The Wihan Quartet from the Czech Republic return to Conway Hall with a programme featuring Haydn, Suk and Franz Xaver Richter, a rarely-heard French composer from the Classical era.
Leoš Čepický (violin)
Jan Schulmeister (violin)
Jakub Čepický (viola)
Michal Kaňka (cello)
Richter Quartet in C Op. 5/1
Haydn Quartet in C Op. 76/3 ‘Emperor’
Josef Suk Quartet in Bb Op. 11
The Wihan Quartet has been described by International Record Review as: ‘ one of the best quartets in the world today.’ The Quartet is celebrating 30 years since its formation in 2015 and over the years it has developed an outstanding reputation for the interpretation of its native Czech heritage, and of the many classical, romantic and modern masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire.
The Quartet’s recording of Dvorak Op.34/Op.105 was chosen as a ‘Recording of the Year’ by MusicWeb International and BBC Music Magazine said of their Dvorak Op.61 recording: ‘This is the finest recorded performance I have encountered to date’ The Wihan’s recent release of Schubert G Major received an ‘Outstanding’ from International Record Review and a ‘Recommended’ from The Strad. The Sunday Times said of the recording: ‘This is playing of the highest quality from the Czech quartet. Their tempo for the opening movement is unusually broad, which allows you to savour to the full the harmonic richness of this extraordinary music.’
During the 2012/13 season the Quartet was Czech Chamber Music Society Resident Ensemble at the Rudolfinum Dvorak Hall, Prague. In 2008 the Quartet completed the first ever cycle of Beethoven Quartets in Prague and also repeated this cycle at Blackheath Halls, London. This landmark series of Beethoven concerts in Prague was recorded for release on CD and DVD for Nimbus Alliance and received many accolades.
The Wihan Quartet has won many International Competitions including The Prague Spring Festival and the Osaka ‘Chamber Festa’. In 1991, they won both the First Prize and the Audience Prize in the London International String Quartet Competition. Since that time they have developed an impressive international career, which includes visits to major festivals in Europe and the Far East. They visit Japan regularly and have had highly acclaimed tours of the United States, Australia and New Zealand. They are also frequent visitors to the UK.
The Quartet are the ‘Richard Carne Quartet in Residence’ at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Londonand also coach at the Royal Academy of Music, London. For several years they have taught many of the UK’s gifted young quartets at Pro Corda in Suffolk and are also great supporters of the work of the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust, which gives inspirational concerts and master classes to young people in many parts of the UK.
Conway Hall Choices – From our friends at Czech Centre London
Pražák Quartet | 3 May at Czech Embassy Cinema
Celebrating the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918 the concert by the Pražák Quartet, the leading Czech international chamber music ensemble, features music by the father of Czech music, Bedřich Smetana, the “American” Quartet, one of the most popular pieces in the chamber music repertoire, by Antonín Dvořák and a quartet composed by his son-in-law Josef Suk. The Pražák Quartet under their new leader, Jana Vonášková, offers stellar interpretations of three late Romantic pieces in a spirited tribute to the legacy of Czechoslovakia and its rich musical tradition while launching its brand new CD Bedřich Smetana: String Quartets; Piano Trio Op.15.
Pre-concert talk with Roderick Swanston 5:30pm in the Brockway Room
Musicologist Roderick Swanston introduces the evening's programme.