Re:Source – Jac & Jan & FOK
This Re:Source article is provided as a service to Opus Osm readers by The Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK)
Conductor Jac van Steen returns to lead the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) in concert with the award-winning young violinist Jan Mráček, Apr 13-14.
The principal guest conductor of the 81st season of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jac van Steen, likes monumental pieces.
One of them is Strauss’ tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra, a poem with the most impressive sunrise fanfare, made even more famous in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
However, at the concert we’ll also hear a rising star; while we were, along with the conductor, in the process of choosing the soloist for Bruch’s concerto, a wonderful piece of news arrived from Vienna: Jan Mráček had won the prestigious Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition. The choice was made.
Also, opening the concert will be Dvořák’s concert overture In Nature’s Realm.
A Young Talent – at only 13
Jan Mráček (born 1991) is one of the most promising young Czech violinists. At present Mr Mráček is studying at Vienna’s prestigious Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, under Jan Pospíchal, a renowned soloist who for many years has been concertmaster of the Wiener Symphoniker.
Since childhood, Jan Mráček has been appearing at important venues, for instance at The Rudolfinum as part of the series ‘Josef Suk Introduces Young Talents’ when he was only 13.
Mr Mráček has been successful at a number of renowned competitions, though his greatest success has been second prize at the Prague Spring International Music Festival in May 2010, when he became the youngest laureate in its history.
Watch Jan Mráček at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition, Hanover:
Return of a Successful Guest
Jac van Steen was born in Eindhoven. In September 1985 his participation in the BBC European Conductor’s seminar resulted in guest engagements with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1986 to 1990 he was conductor and music director of the Bach Choir in Nijmegen. He was also Music Director of the National Ballet, Amsterdam, a post which he held up until the end of the 1993–94 season.
The Bochumer Symfoniker in Germany appointed him in the 1992–93 season as their permanent guest conductor, a position which he held until September 1994. As of September 1997, Jac van Steen has been chief conductor of the Nürenberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany and in September 1999 was also appointed Chief Conductor and Music Director of the New Berlin Chamber Orchestra.
In August 2002 Jac van Steen was appointed Music Director of the Deutsches National Theater Weimar and chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Weimar (up to August 2005) and in that same year he was appointed chief conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, Switzerland.
As per August 2007, Jac van Steen has been appointed General Music Director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Theatre Dortmund, from 2013/14 guest conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra and from 2014/15 principal guest conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, Belfast. His first visit to the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London in 1997 lead to immediate return engagements, CD recordings and his Proms debut.
Watch Jac van Steen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra rehearsing Dvořák
JAC VAN STEEN; JAN MRÁČEK
The Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK)
April 13th and 14th, 7:30 pm
Smetana Hall, Municipal House
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK In Nature’s Realm, concert overture Op. 91
MAX BRUCH Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 1 in G minor op. 26
RICHARD STRAUSS Also Sprach Zarathustra Op. 30
Photo Credits: Photos and videos: The Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK)