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Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra violinist Josef Spacek

Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra violinist Josef Spacek

Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

The orchestra was established by Ernő Dohnányi (Ernst von Dohnányi) in 1943. Among its first musical directors were János Ferencsik, Tibor Polgár and László Somogyi, then György Lehel between 1957 and 1989 and András Ligeti between 1989 and 1993. After his memorable concert in December 1992, Tamás Vásáry became chief musical director and principal conductor until 2004 and since then he has been conductor laureate of the orchestra. The numerous concerts with Ádám Fischer opened a new chapter in the orchestra’s history in the late nineties – early 2000s. Accepting the orchestra’s invitation, in 2004 Ádám Fischer became musical advisor, in 2005 first guest conductor and between 2006 and 2008 general music director and principal conductor of the Hungarian Radio’s music ensembles. Simultaneously, László Kovács was the orchestra’s first conductor between 2004 and 2008, between 2009 and 2011 Stephen D’Agostino, 2011 and 2013 Gergely Vajda led the orchestra. Since September 2014 János Kovács has been the orchestra’s principal conductor.

The Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of Hungary’s leading orchestras also having a wide international reputation in concert halls, radio-and TV-stations and recording studios. Its repertoire includes the whole music literature starting from Bach’s and Händel’s great oratorical works through the 18th and 19th century’s classical and romantic pieces to the 20th and 21st century’s masterpieces and contemporary works. The oeuvre of the Hungarian classical composers, Liszt, Bartók, Dohnányi and Kodály, moreover the entire Hungarian contemporary composer generation’s pieces were and are performed and often recorded by the orchestra. Hundreds of the orchestra’s recordings of these composers form a part of the national cultural heritage and their Dohnányi Violin concertos recording got awarded with MIDEM-Prize.

Josef 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.

Highlights in 2016 include subscription concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery Gergiev (Beethoven concerto), his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek (Dvořák concerto), his Berlin debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Thomas Sanderling (Beethoven concerto), his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård (Nielsen concerto), his Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša (Dvořák concerto) and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and Marco Angius (Brahms concerto), as well as recital debuts in among others Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and La Jolla, San Diego. He will also be the soloist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek during their Asia tour.

In addition to the afore-mentioned orchestras Josef Špaček makes solo appearances with orchestras across Europe, the US and Asia, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Essener Philharmoniker, Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Orchestre National de Belgique, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.