Friday, May 4, 2012: Back and Forward

Opus Osm

Vit Zouhar's new composition premieres with violist Mark Ludwig (right) and other musicians performing the commissioned work entitled 'Days'

Looking Back, Striving Forward: Historic Concert May 15

You can witness a unique concert Tues, May 15 as part of the annual Prague Spring International Festival 2012. Sitting in the audience at the Church of St Simon and St Jude, you will be able to look both back in history and forward to the future.

That’s because this concert offers the world premiere of Vit Zouhar’s Days, the 2012 Terezín Legacy Commission, a project of the non-profit Terezín Music Foundation. The group honors not only the legacy but also the creative spirit of the World War II Terezín camp’s interned musicians.

The Foundation ensures that these musicians’ works will be preserved and performed; carries on the mentoring role set by these wartime musicians; and supports today’s emerging composers by commissioning their new works.

The music will be performed by Boston-based harpsichordist Mark Kroll; Boston Symphony violist Mark Ludwig, executive director of the Terezín Music Foundation; flutist Jan Ostrý; violinist Martina Bacová; and cellist Petr Nouzovský. Mr Kroll is also chairing the jury of the Prague Spring 2012 harpsichord competition.

But the historic activities won’t end with the final note of the concert. The next day, the Terezín Legacy Commission will present its first annual Vedem Award, an original sculpture by a Czech glass artist, this year Martin Rosol. The award will be presented to Zuzana Růžičková, the internationally-recognized harpsichordist, at the American Embassy May 16. While in Terezín she studied music with composer Gideon Klein.

The unusual name for the award comes from a secret, Czech-language literary magazine. “Vedem” was produced by a group of boys held in Terezín.

The positive work of the Terezín foundation will continue with a week of master classes May 15-21 at the Jan Deyl and Prague conservatories, with clarinetist Thomas Martin, Mr Kroll, and Mr Ludwig. The classes are sponsored by the Foundation’s Emerson-Ondriček Fund, in memory of Czech violin pedagogue Emanuel Ondriček and his American student Harriet Emerson.

All in all, the concert and activities surrounding it will help make – and preserve – music history.

You can read more about the Foundation by clicking on the dates below, for related articles published previously on Opus Osm:

More about Vit Zouhar: Thursday, August 25, 2011

More about Zuzana Růžičková: February 14, 2012

More about The Terezín Music Foundation: June 14, 2011

More about Harriet Emerson: June 1, 2011 — oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Terezín Music Foundation

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