Concert

Jiří Bělohlávek conducts Dvořák's Te Deum

The Prague Symphony Orchestra's Dvořák Cycle

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Cast

Livia Aghova — Soprano

Ivan Kusnjer — Baritone

Prague Philharmonic Choir

Pavel Kuhn — Chorus master

Prague Symphony Orchestra

Jiri Belohlavek — Conductor

Program notes

The Dvořák Cycle at the Frankfurt Alte Oper presents Te Deum performed by Jiří Bělohlávek and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, with soprano Livia Aghova and baritone Ivan Kusnjer

Born into a humble family settled in Nelahozeves, a village near Prague, Antonín Dvořák left school at the age of 11 to learn his father's trades, butcher and innkeeper. Thankfully, Antonín's precocious musical gifts are quickly noticed, and the young boy is sent to study at his uncles's plance in Zlonice, then to Prague from 1857 onwards. Playing the viola in the Prager Kappelle's orchestra, Dvořák familiarized himself with the classical and contemporary masterworks. Enjoying a well-established reputation from his peers and the internation audience, Dvořák is in his lifetime a Major figure on the musical scene. Invited in Germanay, in France, in the United Kingdom and in the United States, Dvořák eventually went back to his homeland to manage the Conservatory of Pragua. Dvořák, who died in 1904, left a considerable oeuvre which has ever since been performed on the stages worldwide.

Livia Aghova has been principal soprano of the Prague National Theatre since 1988. She has been guest of the most prestigious international venues in North America and Europe. At the Au Slovak National Theatre, she was particularly admired performing Mozart heroines like Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Pamina in The Magic Flute.

Singing with her, Ivan Kusnjer, is today one of the greatest baritones on the international classical music scene. The Czech singer is primarily known for his performances in Orff's Carmina Burana, among the most admired in the world. His international career was also revealed with performances in operas such as The Barber of Seville, La Bohème, Eugene Onegin, Lucia di Lammermoor, Macbeth, and many more. He received singing prizes such as the Geneva, Sofia, Vercelli, but also the presitgious Thalia prize). More recently, the baritone performed with the conductor Jiří Bělohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the London Barbican Hall.

Jiří Bělohlávek is one of the most sought after conductors of our times. He became chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic in 1990, before teaching the art of conducting at the Prague Academy of Music. In 1993, he founded the Prague Philharmonia. He was named chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and is currently chairman of the Prague Spring International Music Festival.

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