01 / 08 / 2024 - Thursday 19:30
Bruckner / Smetana 200
The joint concert of the Austrian Hard-chór and the Czech Kühn Choir of Prague will take place symbolically in the church at Svatý Kamen in the former Sudetenland. The works of the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana and the Austrian composer Anton Bruckner will be performed, as it is 200 years since the birth of both composers. They will be complemented by works by the jubilant Arnold Schoenberg and, in the spirit of the upcoming Year of Czech Music, by other Czech composers. The accompanying program will include an exhibition on site in cooperation with the South Bohemian Memory of the Nation and bilingual guided tours about the history of the area and the fate of its inhabitants.
Alexander Koller – choirmaster
Kühn Choir of Prague (CZ)
Igor Karpilovskij – choirmaster
Anton Bruckner: Ave Maria, Pange Lingua, Christus factus est, Virga Jesse,
Os justi, Vexilla regis
Arnold Schoenberg: Friede auf Erde
Leoš Janáček – Kačena divoká
Petr Eben – selection from the cycle Love and Death: Pod zeleným dubem, Slunečko zachodí, Stálá láska
Bedřich Smetana – Three Women’s Choirs to words by J. V. Sládek
Antonín Tučapský – Five Lenten motets (Tristis est anima mea, Pater mi, Filiae Jerusalem, Eli, eli, Pater meus)
Anton Bruckner: Locus iste Resound (arr. Alex Koller) – joint song
Bedřich Smetana: joint song to be specified
Founded in 2007, the Austrian choir consists of nearly 60 singers led by the conductor Alexander Koller, one of its founding members. The choir specializes in combining traditional choral music with elements of modern music, and the choir’s repertoire thus includes chorales and compositions from various musical eras and composers.
Based in Linz, the choir performs extensively at festivals and events honouring the composer Anton Bruckner such as the Brucknertage or at festivals and concerts of choral and church singing and, among others, represented Austria at the Eurovision Choir of the Year in Riga.
The choirmaster and music pedagogue studied, among others, instrumental singing pedagogy at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna and choir conducting at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz.
He has led numerous ensembles such as the Hans Sachs Choir Wels, the State Youth Choir of Upper Austria as well as the Linzer Singakademie and also conducted the Bruckner Orchestra Linz, the Altomonte Orchestra St. Florian, the Innviertel Symphony Orchestra, the Grieskirchner Chamber Orchestra, and the Mauersberg Philharmonic Linz. Since 2007 he has been the head and the choirmaster of the Hard-chor ensemble, which has won numerous awards under his leadership.
Kühn Choir of Prague
One of the largest Czech choirs, founded in 1959 by Pavel Kühn, is a top ensemble focusing on acapella works of the Romanticism era, as well as oratorio and cantata repertoire. On large vocal-instrumental works, it collaborates with the leading Czech orchestras such as the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, SOČR, or PKF and conductors such as Jiří Bělohlávek, Václav Smetáček, Zdeněk Košler, Charles Mackerras, or Vladimir Ashkenazy.
The choir also cooperates with the National Theatre Opera, has participated in Jiří Kylián’s foreign performances, and also produces contemporary music: in addition to award-winning albums of the complete works of Bohuslav Martinů, the choir recorded music for films such as The People versus Larry Flint, Markéta Lazarová, or The Valley of the Bees.
Photo: Jan Malý
A native of Brno, a graduate of conducting at the Brno Conservatory and a student of conducting at the HAMU in Prague, focuses in his practice mainly on conduting choirs. He is a singer and the choirmaster of a number of Prague choirs such as the Bohemiachor, Punkt and the Kühn Choir of Prague. As a choirmaster he has also worked with ensembles such as the Martinů Voices and the North Bohemian Philharmonic Teplice.
The origins of the pilgrimage site of Svatý Kámen date back to the first half of the 16th century, when legends appeared relating to a boulder, divided into two parts, located near Rychnov nad Malší. According to the legend, around 1500, the Virgin Mary appeared to shepherds on this spot, surrounded by a heavenly glow and accompanied […]