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Jakub Hrůša conducts Smetana, Bartók, Mussorgsky
and Janáček featuring violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann

Jakub Hrůša conducts Smetana, Bartók, Mussorgsky and Janáček featuring violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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The Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, making his BSO debut, is joined by acclaimed German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann for Béla Bartók's scintillating Violin Concerto No. 2, a 1938 work strongly influenced by Central European folk music. The other three works on the program are based on Slavic myth and legend. Smetana's Šárka, a tone poem from his large cycle Má Vlast ("My Country"), is named for a legendary Czech maiden warrior and illustrates an episode from her life. Mussorgsky's famously scary Night on Bald Mountain (depicted in Disney's Fantasia) seems to have originated in plans for an unrealized opera on the subject of a witches' sabbath, in part inspired by the great Russian writer Nikolai Gogol. Based on a Gogol novella, Janáček's 1918 orchestral rhapsody Taras Bulba is one of his most familiar works-but has never been performed by the BSO.

Featured Performers

Jakub Hrůša, conductor
Jakub Hrůša, conductor View biography in full page >

Born in the Czech Republic and described by Gramophone as 'on the verge of greatness', Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor Designate of the Bamberg Symphony, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (TMSO), and served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of PKF-Prague Philharmonia from 2009 to 2015.  
He is a regular guest with many of the world's greatest orchestras, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Recent highlights have included Bohemian Legends and The Mighty Five  - two major series specially devised for the Philharmonia Orchestra - and débuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin, and Russian National Orchestra.

2015/16 will see him make eagerly-awaited debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, and at the Vienna State Opera (a new production of The Makropulos Case directed by Peter Stein) and Frankfurt Opera (Il trittico).  He also returns to Glyndebourne Festival in 2016 to lead The Cunning Little Vixen.  

As a conductor of opera, he has been a regular guest with the Glyndebourne Festival since his début in 2008, conducting CarmenThe Turn of the ScrewDon Giovanni and La bohème,and serving as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour from 2010 to 2012. Elsewhere he has led productions for Opéra National de Paris (Rusalka), Finnish National Opera (Jenůfa), Royal Danish Theatre (Boris Godunov), and Prague National Theatre (The Cunning Little Vixen  and Rusalka).

As a recording artist, he has released six discs for Supraphon including a live recording of Smetana's Má vlast  from the Prague Spring Festival. Other recordings include the Tchaikovsky and Bruch violin concertos with Nicola Benedetti and the Czech Philharmonic (Universal); live recordings of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie and Suk's Asrael Symphony with TMSO for Octavia Records; and, as the first in a three-disc series for Pentatone with PKF-Prague Philharmonia, Dvořák and Lalo cello concertos with Johannes Moser.  He will also embark on a new partnership in the coming seasons with Tudor and Bamberg Symphony.

Originally from Brno, Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he now lives with his wife and daughter. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle.

Jakub Hrůša, conductor Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin View biography in full page >

Frank Peter Zimmermann is widely regarded as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. Praised for his selfless musicality, his brilliance and keen intelligence he has been performing with all major orchestras in the world for well over three decades, collaborating on these occasions with the world's most renowned conductors. His many concert engagements take him to all important concert venues and international music festivals in Europe, the United States, Asia, South America and Australia.

Highlights during the 2019/20 season include engagements with the Berliner Philharmonier and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by Daniel Harding, the LaFil Filarmonica di Milano and Daniele Gatti, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Christoph von Dohnanyi, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert, the Orchestre de Paris and Lahav Shani, the Wiener Symphoniker and François-Xavier Roth, the Bamberger Symphoniker and Jakub Hrůša, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki and the Shanghai Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, both conducted by Long Yu. He will continue his Beethoven Sonata cycle with Martin Helmchen with concerts in among others Brussels and Madrid, as well as at the festivals of Bad Kissingen, Rheingau and Schlewsig-Holstein.

Together with viola player Antoine Tamestit and cellist Christian Poltéra he forms the Trio Zimmermann; the trio performs in all major music centres and festivals in Europe. BIS Records has released award-winning CD recordings of works for string trio by Beethoven (Op. 3, Op. 8 and Op. 9), Mozart (Divertimento KV 563), Schubert (Trio, D 471), Schoenberg (Trio, op. 45) and Hindemith (Trios 1 and 2). May 2019 saw the release of the recording of the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach.

Mr. Zimmermann has given four world premieres: Magnus Lindberg’s violin concerto no. 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden (2015) with further performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, both under Daniel Harding and with the New York Philharmonic and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, both under Alan Gilbert. He also premiered the violin concerto “en sourdine” by Matthias Pintscher with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Peter Eötvös (2003), the violin concerto “The Lost Art of Letter Writing” by Brett Dean, who received the 2009 Grawemeyer Award for this composition, with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by the composer (2007) and the violin concerto no. 3 “Juggler in Paradise” by Augusta Read Thomas with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Andrey Boreyko (2009).

He received a number of special prizes and honours, among which the “Premio del Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena” (1990), the “Rheinischer Kulturpreis” (1994), the “Musikpreis” of the city of Duisburg (2002), the “Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse der Bundesrepublik Deutschland” (2008) and the “Paul-Hindemith-Preis der Stadt Hanau” (2010).

Over the years Frank Peter Zimmermann has built up an impressive discography for EMI Classics, Sony Classical, BIS Records, hänssler CLASSIC, Ondine, Decca, Teldec Classics and ECM Records. He has recorded virtually all major concerto repertoire, ranging from Bach to Ligeti, as well as recital repertoire. Many of these recordings have received prestigious awards and prizes worldwide. Most recent releases include violin concertos of J.S. Bach with the Berliner Barock Solisten (hänssler CLASSIC); the two violin concertos of Shostakovich with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert (BIS Records) - this recording was nominated for a Grammy 2018 - and the 5 violin concertos and Sinfonia Concertante of Mozart with the Kammerorchester des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Antoine Tamestit (hänssler CLASSIC).

Born in 1965 in Duisburg, Germany, Mr. Zimmermann started playing the violin when he was 5 years old, giving his first concert with orchestra at the age of 10. He studied with Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff and Herman Krebbers.

Mr. Zimmermann plays on the 1711 Antonio Stradivari violin "Lady Inchiquin”, which is kindly provided by the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, "Kunst im Landesbesitz”.

Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin
Program Notes Audio
SMETANA - Šárka (10 min)
BARTÓK - Violin Concerto No. 2 (36 min)
MUSSORGSKY - Night on Bald Mountain (12 min)
JANÁČEK - Taras Bulba, Rhapsody for Orchestra (22 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes