Jitka Čechová, piano
Jan Talich, violin
Jan Páleníček, cello
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1828), Piano Trio in C minor, No. 3, Op. 1
Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959), Piano Trio in D minor, No. 2, H 327
Anton Arensky (1861–1906), Piano Trio in D minor, No. 1, Op. 32
The Smetana Trio, founded in 1934 by the legendary Czech pianist Josef Pálenícek, violinist Alexandr Plocek and cellist František Smetana, is today’s leading Czech chamber ensemble. Currently comprised of Jitka Cechová (piano), Jan Talich (violin), and Jan Pálenícek (cello), the Smetana perpetuates the interpretational ideals created by its illustrious predecessors as well as other superlative 20th-century soloists active in chamber music.
Among recent ensemble’s guest performances stand out the tour around North America where Trio Smetana returned in the spring of 2019, after triumphant appearances in the 2017/2018 season. The Trio embarked on several European tours with performances throughout the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the United Kingdom, where the Trio was presented in London’s Wigmore Hall. The trio will return to North America in the 2020/2021 season.
The Smetana Trio collaborates with leading orchestras and conductors. Its members are active as soloists and perform concerts with orchestras such as the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana Lugano, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic, Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice, and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc.
With an impressive discography of nearly a dozen albums published by Supraphon since 2000, the group’s recordings include an album featuring the complete piano trios of Shostakovich and Ravel, and a CD dedicated to Dvořák’s compositions which received BBC Music Magazine’s Chamber Award for 2007 and the French Diapason d’Or. These two awards the trio also received for the recording of Bohuslav Martinů’s piano trios (Supraphon, 2015). A critic of The Arts Desk wrote about it: “This is the greatest chamber disc I’ve heard in ages.”
Jitka Čechová completed her piano studies at Prague Conservatory under Jan Novotný and continued at the Academy of Performing Arts under Peter Toperczer. She completed her postgraduate studies under Eugen Indjic in Paris and Vitali Berzon in Freiburg, and took master classes under Rudolf Kehrer in Weimar, and under Eugen Indjic and Lazar Berman in Piešťany. The winner of numerous international competitions performed as a soloist in many European countries, South Africa, South America and Japan. She performs regularly on prestigious international stages and festivals at home and abroad (Edinburgh, Graz, Paris, Frankfurt, Baden-Baden, the Bodensee Festival, Prague Spring, Ticino Musica etc.). She regularly records for renowned international labels. In 2014, she completed an extensive project of collected piano works by Bedřich Smetana (8 CDs) for the most prestigious Czech publishing house Supraphon. In the spring of 2016, a CD of three piano concertos and Josef Páleníček’s Concertino was released, performed with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of R. Zollman and S. Vavrinek. She is currently recording another large-scale project with Czech Radio – all of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas.
Violinist Jan Talich is a famous figure, not only on the Czech cultural scene but also internationally. In his rich career, as a soloist, chamber musician, conductor and pedagogue, he combined his diverse knowledge and experience at the highest level. While studying at the Prague Academy, he won awards at both national and international competitions, and thus began an independent career. He has performed with accompanists such as Itamar Golan, Gottlieb Wallish, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jean Bernard Pommier. For five years he was a member of the Kubelík Trio, with which he recorded the entire Czech repertoire for piano trio’s, and after took the place of the first violin in the world-famous Talich Quartet, founded in 1964 by his father. With the quartet, they regularly perform at the most renowned concert halls in the world and have already recorded dozens of CDs. Jan Talich plays the extraordinary violins, made by J. Gagliano in 1780 and G. P. Maggini in 1600.
Jan Páleníček studied at the Conservatory and Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with Saša Večtomov and Miloš Sádlo. His early musical development was significantly influenced by close contacts with Paul Tortelier, a world-famous French cellist. He studied chamber music with his father Josef Páleníček and in the class of Josef Vlach (first violin in the legendary quartet Vlach). Jan Páleníček has participated in many international competitions and won several awards. As a soloist, he regularly plays with leading Czech and international orchestras, including the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava, the Lugano Festival Orchestra (Switzerland), the Suk Chamber Orchestra, the Hradec Králové Symphony Orchestra, the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, The Brno State Philharmonic, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (Germany), the Prague Philharmonic, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc, and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Durban (South Africa). His concert tours have taken him not only to many European countries but also to America, Africa, and Japan. He has recorded for Czech and international record labels, radio and television. His recordings of sonatas by Brahms, Martinů and Rachmaninov, as well as concerts by Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Haydn, were extremely well received. For many years he taught at the Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Jan Páleníček plays a unique instrument made by F. Delanoy in 1829.
Admission free. Free tickets can be picked up the last hour before the concert at the entrance to the City Museum. The number of seats is limited, so we advise you to arrive a little earlier.
Due to safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections, all visitors must wear protective facemasks, disinfect their hands regularly, and observe a safety distance of at least 1.5 m. Entry to the event is only possible with a ticket, visitors are asked to enter the venue individually, hostesses will accompany them to a vacant seat. To ensure safety, we kindly ask all visitors to strictly follow the instructions. If you suspect that you have come in contact with the coronavirus or are showing typical signs of the disease, do not attend the event. Let’s take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
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