Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava to Open 66th Concert Season, High Hopes for New Concert Hall
Pianist Lukáš Vondráček, violinists Sergey Khachatryan and Alena Baeva, or pop artists Tomáš Klus and David Koller: these are just a few brilliant soloists who will join the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava in the 2019/2020 season. World-famous conductors (Vassily Sinaisky, Dmitri Jurowski, Gábor Takácz-Nagy, and others) will also make appearances, partially because the orchestra is conducting an extensive, intensive search for a new conductor.
The 66th concert season program for the Janáček Philharmonic shows a range of enticing performances. The audience will undoubtedly enjoy Beethoven’s Eroica, the “Birds Concerto”, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Which events does JFO director Jan Žemla recommend? “If you have an open mind and want to physically feel the effect of a large orchestra, I recommend that you come and enjoy the Leningrad Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich, or Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz. Yet if you do not feel like having the full-power classics, we offer a cycle of commented concerts subtitled ‘Love at First Listen’ or the popular series ‘Gong’.”
The JFO’s cycle of piano recitals with leading artists will continue with Marián Lapšanský, Alexei Volodin of the Russian Piano School, brilliant French artist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Briton Paul Lewis, famous for his interpretations of Schubert and Beethoven. Corresponding to the increasingly excellent reputation of the orchestra is the increasing number of invitations to national and international music festivals. The 2019/2020 season will take the JFO on tour in Asia and to concerts in Germany and Poland. The orchestra played in these neighboring countries last year to experience the atmosphere and architecture of recently built concert halls. This experience will be tested when a new home for the orchestra is built, with its plans coming to fruition sometime in the relatively near future.
The winner of the competition to build the JFO new concert hall is the American studio Steven Holl Architects + Architecture Acts. The current Heritage Building of the Cultural Centre of the City of Ostrava will be extended with a shell in the shape of an instrument case made of glass and steel whose “eye” will look in the adjacent park. Not only will Ostrava get a building of world-class architecture, but the new concert hall will allow audiences to truly enjoy the sound and art of the orchestra. “This will be a crucial point in the history of the orchestra; Ostrava has been lacking a hall with proper acoustic qualities for a philharmonic orchestra. We badly need a hall like this,” according to Jan Žemla, who cannot wait for the new hall to open in 2024, the year celebrating the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava’s 70th anniversary.
Photos provided by MMO.