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Thu, 30. 1. 2025, 19.00 hrs


Venue: Zlín Congress Centre  |  Organizer: Filharmonie Bohuslava Martinů, o.p.s.  | 

Vilém Vlček, cello
Maurice Cohn, conductor
Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra

Dmitri Shostakovich: Festive Overture in A Major, Op. 96
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra, Op. 33
Ottorino Respighi: The Birds, Suite for chamber orchestra
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird. Suite from the ballet, 1919 version

In late January, the Orchestra welcomes the American conductor Maurice Cohn to Zlín to present a varied programme of works by three leading composers from Russia, and one from Italy. The cello soloist is Vilém Vlček, winner of the prestigious Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition and laureate of the Jiří Bělohlávek Prize awarded to young Czech artists under the age of 30 who have achieved extraordinary success in their field.

The concert opens with Shostakovich's overture written in 1954, a piece which stands out for its liveliness, energy and festive mood, full of strong rhythms, expressive melodies and dramatic contrasts, which did not find favour with some political regimes in the past, but now features regularly on concert stages around the world. This is followed by Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra, inspired by Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, cellist and teacher at the Moscow Conservatory and a close friend of Tchaikovsky. The composer began working on this piece at the end of 1876, first with a solo part with piano accompaniment that he then presented to Fitzenhagen, who made minor changes and used his own performing skills and experience to recommend certain corrections. Tchaikovsky then added an orchestral accompaniment to the cycle’s main theme and seven (originally eight) variations so that the work could be premiered in its full glory in December 1877 by Fitzenhagen himself.

Ottorino Respighi's suite for chamber orchestra, ‘The Birds’, was inspired by his study of Baroque music. The work, in five movements, builds on works by the old masters Pasquini, de Gallo, Rameau and van Eyck leading the listener into the fascinating world of our feathered friends and the unmistakable sounds they make.

The evening concludes with ballet music from Stravinsky’s Firebird suite, based on the Russian fairy tale. Commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev in 1910, it premiered in Paris that same year and was an immediate and resounding success. From a stage work combining Impressionist elements with Russian folk tradition in a distinctive way, Stravinsky then produced a six-part orchestral suite in 1911, subsequently reworking it in 1919 and 1945.

Zlín Congress Centre

  • Ulice: nám. T. G. Masaryka 5556
  • Město: Zlín
  • PSČ: 760 01
  • Stát: Česká republika

Filharmonie Bohuslava Martinů, o.p.s.

  • Město: Zlín
  • PSČ: 760 01
  • Stát: Česká republika