinum, Prague

Winners 2016

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Zuzana Růžičková

Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Zuzana Růžičková's artistic career was kickstarted by the victory at the ARD International Harpsichord Competition in Munich in 1956, and by the subsequent study under the tutelage of Professor Champion in Paris. She solidified her prestige and world-wide acclaim with the number of recordings released locally since 1954 on the Czechoslovak Supraphon record label, and internationally since 1957 on Véga, Erato, Eterna, Ariola Eurodisc, Nippon Columbia, RCA, Philips, Orfeo, Denon or Nibiru. More recently, her work was also released through the Czech imprints Panton and Lotus. A complete set of works by J.S.Bach, the harpsichord compositions of Bohuslav Martinů, and Růžičková's life partner Viktor Kalabis’ music are arguably the most notable among her releases. Zuzana Růžičková is a three-time winner of the Grand Prix du disque de l´Académie Charles Cross in Paris; she received the Diapason d'Or award, and became a Supraphon platinum album artist with 300 thousand copies sold to her name. In 1993, the city of Hamburg awarded her the medal for arts and science Medaille fur Kunst und Wissenschaft der Freusradt Hamburg. She worked at the Bach Society in Leipzig, became a household name at the University of Boston, at the Schole Cantorum in Basel, and lectured at the Royal Academy in London. From 1951, she taught at the Faculty of Music at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and between 1979-84 at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She tutored international performer masterclasses in Stuttgart, Riga, Tokyo, Krakow or Zurich. Among her podium and academic colleagues were, among other, the likes of Josef Suk, Václav Neumann, Bohdan Warchal, János Starker, Nathan Milstein, Géza Anda, Pierre Fournier or Gregor Piatigorsky. For decades, she collaborated with the Prague Spring International Music Festival and the Prague Spring International Music Competition, and the Concertino Praga Radio Competition. She trained a wealth of upcoming musical talent, both local and international. She is a globally recognized and respected artist.

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Sir John Eliot Gardiner – dirigent

2016 International Ambassador of Czech Music

Sir John Eliot Gardiner ranks among one of the most respected conductors in the world today. Beginning his career as a Baroque music performer, he has worked his way up to becoming one of the world’s leading conductors. He regularly guest-conducts the most prestigious orchestras - the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as at the famous opera houses such as La Scala, Covent Garden or the Vienna State Opera.

He continues to build on the legacy of his friend and predecessor Sir Charles Mackerras in promoting Czech music. Since 2000, he has been presenting music written by Czech composers on the world's leading stages, most notably the works of Janáček, Dvořák and Martinů, and more recently Jan Dismas Zelenka.

Janáček’s operas Její pastorkyňa (Her Stepdaughter) was staged in 2001 at the Salzburg Festival together with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Liška Bystrouška (The Cunning Little Vixen) was shown a year later in London’s Covent Garden; and Káťa Kabanová in 2006 at La Scala, Milan. During the 2008 Nobel Prize award ceremony, he conducted Dvořák’s 7th Symphony with the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic, and at the BBC Proms festival, together with the Czech Philharmonic, he conducted a performance of the 6th Symphony by Bohuslav Martinů and the 8th Symphony by Antonín Dvořák. He produced a CD recording of Janáček’s Taras Bulba, and his Glagolitic Mass together with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. In 2010, he conducted a Sir Charles Mackerras memorial concert at Prague's Rudolfinum.

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Kateřina Javůrková – French horn

2016 Talent of the Year

Kateřina Javůrková first took up the French horn at the Na Popelce elementary school, and continued at the Prague Conservatory under the tutelage of Bedřich Tylšar. Last year, she completed her studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Zdeněk Divoký and Radek Baborák. She was also a fellow at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Paris, studying under André Cazalet.

In 2011, she was awarded the main prize at the Moravian Autumn international music competition in Brno, Czech Republic, and in 2013, she took the first place and became the laureate of the International Peformers Competition award at the Prague Spring festival. She was a member of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, and, since 2014, she has been a member of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra’s horn section. She performed as a soloist with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the PKF, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, or the Polish Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio with which she premiered Krzysztof Penderecki’s Horn Concerto in Prague. She is a founding member of the Belfiato Quintet ensemble, and a highly sought-after chamber music performer. Besides her career of a professional music performer, she is an aficionado of confectionery and runs her own sweet shop Cukrárna za rohem. The original cake she baked for the legendary Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek’s 70th birthday has even entered the Czech Book of Records.

