Jakub Hrůša’s 2016/17 season reads something like a dream. The gifted young conductor, who recently received critical acclaim for his debut as Chief Conductor of the Bamberger Symphoniker, has earned raves for his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (October 13-15), featuring soloist Frank Peter Zimmermann, and for his performances with the Cleveland Orchestra (October 20-22) with soloist Yuja Wang.
“Sustained, enthusiastic applause…a wide range of dynamics and orchestral colors, sharp rhythms, and an attention to balance, all of which Hrůša masterfully deployed…His gestures are so clear and apt they make the score visible…In the past, a guest conductorship has been the beginning of an enduring and fruitful relationship with the Boston Symphony…Let’s hope the Symphony Hall audience will be enjoying Jakub Hrůša’s singular musicianship 40 years hence.”
Boston Classical Review’s Aaron Keebaugh said, “An exciting Boston Symphony debut…notable for its drama…rhythmic drive and precision…pinpoint accuracy…stark power…the conductor’s keen interpretative powers…playing of firm commitment and musicality”
Jeffrey Gantz, in The Boston Globe, notes, “Hrůša’s conducting made it an uplifting evening.” Writing about the concert’s closing work, Janáček’s Taras Bulba, Gantz says, “The triumphant finale wasn’t just heroic, it was noble. This is Hrůša’s first guest appearance with the BSO. It shouldn’t be his last.”
“The athletic chief conductor designate of the Bamberg Symphony lit a fire under the orchestra, prodding the ensemble…into a vibrant and dynamic reading… Hrusa then had a thing or two to say with Brahms. Beyond just its marvellous, almost ideal structure, the conductor also was intent on celebrating the score’s sheer power and ferocity, traits some interpreters allow to lie dormant.”
And for Bachtrack, Timothy Robson notes that “[Hrůša] built the arch of the movement, building tension over its course. The other movements had those same virtues of lyricism, especially in the gentle second movement, and even in the rambunctious scherzo. The fourth movement’s passacaglia was beautifully shaped to its tumultuous close.”
These considerable highlights are only the beginning, as in the coming months he will make his debuts with Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (November 17-19), the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (January 7 and 8, 2017), the Chicago Symphony (May 18-20, 2017), the New York Philharmonic (May 25-27, 2017) and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra (June 22 and 23, 2017).
Hrůša, who is the current Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic will also return to lead the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker and RSB Berlin this season.
Photo credit: Hilary Scott