Jakub Hrůša brought in the New Year with the Czech Philharmonic, conducting two performances on 1st January at the Ruldolfinum in Prague. Alongside a centenary-celebrating performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Olga Kern, Hrůša made a varied selection of works by Czech composers for a programme which marked the start of the Czech Philharmonic’s Year of Czech Music. The repertoire included works by Janáček, Smetana, and Nedbal, and began with a special performance of Dvořák’s Nocturne in memory of the victims of the attack in Prague on 21st December in which fourteen people lost their lives.

Petr Veber from KlasikaPlus wrote, “When someone is as empathetic, and extraordinarily equipped, and at the same time as experienced as Jakub Hrůša, with a perceptive and well-disposed orchestra, he can allow himself to reach for a rarely heard mature musical brilliance – on-the-edge tempos, sound modelled in a huge dynamic range, a spontaneous freedom of solos and ensemble… many beautiful details, both prepared and improvised.”

The New Year’s Day concert can be streamed here.

Photo Credit: Ian Ehm