She took the 2nd prize and the title of the laureate at the ARD International Competition in Munich in September 2016, which shortly thereafter led to her receiving our 2016 Talent of the Year award.

The 2017 nominations



Best Solo Performance


JANA BOUŠKOVÁ - harph

Kdo v zlaté struny zahrát zná
(The One Who Knows How to Play on Golden Strings) Smetana‘s Litomyšl International Festival
June 24, 2017


IVO KAHÁNEK - piano

Bohuslav Martinů: Concerto for piano & orchestra No. 4
Monte Carlo International Festival
March 25, 2017


JAN MRÁČEK - violin

Erich Wolfgang Korngold:
Violin Concerto in D major, Op.
Opening concert of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
October 2, 2017

Best Chamber Music Performance


BELLFIATO QUINTET

A programme comprising the works of various Czech composers
Leoš Janáček: Youth, Wind sextet
Josef Bohuslav Foerster: Wind quintet, Op. 95
Pavel Haas: Wind quintet, Op. 10


KATEŘINA KNĚŽÍKOVÁ
and KATEŘINA ENGLICHOVÁ

Kouzelné spojení harfy a zpěvu
Leoš Janáček, Jan. H. Trneček, Bohuslav Martinů,
Benjamin Britten, Jan F. Fischer, Sylvie Bodorová.
November 28, 2018, City of Zlin Congress Center


ZEMLINSKY QUARTER

Compsitions by Alexander Glazunov, Alexander Zemlinsky, Jiří Gemrot (a Czech premiere)
A closing concert by the Czech Society for Chamber Music

Best Vocal Performance


CZECH CHILDREN’S CHOIR JITRO, City of Hradec Králové

choirmaster Jiří Skopal

Parallel Worlds Project comprising of the following parts:
Missa propria, Si, vis amari, ama, Mondi paralleli


PRAGUE PHILHARMONIC CHOIR

choirmaster Lukáš Vasilek
Sergei Rachmaninov - O Mother of God Vigilantly Praying
Igor Stravinsky: Mass
II. concert of the chorus season


NATIONAL THEATRE CHORUS,
STATE OPERA CHORUS,
THE KUHN CHILDREN’S CHOIR

choirmasters Pavel Vaněk, Adolf Melichar, Jiří Chvála
Hector Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust
Staged in the National Theatre in the form of a concert




Best Orchestral Performance


CZECH PHILHARMONIC

Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek
Gustav Mahler : Symphony No. 5
May 3, 2017, Rudolfinum, Prague


SUK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

artistic director Martin Kos
A Tribute to Zdeňek Lukáš
Zdeněk Lukáš:
Double Concerto for Violin, Double bass, and a String Orchesrtra
May 3, 2017, Bohuslav Martinů Hall of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague


ENSEMBLE INÉGAL

artistic director Adam Viktora
Jan Dismas Zelenka: Psalmi Vespertini III
March 23, 2017, Church of St. Salvator

Recording of the Year


DAGMAR PECKOVÁ Wanted / Songs of Kurt Weill
Supraphon


PAVEL HAAS QUARTET

Antonín Dvořák: String Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 97
(+ Pavel Nikl - viola
Antonín DVOŘÁK: Piano Quintet No. 2 A dur, Opip.81
(+ Boris Gildburg - piano)
Supraphon


PETR NOUZOVSKÝ
and PLZEŇSKÁ FILHARMONIE

conductor Tomáš Brauner
Bohuslav Martinů: Complete Works for Violoncello and Orchestra,
Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm

Crossover


CLARINET FACTORY

Meadows Project The Meadows project is an amalgamation of classical music with jazz, ethnic music, electronica, folk and other genres. This time, Clarinet Factory zero in extensively on traditional folk music, as well as found sounds of nature and humans.


MILLI JANATKOVÁ

To My Roots project Drawing from many different musical genres, Janatková’s CD and the accompanying live perfomances consist of new renditions of the original compositions by Vera P. Kistler, as well as Janatková’s own acapella songs inspired by folk and classical music. To My Roots earned a Tais Awards nomination even before its CD release.


