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Kukal String Quartet – Saturday 4 May

Kukal String Quartet
Eliška Kukalová and Klára Lešková violins
Daniel Macho viola, Filip Rufer cello

Coffee Concert

Schulhoff   Five Pieces
Sylvie Bodorová   Shofarot
Smetana   Quartet No 2
Dvořák   Cypresses – a selection

 

The Kukal Quartet is making its UK debut on this visit, having been specially chosen by The Czech Centre. Named after a leading Czech composer, Ondřej Kukal, the Quartet, founded in 2020, was winning prizes at the Prague Spring Competition within a year. The Quartet brings a programme that embraces many of the Festival’s strands, whetting the appetite for Sylvie Bodorová’s première later in the day and building it around Smetana’s last chamber music work, premièred in 1884

The visit by the Kukal Quartet to the United Kingdom is part of the Year of Czech Music 2024 organized in partnership with The Czech Centre London and supported by Czech Recovery Plan, Ministry of Culture Czech Republic, European Union, Arts and Theatre Institute, SoundCzech and Vážný zájem Society.

£18 | £12 
(£1 children / students)

Includes coffee available from 10.30am in the Conservatory

Guarneri Piano Trio – Friday 3 May

Guarneri Piano Trio
Čeněk Pavlík violin | Marek Jerie cello | Ivan Klanský piano

Suk   Elegy

Smetana   Trio in G minor Op 15

Martinů   Bergerettes selection

Dvořák   Trio in F minor Op 65

 

The Guarneri Piano Trio, founded in 1986, is one of best in the world and has given several memorable concerts in Leamington over the years. Although the three members also have careers as soloists, playing together for nearly forty years brings another dimension to the Trio’s performances.

The ensemble bears the family name of the makers of both string instruments used by the Trio. Cenek Pavlík plays the famous ‘Zimbalist’ violin by Guarneri del Gesù from the precious collection of Luigi Tarisio, while Marek Jerie plays a cello made by Andrea Guarneri in l684.

The Trio’s stunning interpretation of Smetana’s masterpiece on previous visits absolutely had to be included in this programme, along with these wonderful works by Dvořák and his son-in-law, Suk, and will once again demonstrate the Trio’s complete immersion in the rich Czech repertoire.

Generously supported by Michael & Halldóra Blair

£27 | £17
(£1 children / students)

Martin Kasík (piano) – Friday 3 May

Smetana   Bagatelles & Impromptus
Dvořák   Suite in A Op 98
Chopin   Ballade in G minor Op 23
Chopin   Nocturne in D flat Op 27 No 2
Chopin   Scherzo in B flat minor Op 31

 

Concert given in memory of Iain Smith (Leamington Music Chairman, 2006-15) and Teresa Halikowska-Smith.

Iain Smith had a special regard for the leading Czech pianist Martin Kasík, following performances for Leamington Music as well as the Wigmore Hall, in the Leamington Hastings concerts, and the Festival in Stratford. Martin Kasík was Director of the Chopin Festival in Mariánské Lázně, which Iain and Teresa Smith attended in 2008 and greatly enjoyed. The Fryderyk Chopin Society is based in this Czech spa town where Chopin spent the summer of 1836.

Martin gives performances with the Martinů Quartet and his regular partner on oboe, Vilém Veverka, in the evening concerts on Saturday and Sunday.

Generously supported by Stefan, Milena, and Adrian Smith

£18 | £12
(£1 children / students)

Amici della Musica – Thursday 2 May

Amici della Musica
Philippe Graffin violin | Elizabeth Wallfisch viola
Raphael Wallfisch cello | Piers Lane piano

Mahler   Piano Quartet movement in A minor
Schulhoff   Duo for Violin and Cello
Smetana   Polkas de salon Op 7 Nos 2 & 3
Smetana   Caprice bohemien in F Op 12
Dvořák   Piano Quartet in E flat Op 87

 

Raphael Wallfisch, a favourite and regular Festival performer, brings his newly-formed group to Leamington. Both French violinist Philippe Graffin with Raphael, and Australian pianist Piers Lane with Tasmin Little, thrilled audiences here some twenty years ago, while Raphael’s wife Elizabeth has more often been heard in memorable concerts in Warwick.

The programme sets off the Festival themes admirably with Mahler’s powerful and rare foray into chamber music, Schulhoff’s atmospheric duo from 1925, followed by piano solos from Smetana in his big year, and ending with a glorious Quartet by Dvořák, one of his most attractive chamber works.

Generously supported by Paul & Jane Watts

£27 | £17
(£1 children / students)