Now Playing: Antonín Dvořák and Czech Music
Richard Pohl and Xing Xing Wang - Antonín Dvořák Love Song No 2
Dear friends of the opera singing,
we would like to invite you to the international vocal masterclasses by Mrs. Livorova in Znojmo, which are going to take place in Znojmo, August 16 - 22.
For more information, please, follow this link:
Richard Pohl will join baritone Oldrich Kriz and soprano Veronika Krizova in a special event of operetta and musical theatre arias and duets.
The performance should take place the tomorrow's evening at the Curch of St. Ann in Jablonec nad Nisou.
For further details, please follow this link:
Due to technical issue the roster (and thus the programme as well) of the Jachymov gala concert has been changed as following:
Richard Samek - tenor
Jana Sibera - soprano
The 3rd International Vocal Competition in Zdar nad Sazavou brought a new bright talent to the eyes of the public. 2nd prize was given to a very young, yet incredibly talented Czech soprano Barbora Perna (1st and 3rd award obtained by older and already well-established opera artists from South Corea and Estonia).
Barbora Perná is a Czech soprano. She has studied at the Prague Conservatory of Music with the well-known teacher, opera soloist and founder of the Children Opera Prague Jirina Markova.
Barbora Perna has received numerous awards in both national and international vocal contests (including 1st prize at Prazsky pevec and Dusek Competition in Prague, also at the Iuventus Canti in Slovakia or 2nd prize at the International Vocal Competition in Zdar nad Sazavou as well as Jarmila Novotna Award at the International Antonin Dvorak Competition in Karlsbad).
She has performed in opera houses in Prague, Pilsen and Ostrava and also regularly perform concerts and solo recitals with both piano and orchestra.
Richard Pohl joined Barbora Perna as well as the other award winners Max An (tenor - South Corea) and Monika Evelin Liiv (Estonia) for a concert tour and shall include her in various other projects in the upcoming concert season as well. This is a talent not to be missed by anyone!
Richard Pohl with Barbora Perna after performance in the Castle of Bystrice pod Hostynem:
Duo Skarka-Pohl will join the celebration and perform special celebration recital series of Mahler songs and other German repertoire in the location of Gustav Mahler´s birth. We are very proud to be part of this festival at the international level /highlight of the festival should be also the Thomas Hampson recital/.
Recitals of Duo Skarka - Pohl at the Festival:
18. 10. 2010 / 18:00 / Muzeum Vysociny Havlickuv Brod
Pisnovy recital – Josef Skarka a Richard Pohl
Sal Stare radnice v Havlickove Brode
19. 10. / 18:00 / Horacka galerie v Novem Meste na Morave
Pisnovy recital – Josef Skarka a Richard Pohl
20. 10. / 19:30 / Horacke divadlo Jihlava
Pisnovy recital – Josef Škarka a Richard Pohl
The live recording selection from the Schubert Tour of 2009 is broadcasted and available as free download at Last.fm. Listen to the recital here:
Richard Pohl will accompany two Thalia-nominated opera singers Petra Simkova (Czech soprano) and Rafael Alvarez (Mexican tenor) in recital next month. The collaboration should be the most rewarding experience for listeners, as those are current top soloists on stage of the opera houses in our country.
RICHARD POHL AS SPECIAL GUEST AT BORIS KRAJNY RECITAL
Opening concert of the Festival Music in Gardens and Castle in Kromeriz - Tribute to Frederic Chopin
The Czech pianist and teacher, Boris Krajný, studied at the Academy of Music in Prague with František Maxián and Ivan Moravec, subsequently winning first prize at the Senigallia competition in Italy and an honourable mention at the Queen Elizabeth competition in Brussels (1975).
Boris Krajný has performed in New York (Carnegie Hall), Washington (Kennedy Center), London (Wigmore Hall), Paris (Salle Gaveau), Berlin, Brussels, Vienna, Salzburg, Moscow (Tchaikovsky Hall), Buenos Aires (Teatro Colón), Tokyo, Sydney (Opera), Baalbek and other towns and cities on five continents. His extensive repertoire includes music of many different periods, with an emphasis on Czech works. He has frequently performed Dvorak’s Piano Concerto (including in South Africa), Ravel Concerto in G major, the entire piano works of Janácek (at the Rouen festival), Leonard Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety (Prague Spring 1990), Martinu 4th Concerto (New York), etc.
Boris Krajný teaches at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Boris Krajný has recorded widely (for Supraphon, Panton, Bonton, CBS, etc.) including Bartók and Prokofiev concertos (with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra), works by Voríšek (with the Prague Chamber Orchestra), quintets by Dvorak and César Franck, piano works by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Schulhoff, Martinu, etc. He has recorded the complete works of Maurice Ravel for Supraphon and received the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros (Paris 1982) for his recording of French piano concertos (Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc, Roussel).
