6th SLOWIND SPRING 2019
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7.30 p.m.
Slovenska filharmonija (Slovenian Philharmonic, Slavko Osterc Hall)
JOSEF SUK Piano Quartet
Radim Kresta, violin
Eva Krestová, viola
Václav Petr, violoncello
Václav Mácha, piano
Jiří Gemrot (b. 1957): Quartet for violin, viola, violoncello and piano (2015)
Animato. Andante moderato. Animato
Matteo D’Amico (b. 1955): Quartettsatz (2018)
for Josef Suk Quartet
Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959): Piano quartet No. 1, H. 287
Allegretto poco moderato
The Josef Suk Piano Quartet are celebrated worldwide for serving the music with „supreme skill“ as well as „heart-felt lyrical phrasing.“ „They play with huge sound, loving detail and lay down music with thrilling authority“. (MusicWeb International, The Guardian)
The Josef Suk Piano Quartet was named after Josef Suk (1929-2011), one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century, the grandson of composer Josef Suk and great grandson of Antonín Dvořák. The honor of accepting the name of a leading Czech artist was proposed to the ensemble by the Czech Society for Chamber Music and with the kind support of Marie Suková, Josef Suk’s wife. The Josef Suk Piano Quartet develops the rich tradition of Czech chamber ensembles, namely of the famous Suk Trio.
The ensemble was founded by violinist Radim Kresta in 2007, initially as the Taras Piano Trio. Under this name the ensemble won prizes at a number of international competitions: 1st Prize at the Johannes Brahms Wettbewerb 2007; 1st Prize at the Premio Rovere d’Oro 2008; or, 1st Prize at the Val Tidone Music Competitions 2010. From late 2012 they played as Ensemble Taras as a piano quartet. In 2013, the ensemble achieved outstanding success winning two 1st Prizes at international competitions: in May 2013 at the Concorso Salieri-Zinetti in Verona, and in September 2013 at one of the most prestigious competitions, ACM Premio Trio di Trieste. The quartet also became the holders of the prominent prize of the Czech Society for Chamber Music as the Czech Chamber Ensemble of the Year 2014. Thanks to these successes the ensemble were given unique opportunities of performing on prestigious stages and of recording their début CD and DVD for Limen Music and Arts Milan, with the music of Gabriel Fauré (Piano Quartet Op. 15) and Johannes Brahms (Piano Quartet Op. 60), and another CD for the Azzura Music Label, with the music of Gustav Mahler and Brahms (Piano Quartet Op. 25). The ensemble has been performing under their new name of the Josef Suk Piano Quartet since 2014. In 2017 the quartet has recorded a CD under the label of Supraphon with a music of Josef Suk and Antonín Dvořák. Right after the recording was released it was very well critically acclaimed (The Guardian, Gramophone, MusicWeb International and others).
The quartet regularly perform in Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Slovenia or in Japan. They have played in venues like Rudolfinum in Prague, Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Trento filarmonica, Auditorio Castellón, Salla Maffeiana in Verona (here all the members of the quartet performed solo concertos accompanied by Italian orchestra “Virtuosi Italiani”) and others. The ensemble is also a regular guest of many festivals: for example: Prague Spring, Bologna Festival, La Bienalle di Venezia, IMF Leoš Janáček, Ema Destinová Festival, Emilia Romagna Festival,Appassionata Festival and others. They have also performed live in italian, austrian and czech radio (Rai, ORF, ČRo).
Their repertoire comprises key works from Classicism to the present; the pillars of their music are the works of Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák, Josef Suk and Bohuslav Martinů, apart from prominent works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The quartet regularly performs debuts of new compositions by prominent composers such as Jean-Luc Darbelay, Max E. Keller, Matteo D’Amico, Marta Jiráčková and Jiří Gemrot. During their concerts, the ensemble perform in other formations too, as a piano trio or a string trio (as the Josef Suk Trio). As the ensemble members say, “a piano quartet is the ideal formation for us. It offers a range of possibilities and opportunities for the lovers of chamber music. It may unravel in various chamber combinations, for duos to string or piano trios; the piano quartet is also often able to stand for the whole orchestra, and some of the works of this formation are like symphonies…”