Brno Filharmonic Launches Its 65th Season and Extends Chief Conductor’s Contract
The Brno Philharmonic is looking forward to its 65th season, and has also announced an extended contract agreement with chief conductor Dennis R. Davies. The opening performance will be held at Brno’s Petrov Cathedral on September 11th. Photo: Dennis R. Davies at Petrov courtesy of Brno Philharmonic.
Brno, Sep 9 (BD) – The 65th season of the Brno Philharmonic will be launched this Friday in Brno. The season will open with music by Arvo Pärt and Anton Bruckner, with Dennis Russell Davies as the chief conductor and artistic director. This is Davies’ third season with the company, and his contract has just been extended.
Davies, a conductor and pianist from the United States, has been working with the Brno Philharmonic for the last two seasons. The orchestra’s director, Marie Kucerova, said that “Under his leadership, the Brno Philharmonic is experiencing a happy era of concentrated work at the highest level. That’s why I’m glad that we have extended our cooperation with Maestro Davies for another two years.”
Davies gladly accepted the offer, commenting that: “Our first two seasons together were beautiful, enriching, and together with my wife Maki Namekawa we really fell in love with Brno and everything it offers.”
While his contract will now last until 2024, Davies admits that the start of this season will not be easy: “We are facing a huge challenge. Not only as the leading orchestra in the Republic, but also as a civilized society that is coping with an unpredictable pandemic. The health and safety of our musicians and audiences is our number one priority.”
Transcendent Performances await Listeners
The first performance of the evening will be a canon by Arvo Pärt, composed for string orchestra and bells. Performed on Pärt’s 85th birthday, “Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten” is a solemn piece, evoking a sense of dying away with the sound of bells in the distance. “Pärt called this style ‘tintinnabuli’ from the Latin word tintinnabulum, i.e. a bell, and characterized it as a voluntary escape to poverty,” said Vítězslav Mikeš, the dramaturg of the Brno Philharmonic.
The second performance is a composition by Anton Bruckner, entitled ‘Symphony No.5 in B-flat major’. Bruckner wrote the piece in 1878 but never heard it performed by an orchestra; the orchestral premiere was in Graz in 1894, but he was not able to travel from Vienna to see the performance due to an illness, and died two years later
The concert to open the season will begin at 7pm at Petrov Cathedral. There will be no pause between the two performances. With respect to the current situation, it is necessary for guests to wear masks, and disinfectant will be available at the cathedral entrance.