The Kutná Hora International Music Festival
15th Kutná Hora International Music Festival
4 – 12 June, 2022
Artistic Director Jiří Bárta
Since its foundation in 2008, the Kutná Hora International Music Festival has made itself a name as one of the Czech Republic´s foremost chamber music events. The Festival´s programme has been regularly conceived by its Artistic Director, the internationally renowned cellist, Jiří Bárta. His dramaturgy of the event has been characterized by the programme´s remarkable variety, ranging from classical chamber music literature, rarely performed works, contemporary music or production of less-known composers, to crossover projects.
The Festival ranks as a major regional cultural event. It has been attracting both seasoned music-lovers and members of the broad local public and enthusiasts who have adopted the Festival as their own.
The Kutná Hora International Music Festival is a platform for productions of classical chamber music, taking place during the first week of June. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the last two editions were held in late August.
Apart from the enthusiasm of participating musicians and the unique atmosphere surrounding the individual concerts, the Festival´s other asset has been its meticulously elaborate dramaturgy. Its programme has been regularly centered around stylistic contrasts. There, Jiří Bárta has succeeded in bringing a delicately balanced combination of sophistication and accessibility.
The workshop format, around which the Festival programme has pivoted, requires from the musician a blend of high performing skills, the art of chamber teamwork, and a capacity to work under pressure. Rehearsals of the various compositions take place over the course of the Festival week, within which the artists follow a daily schedule of studying the scores and performing a multifaceted concert programme.
Jiří Bárta has handpicked top-notch international and domestic artists who are open towards this demanding approach to creative involvment. This year´s programme features:
Piers Lane, Terezie Fialová – piano
Jan Simon – piano, harmonium
Dalibor Karvay, Roman Patočka, Pavel Šporcl, Milan Pala, Lenka Torgersen, Miroslav Ambroš – violin
Karel Untermüller – viola
Michal Raitmajer, Hana Fleková – viola da gamba
Jiří Bárta – cello
Jan Hudeček – bassoon
Michel Raison – clarinet
Adam Viktora, Viktor Darebný – organ
Jan Krejča – theorbo
Tyl Teachers Mixed Choir; Gaudeamus Students Choir Kutná Hora
Zdeněk Licek – choirmaster
Since its inception, the Festival has stood out for its focus on the presentation of works by contemporary composers: Martin Smolka, Miroslav Srnka, Gavin Bryars, Ondřej Koukal, Sophia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt, Zygmunt Krauze, Henryk Gorecki, Wojciech Kilar, are only a few of the many whose compositions have fetured on the Festival programme, often in their Czech (and in the case of Martin Smolka, world) premieres. These works are regularly presented alongside classical compositions, in programmes demonstrating synergy between modern and classical music. This model has amply proved its viability, so we needn´t hesitate to claim that through this particular pursuit we have been instrumental in influencing the taste of a sizeable audience whose members are by now not only ready to accept contemporary music, but even actively seek it out.
The nonconformist nature of such musical evenings will be exemplified this year among other things by presentations of the Symphony in E “Ecce Homo” by the late Brno-based composer František Gregor Emmert (04/06); the Rosenkranz Sonatas for violin by Heinrich Ignaz Bieber, in confrontation with music by Pascal Dusapin (09/06); or compositions by Erwin Schulhoff, Vít Zouhar, and the pioneer of Concept art and Neodadaist, Yves Klein represented by his rarely performed cult opus, the Monoton-Silence Symphony, in contrast with the Kegelstadttrio of W.A. Mozart (11/06). Definitely worth mentioning is likewise the programme bringing together early preludes of Olivier Messiaen, in counterpoint to the 24 Preludes of Alexander Scriabin, with Piers Lane at the piano. These concerts will intertwine with renditions of timeless standard classics by Antonín Dvořák, Josef Suk, Frédéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn, César Franck and Franz Schubert, but also gems of the Baroque repertoire performed on historical instruments (by violinist Lenka Torgersen, gamba players Michal Raitmajer and Hana Fleková, and others).
In its fourteen years of existence, the Festival has become an inseparable part of the whole region´s cultural life, attracting large numbers of music lovers from across the Czech Republic and from abroad.
The Festival´s production is handled by Lotos Co., Ltd., a widely respected agency which has been in operation since 1992 and is therefore this year marking 30 years of its existence. It has specialized in organizing concert and festival projects, as well as releasing recordings of predominantly classical music. Over the years, it has collaborated with many outstanding artists. Perhaps most notably, between 1995 and 2002 it was the driving force behind a series of chamber concerts featuring Josef Suk in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle, under the motto “Music at Hradčany”. Lotos made a total of 36 records with Josef Suk. Apart from that, it has been active as an organizer of many concerts with Josef Suk and other major artists. It has built up a catalogue of 170 recordings, most of them of classical music. The agency has worked on a regular basis with the Czech Philharmonic and the conductors Václav Neumann, Libor Pešek and Jiří Bělohlávek, as well as with the Prague Philharmonia, the Wihan Quartet, Zuzana Růžičková, Magdalena Kožená, Ludmila Peterková, Vladimír Mikulka, Milan Svoboda, Jiří Stivín, Emil Viklický, Hradišťan ensemble, Jiří Pavlica, Ida Kelarová, and many others. Since 2008 Lotos has centered its operation around the organization of the Kutná Hora International Music Festival.
The Festival has ranked among the most prestigious music productions staged in the region of Central Bohemia, enhancing its prestige as the host of a top-rated international cultural event. The Festival is run as a collaborative endeavour counting with the participation of the Kutná Hora Primary Art School whose students and teachers are free to attend concert rehearsals, an experience enriching their creative motivations and offering a welcome source of inspiration. The Festival provides reduced admission for all students, disabled persons and seniors above 65 years. Music-school students have free admission.
We are confident that as has become the rule, the Festival´s musical qualities coupled with its excitingly innovative dramaturgy will this year once again attract a large crowd of music-loving visitors.
Chrám sv. Barbory – Barborská, Kutná Hora
Kaple Božího těla – Barborská, Kutná Hora
Kostel sv. Jana Nepomuckého – Husova 121/43, Kutná Hora
Kostel Zvěstování Panny Marie – Bohdaneč u Kutné Hory
Kostel sv. Jakuba – Jakubská, Kutná Hora