BIOGRAPHY: Josef Spacek and Miroslav Sekera

BIOGRAPHY: Josef Spacek and Miroslav Sekera 2014-06-27T15:04:59+00:00

Josef-SpacekJosef Špaček is fast emerging as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. In addition to his flourishing solo career, Josef Špaček has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. As soloist he makes guest appearances with orchestras across Europe, the US and Asia, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Essener Philharmoniker, Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Orchestre National de Belgique, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Bělohlávek, Jakub Hrůša, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Asher Fisch, Roy Goodman, Eliahu Inbal, Jun Märkl, Thomas Søndergård, Giordano Bellincampi, Tomáš Netopil, Marco Angius and Rossen Milanov. Josef Špaček gives numerous recitals in Europe (including at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and at Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. and La Jolla, San Diego). In 2013 he released his debut recording on Supraphon, which includes works by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev. April 2015 saw the Supraphon release of his recordings of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, and of the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. In 2010 he recorded works by H.W. Ernst for Naxos. His first CD, which was released in 2006, includes a complete recording of the Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe. Josef Špaček plays a violin made in 1855 in the workshop of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.

Josef Špaček last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Celebrity Orchestra Series on November 6, 2014.

Miroslav SekeraMiroslav Sekera ranks among the preeminent members of the young generation of Czech pianists. His exceptional talent was first spotted at the early age of three years by the distinguished educator, Professor Zdena Janžurová. Miroslav was a child prodigy who was ready to take up at that tender age, along with piano also the study of violin with Professors Zdenek Vyoral and Josef Novák. Very soon, he began to reap triumphs not only in concert appearances, but also in numerous junior performing competitions, as both pianist, violinist and chamber player. He then made an unforgettable experience which has remained imprinted in his memory to this day: namely, participation in the making of the marvelous film, Amadeus. As it happenned, the film’s director, Miloš Forman, was looking for a child actor to impersonate Mozart in his early years. The six-years-old Mirek proved the ideal choice, thanks to his unique virtuoso skills at playing violin and piano. Those who have seen the movie will surely recall the little boy displaying incredible bravura performing spinet and violin blindfold…

Some time after that experience, Mirek found himself confronted with the definitive choice of the instrument on which to concentrate fully in his further study. The piano prevailed, and there followed years of study at the Basic Art School in Prague´s Voršilská Street, from where he advanced to the Prague Conservatory´s class of Professor Eva Boguniová, all through his studies there simultaneously frequenting also the class of Professor Martin Ballý. He then pursued his schooling at the Academy of Music in Prague, with Associate Professor Miroslav Langer. He graduated in 1999, as the Academy’s best solo piano graduate.

While still studying at the two schools, in 1991, he won first prize in the Chopin Competition at Mariánské Lázne. In the following year, he received first prize from the conservatory students contest in Pardubice.

His many awards won in prestigious interpreting competitions at various points of his career have included first prize from the prestigious Chopin Competition at Mariánské Lázne (1991), first prize from the conservatory students contestin Pardubice(1992), first prize from the competition organized by the Prague Academy of Music (1999), where he also received a scholarship from Yamaha: as well as second prize from the international competition at Gaillard, France (2000), and first prize from the Johannes Brahms International Competition at Portschach, Austria (2002).

Miroslav Sekera makes concert appearances in the Czech Republic and on the international circuit, not only as an outstanding soloist, but likewise as a chamber ensemble player. Since his student years, he has given many full-length recitals in Prague, as well as in other venues in the Czech Republic and abroad. In 2006, he was released a solo CD by Multisonic support of Czech Music Foundation with parts J. Brahms, D. Scarlatti, M. Moszkovski. For contemporary Boston composer Joseph Summer recorded three CDs issued by record company Albany Records and Navona Records. In 2013 he recorded with violinist Josef Špacek CD for Supraphon. He regularly collaborates with Czech Radio. For the second time
appeared as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestra FOK under the baton of Jirí Kout. He regularly collaborates with the mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková.

This performance marks Miroslav Sekera’s La Jolla Music Society debut.