Top Classical Stars Shine on Tchaikovsky Street

Opus Osm

Personal touches such as Advent candles for December concerts, as well as top quality performers at affordable ticket prices, draw large audiences to The Atrium.

The Atrium’s Secret is Out; Get Tickets Early!

With all the great classical music venues in the centre of Prague, it’s easy to forget that there are also lots of great venues just a few tram stops away. The Atrium, on Tchaikovsky Street, is a pleasant little Žižkov concert hall that comes with benefits. During the intermission, concert-goers are welcome to visit the art exhibition hall; and pretzels were a nice treat after we stood in line to pick up coats.

The main draw to their often sold-out concerts, however, is first rate performances at accessible prices — starting at 40 Czech crowns for seniors. We had the pleasure of attending the concert of violinist Ivan Ženatý and pianist Stanislav Bogunia Dec 15.

As the first notes rang through the small concert hall, the violin’s monumental sound proclaimed “exceptional instrument.” And as is often the case, exceptional instruments are the treasures of exceptional musicians. Thanks to the New York Harmony Foundation, Mr Ženatý’s performance was on the rare violin that belonged to Guiseppe Guarneri “del Gesu,” way back in 1740.

Opus Osm

Ivan Ženatý

Indeed, Ivan Ženatý is a renowned violinist of international calibre. His resumé includes repeat engagements with the likes of the BBC Symphony Orchestra London, Berliner Symphoniker, and Orchestra Nacional de Madrid. His musical style has been influenced through personal interactions with violinists such as Nathan Milstein and Ruggier Ricci, and collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and conductor Neville Marriner, among many others. However, Mr Ženatý considers his private lessons with Josef Suk to be the most significant. Currently, Mr Ženatý is a professor at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music.

The piano accompaniment was provided by Stanislav Bogunia, a respected Czech pianist, conductor, and educator in his own right.

Together they preformed varied works: Johannes Brahms’ Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, Opus 100, and Antonin Dvořak’s Romance in F Minor, Opus 11. After the intermission they launched into Manuel de Falla’s Spanish Folk Suite for violin and piano, and Maurice Ravel’s Habanera and La Tzigane. The audience brought them back for no less than three encores.

It’s easy to see why people in this largely residential neighborhood grab tickets to rarified music within easy walking distance. You have been warned: make reservations early. — oo

– Hana and Frank Trollman

Photo Credits: Frank Trollman

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