Credit: Brno Fillarmonie

Brno Filharmonie Receives A Standing Ovation At Sold-Out Carnegie Hall

Brno Filharmonie received a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall and were thanked personally by Philip Glass. Photo credit: Brno Filharmonie.

Brno, Feb 09 (BD) – Yesterday, Brno Filharmonie played the most important concert in its modern history at New York’s Carnegie Hall, presenting an unconventional program combining Czech and U.S. music: Martinů, Janáček and Glass. 

Symphony No. 12 “Lodger” was the event of the evening, being heard in its New York premiere, and moreover with the personal participation of the composer Philip Glass. “I don’t even know if it all just seemed that way to me. The audience received Martinů and Janáček amazingly; we got a big ovation,” said the director of Brno Filharmonie, Marie Kučerová. “After the break, Principal Conductor Dennis Russell Davies welcomed Philip Glass into the audience and they immediately broke into cheers before we even started playing. Glass is simply an icon, and it is a great honour for us to play for him.” 

“Another ovation followed after the end of the composition, several minutes of applause which got even stronger when the author came to the stage to personally thank them,” added Kučerová.

The historic importance of the concert was confirmed by the attendance of one of the leading Czech cellists, Tomáš Jamník, who currently lives in New York. 

“Right after my arrival, I was surprised by the sold-out hall, which is a rarity these days,” said Jamník. “With a very unconventional program, the Philharmonic obviously hit the New York audience’s taste. Martinů and Janáček sounded in absolutely ideal form, and Glass’s symphony gave everything, really hats off.”

The prestigious concert was made possible thanks to Dennis Russell Davies, who is close friends with Glass, having collaborated for several decades. “It was a wonderful evening. To be able to play the piece directly to Phil with my orchestra means a lot to me,” said Davies. Glass composed the symphony to lyrics by David Bowie with a solo part for five-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo.

The musicians also commented on their positive impressions from the evening. “The genius loci there is amazing. Compared to Japanese halls, Carnegie is a bit “retro”, but the atmosphere is breathtaking,” said cellist Radan Vach. “Just the ubiquitous posters of celebrities who performed there. Acoustically wonderful; we could all hear each other perfectly on stage. The concert itself was a great experience for us, the reaction of the audience was great – including our composers. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we felt great pride during the evening.” 

The U.S. tour continues on 10 February with a concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan, again combining Czech and U.S. music. The program includes Humoreska by William Bolcom and two works by Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta and Glagolitic Mass. “I dare to say that this is the first time ever that Janáček will be heard in that hall. Plus with local soloists and choir as well as a brass section in the Sinfonietta. We are very curious about the mutual interplay,” said Kučerová, explaining that the combination of local and visiting artists is used in cases of a large cast of the orchestra. 

After Ann Arbor, Brno Filharmonie will play five more concerts; three will take place in California, in Kansas City they will play with Laurie Anderson, and the tour will end in Texas.

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