ADAM PLACHETKA

On Broadway with Adam Plachetka / Impossible Dream
A selection of musical theatre compositions, performed by bass-baritone Adam Plachetka alongside the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tomáš Netopil

Contemporary Composition

None of the applicants were nominated.

The Czech Television Award

The laureate will be chosen from among the winners of the six competition categories.


Lifetime Achievement Award Nominees

Soňa ČERVENÁ

Foto: Ctibor Bachratý

Soňa Červená is a Czech opera singer and an actress. In 1948, she became a member of the Czech Voskovec & Werich Theatre ensemble; she worked with the Janáček Opera in Brno, performed at the Prague Spring festival, and subsequently performed with the State Opera in Berlin. After emigrating in 1962, she performed as a visiting member at some of the world’s leading opera stages, such as the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Palermo, or the San Francisco Opera, where she worked for eleven seasons. She is the holder of the Alfréd Radok Award, a special award as part of the The Czech Actors' Association Thalia Awards, presented to her from the hands of then President Václav Havel. She was awarded the Artis Bohemiae Amicis Prize for representing Czech art both home and abroad.

Josef PANČÍK

Foto: Marek Olbrzymek

Photography: Marek Olbrzymek Josef Pančík is a choirmaster, and ranks among the most influential Czech conductors. He has enjoyed an extraordinary artistic career, from the more than 50 years serving as a choirmaster in the Janáček Opera in Brno, through his work with the Brno madrigalists, to his more recent work with the Prague Chamber Choir. He has raised a number of young artists at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, and his unmistakable choirmaster technique has been captured in countless recordings, released by some of the world’s top-tier record labels.

Libor PEŠEK

Foto: CNSO

Libor Pešek is a prominent Czech conductor who studied under the tutelage of Karel Ančerl, Václav Smetáček and Václav Neumann. Between 1987-1997, he served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. As a guest conductor at the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) and other ensebles both in Czechoslovakia and abroad, he was instrumental in showcasing the works of Josef Suk and Bohuslav Martinů. In 1996, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire, and in 1997, he received the Medal of Merit of the 1st Grade from the hands of the then President Václav Havel. Since 2007, he has been head of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

Talent of the Year Award Nominees

Petr NEKORANEC (25. 3. 1992)

Foto: Richard Nowak

Petr Nekoranec is a tenorist, and one of the rising stars of the upcoming generation of Czech singers. Since September 2016, he has been on the roster of New York Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. In the years 2014-2016, he was a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, cast in a number of roles, including title roles in Rossini’s opera Count Ory and Britten's Albert Herring. His Albert Herring performance earned him the Bavarian Art Award, presented on November 28, 2016 in Munich. In 2015, he advanced to the semi-finals of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Norway, and he took the main prize in January 2017 at the Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest in Barcelona, Spain.

Jiří ROŽEŇ (16. 6. 1991)

Foto: Ilona Sochorová

Jiří Rožeň is a prominent young Czech conductor. He served as an assistant at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. A finalist of the Nestlé Young Conductors Award 2015 and Donatella Flick 2014, Rožeň conducted, among other orchestras, the Royal Concertgebow, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Tonhalle Zürich, Orchester Philharmonic of Radio France or WDR Köln. He attended various prestigious masterclasses. In the 2017/2018 season, he is set to conduct several performances of the Czech Philharmonic, Wiener Concert-Verein, and Bruckner Orchester Linz.

Olga ŠROUBKOVÁ (10. 3. 1993)

Foto: Mona Martinů

Olga Šroubková is a talented violinist. She first picked up playing violin at age four, and after graduating from the Jan Neruda Grammar School’s music programme, she followed her studies at the Prague Conservatory. Her recent competitive achievements include the 1st prize from the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation competition (2013), the 1st prize from the Chengdu International Violin Competition in China (2015), and most notably the 1st prize at the prestigious Rodolfo Lipizer Prize in Italy (2016) and this year's victory at the Prague Spring International Music Competition. Since October 2014, she has been studying at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany, under the direction of professor Adam Kostecky.