Brno Philharmonic Orchestra

7-17 October 2022

Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies

Soloists: Laura van der Heijden (Cello), Alexander Sitkovetsky (Violin), Milan Pala (Violin)

Brno Philharmonic Orchestra is not represented by IMG Artists

Brno Philharmonic Orchestra

The roots of the Filharmonie Brno go back to the 1870s, when the young Leoš Janáček endeavoured to establish a Czech symphony orchestra in Brno. The works of the famous twentieth-century composer constitute the core of the orchestra’s repertory, and to this day the Filharmonie Brno considers itself to be the authentic performer of his oeuvre. 

The present orchestra was created in 1956 by merging the Brno-based Radio and Regional orchestras, and since then has been among the leading Czech orchestras in terms of both size and importance. On its tours abroad, it has performed about a thousand concerts throughout Europe, the United States of America, Latin America, and both the Middle and Far East. The Filharmonie Brno is a regular guest at festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad, frequently joining forces for these appearances with the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno. 

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Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

Dennis Russell Davies’ activities as opera and orchestral conductor, and as pianist and chamber musician, are characterized by an extensive repertory stretching from pre-Baroque to the latest music of our time. Widely considered to be one of the most innovative and adventurous conductors/programmers in the classical music world, Davies has successfully challenged and inspired audiences on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in Japan. He is noted for exciting, well-structured concerts and for his close working relationships with such varied composers as Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, John Cage, Philip Glass, Heinz Winbeck, Aaron Copland, Lou Harrison, Laurie Anderson, Arvo Pärt, Hans Werner Henze, Kurt Schwertsik, Thomas Larcher, Balduin Sulzer, and Manfred Trojahn. 

Since 2018 Dennis Russell Davies is Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Filharmonie Brno. In Autumn 2020 he assumed the position Chief Conductor of the MDRSinfonieorchester Leipzig. As guest conductor in the USA, he has appeared with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, New York and Cleveland. In Europe he has worked regularly with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Concertgebouw orkest Amsterdam and has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra Filharmonica della Scala, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Firenze, as well as the Hamburg and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras.  

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Laura van der Heijden, cello

Recently signed to Chandos Records with her first album for the label due in 2022, Laura van der Heijden has emerged as one of the leading cellists of her generation, captivating audiences and critics alike with her deeply perceptive interpretations and engaging stage presence.

Her engagements in recent years include concerts with leading orchestras such as the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the European Union Chamber and English Chamber Orchestras, the New Zealand Symphony, with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the 2018 BBC Proms, and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the opening concert of the inaugural BBC Proms Australia. She has performed at venues including the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw, Opernhaus Zürich, Wigmore Hall, LSO St Luke’s, Leeds Town Hall, Snape Maltings, Saffron Hall, Kings Place and St George’s Bristol, has made numerous appearances on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, and has worked with such distinguished musicians as Sir Andrew Davis, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Kirill Karabits, Ryan Wigglesworth, Huw Watkins, Krzysztof Chorzelski, and the Brodsky Quartet.

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Alexander Sitkovetsky, violin

Alexander Sitkovetsky was born in Moscow into a family with a well-established musical tradition. His concerto debut came at the age of eight, and in the same year he moved to the UK to study at the Menuhin School. Lord Menuhin was his inspiration throughout his school years and they performed together on several occasions.

The forthcoming season will see his returns to Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Rogue Valley Symphony Medford in the United States. He will also visit New York again several times as part of the prestigious CMS at Lincoln Center. He will also return to the direct the Romanian Youth Orchestra, Detmold Chamber Orchestra and Leopoldinum Orchestra Wroclaw and appear at numerous festivals across Europe, such as Stavanger, Music for Galway and Verbier Festival at Schloss Elmau. 

Amongst the highlights of previous seasons are his debuts at Vienna’s Musikverein with the Tonkünstler Orchester, tour with the North Netherlands Orchestra as well as return visits to the Manchester Camerata, Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta Riga, English Symphony Orchestra and Anima Musicae Orchesta Budapest. He also tours regularly with Julia Fischer as a permanent member of her string quartet.     

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Milan Pala, violin

Milan Pala (born 1982), a Slovak violinist, is one of the most distinctive personalities on the current music scene. His unique style of playing is unmistakable and experts justifiably rank him among the worlds top performers of the younger generation. During his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Milan Pala won numerous awards and attracted international attention in European competitions. At that time he also took international master classes in Zurich (with Vladimir Spivakov and Jean Guillou) and, in a private class with Semyon Yaroshevich, became acquainted with the legendary Russian school of David Oistrakh. However, it was his cooperation with composers that, according to Milan, profoundly influenced his musical expression. 

A close relationship and creative collaboration with such composers as Jean Guillou, Evgeny Irshai and František Gregor Emmert resulted in a string of works made-to-measurefor the young violinist, who at the same time expanded his performance skills to a point far beyond the limits of the ordinary. 

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