Monday, February 7: Old Hornets

Sister 'hornets' Růžena Sršňová (left) and Anna Stará

Running into old hornets can be risky. Unless the particular Old Hornets is this accomplished Czech violin-piano duo called Duo Stará Sršňová, in Czech. They also happen to be sisters.

One sister’s married name (Anna) Stará translates as “old;” the other sister’s married name, (Růžena) Sršnová, translates as hornet. (Female gender.)

Duo Stará Sršňová performed a wide range of music in concert January 28 in Prague. The music of Mozart, Poulenc, Janáček, and Martinů, as well as the young Czech composer Jiří Sycha, filled the gorgeously overwrought yet intimate Baroque concert salon in a local school. The price of a ticket was incredible — by freewill donation. We sat in the front row, about 20 feet away from the piano.

Opus Osm doesn’t do reviews (we prefer that you go to performances and judge for yourself). But you can get a little buzz of what the concert was like by watching the video clip, below.

Anna ( the younger sister) began playing the piano at age 5; her sister, the violin at age 4. Both little Hornets studied at the Prague Conservatory of Music and later at the Academy of Performing Arts.

After leaving the nest, Anna took part in several competitions successfully, whereas Růžena performed in several European countries. Both have worked with Czech Radio as soloists, and both also play in various configurations with other chamber ensembles.

The sisters also go their own ways, with Anna teaching piano and Růžena writing her own compositions. Anna also performs with the flute player Kateřina Jansová (as the Carmela duo); Růžena performs with the Bufo dance theatre group and Gaudeamus folklore ensemble. oo

–Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Photos and video: Miroslav Setnička

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