Czech Philharmonic Season Opening Concert

Czech Philharmonic ⬩ Season Opening Concert

In recent years, Czech Philharmonic fans have heard Dvořák’s Piano Concerto performed by several wonderful soloists. Joining the Orchestra for the 129th season opening concerts is a pianist who is truly among today’s most sought-after artists: Daniil Trifonov, who is this season’s Artist-in-Residence. After the intermission, the audience will hear an emblematic work of the Romantic era, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

Programme

Antonín Dvořák
Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33

Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Performers

Daniil Trifonov piano

Semyon Bychkov conductor

Czech Philharmonic

Superlatives follow pianist Daniil Trifonov whenever he appears on stage. His concerto performances with the Czech Philharmonic have made the same impression on Prague audiences as he has made on critics worldwide. Trifonov has appeared twice in recent years with the Czech Philharmonic: in September 2020, he opened the new season with Semyon Bychkov in Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings, and in April 2023, he performed Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with Jakub Hrůša. The concerts of Trifonov were of such artistic excellence that the Czech Philharmonic’s management approached him with the invitation to be its 2024/2025 season Artist-in-Residence, and he accepted!

Artists-in-Residence appear repeatedly during a season. Daniil Trifonov will play at the Rudolfinum as part of the opening season concert, and the same programme will be repeated in Bratislava. In December 2024, he goes on tour with the Czech Philharmonic to New York’s Carnegie Hall and Toronto’s Koerner Hall. For these North American concerts, he will play the Piano Concerto by Antonín Dvořák, chosen to celebrate the 2024 Year of Czech Music. To contrast his grand scale performances with the Orchestra, Trifonov will also give a solo piano recital on 29 September at the Rudolfinum.

The Czech Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor is naturally a part of the opening concerts as well. Semyon Bychkov has chosen a work he has not yet performed with his Orchestra, although it is an important part of his repertoire, and is both very admired and popular. “For the artist, his beloved herself becomes a melody, like an idée fixe that he encounters again and again and hears everywhere,” wrote Hector Berlioz in the introduction to his Symphonie fantastique.

The subtitle An Episode from the Life of an Artist is meant seriously. The youthful Berlioz was inspired by (if not obsessed with) the actress Harriet Smithson who played all the major Shakespearean roles in London, and when she made guest appearances in Paris in 1827, she completely captivated the composer’s heart. Although not all love stories end the way they do in romantic novels, Smithson ultimately became Berlioz’s wife and together, they had a son. 

The beginning of Berlioz and Smithson’s relationship perfectly reflects the Romantic period’s ideas about love, which today seem rather frightening. Berlioz had in fact never seen Smithson anywhere other than on stage, but that did not stop him from sending her reams of letters. He moved into a flat where he could observe her returning home, and he would watch her until she went to sleep. The actress ignored his attempts at seduction until a mutual acquaintance invited her to a concert which featured the continuation to the Symphonie fantastique: a composition titled Lélio. Smithson realised that the symphony and its “sequel” were about her, and the rest is history as they say at least until the Shakespearean actress began to feel jealous about her husband’s success, and the fact that his attention had begun to turn towards a certain French opera singer… But why let that stop us from enjoying the Symphonie fantastique?

Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall

9/25/2024 Wednesday 7:30 PM
9/26/2024 Thursday 7:30 PM

How to buy tickets

Buy online

For online shopping you will be redirected to the website of the Czech Philharmonic.

Personally at the Rudolfinum cash desk

Information not only about available seats will be provided by the customer service of the Czech Philharmonic.

Reservation of seats for current subscribers:
until 3 June 2024, 20.00
Sale of individual tickets for subscription concerts:
from 10 June 2024, 10.00
Ticket sales for all public dress rehearsals:
from 11 September 2024, 10.00

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.: +420 227 059 227
E-mail: info@czechphilharmonic.cz

Customer service is available on weekdays from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Reservation of seats for current subscribers:
until 3 June 2024, 20.00
Sale of individual tickets for subscription concerts:
from 10 June 2024, 10.00
Ticket sales for all public dress rehearsals:
from 11 September 2024, 10.00

Customer Service of Czech Philharmonic

Tel.: +420 227 059 227
E-mail: info@czechphilharmonic.cz

Customer service is available on weekdays from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.