Programme of the Opening Festival Concert:
Boris Krajny, piano
Guest: Richard Pohl, piano
Frederich Chopin: Fantasy in F minor, op. 49, Nocturno In C sharp Minor op. posth, Mazurka op. 6/1, Mazurka op. 17/4, Grande Valse brillante E flat Major op. 18, Ballade In A flat Major op. 47, Ballade In F Minor op. 52, Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante op. 22, Polonaise As dur op. 53, Waltz in E Minor, op. posth.
Place: Archbishop Palace, Kromeriz
More information and Map:
Duo Skarka - Pohl has appeared in many special events recently, including the New Year's Concert in the Jesenik Spa and also several concerts in Prague.
Highlights included performances at Zofin (November 2009), Smetana Museum (February 2010) and the Academy of Music (April 2010). The live recording of Schubert's Erlkonig from the concert should be soon available on our channels at Last.fm, Blip.tv and YouTube. Stay tuned!
Guest of the National Theatre Opera.
Born in Brno. In 2008 she completed her studies at the Prague Conservatory in the class of Yvona Škvárová, with whom she continues to hone her technique. She also attended master classes given by Peter Dvorský in Jaromerice nad Rokytnou. She succeeded in several competitions – 3rd place in the competition for the Leoš Janácek Award at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, 1st place in the Prague Singer competition (2007) organised by the Children’s Opera Prague and victory at the Competition of Conservatories of the Czech Republic (2007).
After graduating from the Conservatory, she made her professional debut at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzen, portraying the role of Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (2008). In the 2008/09 season she is scheduled to perform at the National Theatre Prague the Third Wood Sprite in a new production of Dvorak’s Rusalka. In the current season she is starring in the title role of Rossini's La Cenerentola in the National Theatre of Brno.
Richard Pohl shall work with Michaela Kapustova in following season in several music projects.
More information at the singer's official website:
The great Czech composer Lukas Sommer has dedicated his wonderful cycle of songs on lyrics by the famous Moravian poet Vit Sliva "Souvrat" to Duo Skarka-Pohl who recorded it exclusively for the Czech broadcast.
Read this article in Czech literature online newspaper:
Listen to excerpts on YouTube:
Richard Pohl should accompany the Masterclasses by the internationally acclaimed soprano Gabriela Benackova this year.Also the legendary tenor Peter Dvorsky will be there as another lecteur, with another accompanist.
If you are interested, please, sign the application available here:
Dear friends and fans,
thank you so much for all your great support!
We appreciate all your sweet messages and we are really glad that we had could share this great event with you.
Yours Duo Skarka-Pohl
Mili a drazi pratele,
diky za vsechnu podporu a mile zpravy, jsme radi, ze jsme s Vami mohli sdilet tuto udalost, v historii naseho dua vpravde historickou!
Duo Skarka-Pohl proudly announces that they were honoured by an invitation to perform live in the traditional Christmas Benefit Concert in the Czech TV. The event will take place tomorrow, 29th November 17:00 (5 p.m., GMT+1 time).
Watch the broadcast online here:
Josef Skarka, the well-known young bass singer and member of the Duo Skarka-Pohl took part in the recent annual of the International Antonin Dvorak Vocal competition in Karlsbad. With Richard Pohl's accompaniment, he broke through to the final rounds of both Opera and Art Song Contests getting several major awards - 2nd prize in the Opera, the prize for the best Czech participant (means audience with the president of our country), the prize of the National Theatre Brno (should fill the part of Figaro in Mozart's opera the next season) and in the Song Competition he was awarded by the Honourary award and the Prize for the Best Performance of the Contemporary Song. Duo was also invited to make some recitals in Prague and to record for the Czech broadcast.
On this picture is Richard Pohl and Josef Skarka along with the world famous Slovak tenor and the chairman of the jury, Mr. Peter Dvorsky:
"The greatest misfortune of the wise man and the greatest unhappiness of the fool are based upon convention." (Franz Schubert)
please, let me invite you to my current tour, with program consisting almost entirely of music by Franz Schubert.
Please, check my Facebook page www.facebook.com/richardpohl
and the Last.fm concert listing at
for more information.
Hope to meet you there and wish you a nice time :)
In a low voice that could not be heard throughout the auditorium, Zimerman, universally considered among the world's finest pianists, made reference to Guantanamo Bay and U.S. military policies toward Poland.
"Get your hands off my country," he said.
Then he turned to the piano and played Szymanowski's "Variations on a Polish Folk Theme" with such passion and intensity that the stunned audience gave him multiple ovations.
Earlier, about 30 or 40 people in the audience had walked out after Zimerman's declaration, some shouting obscenities.
"Yes," the pianist, known in Poland as "King Krystian the Glorious," answered, "some people, when they hear the word military, start marching."
Zimerman then said that America has far finer exports than its military -- and he thanked those who supported democracy. He left the stage without further comment and was unavailable Monday.
His manager, Mary Pat Buerkle, told the Associated Press on Monday that Zimerman has talked for the last couple of years about not coming back to the United States "for a while. . . . I don't think it's appropriate to say it's all political."
Zimerman has had problems in the United States in recent years, but many in the classical music world thought they were logistical.
Just a week ago, before an appearance in Seattle, Zimerman expressed frustration about the hassle and expense of touring the U.S. with his piano.
Shortly after Sept. 11, his instrument was confiscated at JFK Airport when he landed in New York to give a recital at Carnegie Hall. Thinking the glue smelled funny, the Transportation Security Administration decided to take no chances and destroyed the piano. Since then he has shipped his pianos in parts, which he reassembles by hand after he lands. To get from city to city within the U.S., he hires a driver to take the shell of the piano, and he drives another car that holds the precious custom-designed keys and hammers.
Lately, he'd seemed pleased with the direction the United States has taken. During a performance Friday at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, he delighted his Bay Area audience by making sly reference to his approval of Barack Obama in the White House.
But by the time he drove his piano to Los Angeles, Zimerman's mood appeared to have darkened. His remarks, which some in the audience characterized as angry, were the talk of Los Angeles' classical music world and its small Polish community Monday.
Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said that while some patrons were taken aback by Zimerman's comments, she did not believe it would affect attendance or fundraising.
"It was very clear he was speaking for himself," she said. "We obviously can't censor. We believe in freedom of expression. We don't use a hook to drag people off the stage."
In a spirited range of comments on The Times' Culture Monster blog, many praised Zimerman and others said the stage was no place for divisive political speech. "Go Zimerman, and take the Dixie Chicks with you," said one post, referring to the country music group that in 2003 created a ruckus when a member said they were ashamed President Bush was from Texas.
Others noted that though classical music culture in the United States is among the least overtly political of enclaves, Poland has a long tradition of mixing the political and the musical. Composer and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski was Poland's third prime minister and is revered in Poland the way the Founding Fathers are here.
"There is a tradition of Polish pianists being in the middle of political events," said Marek Zebrowski, director of the Polish Music Center at USC.
Though Poland gets comparatively little attention in the U.S., American policy recently has been a hot-button issue in Poland. Poles were upset about allegations that the CIA held suspected Al Qaeda militants in secret prisons in Poland. A Polish newspaper mockingly referred to the country as "the 51st state." Also controversial was a Bush administration proposal to put missile defense facilities there.
Sumi Hahn, a Seattle journalist who interviewed Zimerman earlier this month, said she was not surprised to hear of his outburst. She said he told her that he had "very mixed feelings now about America."
"In the past five years," she quoted him as saying, "something happened here that changed the world: a war based on lies. . . . So much damage was done worldwide ... and Americans are so unaware."
On the other hand, Robert Cole, director of Cal Performances in Berkeley, said he was surprised to hear of Zimerman's L.A. comments -- especially because of the lightness that characterized his performance in Berkeley.
Just before playing a Bach partita, Zimerman told his audience it was important to consider the political purpose of a piece of music. Bach, he told his audience, "had made a decision to put his piece in a minor key rather than a major one." Perhaps, he said, according to audience members who were there, he did that because there was a leader Bach didn't like.
Zimerman made an approving reference to Obama and then played the piece, but ended it in a joyful C major instead of a melancholy C minor.
"The audience loved it," said Christina Kellogg, director of public relations at Cal Performances. "His playing was brilliant and they broke into huge applause, and he was clearly pleased that the audience was completely with him."
Cole said he had breakfast with the pianist last week at a music-themed cafe across the street from the campus. Zimerman spoke mainly of how exhausting it was to travel with a Steinway.
"I'm sorry he's not coming back," Cole said. "He reminds me of Don Quixote. He's on a quest for perfection."
Cole added that, from a public relations perspective, it's too bad Zimerman hadn't offered his comments about Bach to Los Angeles and saved his fiery political rhetoric for Berkeley.
"I think he maybe picked the wrong place," he said. "It would have been less of an uproar here."
Times music critic Mark Swed contributed to this report.
"Addios, Caballos!" (The Production Team of the 1st Janacek - Revueltas Composition Award after the last gala concert)
Dear friends and fans,
it took a bit longer in the end, but may I finally announce, that our complete project is already published and online.
The link for the complete presentation, along with video clips, photo gallery and various articles:
Also would like to thanks to my great friend Omar Rojas, amazing composer and also the founder of the project for his marvellous job as a main co-ordinator in the Czech Republic and hope, that our collaboration will remain as fruitful as uptill now (I already premiered two of his piano works)
Mr. Edgar Omar Rojas Ruiz (1982)
Distinguished Mexican composer and producer.
For more information about his music, please visit his MySpace and Last.fm profiles at:
Another thanks comes to the whole Mexican production (notably Mr. Edgar Merino, Carlos Barraza, Jose Miguel Delgado, Mario Duarte and Marco Cecchetti) as well as to the Centro de Investigacion y Estudios de la Musica in Mexico City.
And many thanks to all our supporters, without you are visions would always just stay on the table.
And the next edition is coming soon (scheduled for spring of the next year).
Best wishes to everyone and thanks to all your sweet messages on MySpace, Facebook and here at my guestbook.
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