Jan Talich is known nowadays an exceptional figure not only on the Czech cultural scene, but also internationally recognised. In his rich career he is able to connect, at the highest level, his knowledge and experiences of several professions. He performs as a soloist, chamber player, conductor and pedagogue the world-over.
His longest path has been that of his solo career. Whilst still at the Prague Academy he won the both national and international competitions. ( Zagreb 89 ). These helped him begin his solo career, which lasts until today. He has performed with piano partners such as Itamar Golan, Gottlieb Wallish, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jean Bernard Pommier.
For 5 years he was a member of the Kubelík Trio, with whom he recorded the complete Czech writings for piano trio. He left to take up the post of first violinist of the Talich Quartet.
The quartet, founded by his father in the year 1964, is one of the world’s best ensembles. During the 20 years of his time in the quartet they have performed regularly in the best concert halls of the world and have recorded tens of CDs.
In the last 15 years he started down the track of conducting. He began with Libor Pešek, Sir Charles Mackerass and Jiří Bělohlávek. In the year 1992 he founded the Talich Chamber Orchestra and at the present time he is the Chief conductor of the Jihočeské filharmonie. He is in demand as a conductor not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Europe and the USA.
As a pedagogue he utilises the influences gained during his career. As a representive of the Czech School (Ševčík, Kocián, Suk) he strives to achieve a combination of this tradition with the different interpretational traditions of his teachers from abroad. Ashkenasi, Feher, Zimbalist and Neaman, Rostal and Flesch.
He is regularly invited to give Masterclasses around the world.
He regularly gives masterclasses in Manchester, London, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Brussels, Prades Casals festival, Semering-Reichenau, Montreal and LA.
As a soloist he will be performing in Italy, Germany, Holland and the USA.
As a conductor he will be a guest in Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain and the USA.
With the Quartet he will tour Switzerland, Germany, France, Great Britain, the USA and Canada.
During the course of his career he has studied innumerable scores of solo, chamber and orchestral works and has also interpreted many premieries of present-day composers. In the past while he has also dedicated himself to the period interpretation of Baroque music.
His experiences as a solo and chamber player and his role as a conductor make him a very significant figure in the cultural life not only of the Czech Republic, but also on an international scale.
He is the president of the Talichův Beroun festival.
His discography is very comprehensive.
He has recorded tens of CDs with the Talich Quartet. (Calliope, BMG-Rca, Prima Volta,) eg. the complete recordings of the quartets of Mendelssohn, Kalivoda, Smetana, Janáček and Shostakovich’s complete chamber music writings with piano, the quartets of Brahms, Dvořák, Shulhoff etc.
Many CDs with his orchestra ( Supraphon, Calliope, Emi, Subterra label, Radio service). The symphonies of Mendelssohn, Jírovec, Dvořák, Schostakovich’s works for string orchestra, Vivaldi, Stravinsky, Janáček, Dvořák, Vaňhal etc.
The complete recordings of Czech works for piano trio. ( Bonton) Smetana, Dvořák, Fibich.
As a soloist he recorded the Mozart violin concertos and Ronda, (Calliope)
Mozart – Symfonia concertante + 2 duets for violin and viola ( with his father ) Calliope
Koncert L. van Beethoven, (Calliope)
The complete smaller works of B. Martinů ( Gramofonové závody)
CD of Czech music – Dvořák, Suk , Janáček ( Bonton)
Shostakovich – Violin sonata ( Calliope )
Dvořák – Romance
Vivaldi – Four seasons ( Live from Prague spring festival)
Bartok – Violin duos – komplet
CD inspired by gypsy music
In 2019 he released his newest CD of Czech music. Dvořák, Smetana, Martinů and Suk with the pianist Petr Jiříkovský.
Called a ‘most talented violin virtuoso,’ Roman Patočka’s colourful musicality and bravura technique make him a prominent figure among the young soloists of his generation a talent that has captivated audiences worldwide.
After completing studies at Prague Conservatory with Dagmar Zárubová and at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts, studying under Ivan Štraus, Patočka continued his studies abroad—first in Utrecht with Keiko Wataya, and later in Lübeck with Shmuel Ashkenasi. In 2009, he received his Masters from the Musikhochschule Hanns Eisler in Berlin as a student of Stefan Picard.
Patočka has performed extensively with some of today’s most renowned musicians. He was a participant of the International Musical Academy in Montpellier, as well as the Keshet Eilon Music Centre festival in Israel. Other appearances have included the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institutein Chicago, and the International Summer Academy in Semmering, Austria. His love of chamber music led to masterclasses with luminaries such as Ruggiero Ricci, Stephen Shipps, Hagai Shaham, Ida Haendel, Georgy Pauk, Vadim Gluzman, Gidon Kremer, Daniel Barenboim and Menahem Pressler.
Patočka’s talent and raw musicality have been recognized worldwide. In 2003, he was awarded second prize with four special awards at the Prague Spring Competition, and in 2004 was awarded the Yamaha Scholarship and became laureate of the International Competition of Václav Huml in Zagreb. Three years later, Patočka earned second prize at the Max Rostal International Competition in Berlin, and third prize at the International Pablo de Sarasate Violin Competition in Pamplona. In 2009, he was awarded third prize with two special awards at the esteemed Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition in Augsburg.
As a soloist, Roman Patočka has performed with orchestras in the Czech Republic and beyond—including the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Tiroler Symphonie Orchester Innsbruck, the Filharmonie Nagoya, La Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Czech Radio Symphonic Orchestra, and the Prague Philharmonia—under the baton of conductors Jiří Bělohlávek, Zdeněk Mácal, Vladimír Válek, Jakub Hrůša, Douglas Bostock, Heiko Mathias Forster, Yoko Matsuo, and Georg Fritzsch. In 2004, Patočka performed Leoš Janáček’s little-known concerto The Wandering of a Little Soul with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra. That same year, he had the special privilege of premiering Bohuslav Martinů’s Czech Rhapsody for violin and orchestra with the Chamber Orchestra Berg.
In 2014 he premiered Adam Skoumal’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestraat the Prague Spring 69 International Music Festival, and in 2015 made an acclaimed debut performance with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Jan Hanuš.
As a chamber musician, Roman Patočka has performed with some of today’s most important Czech musicians—including Radek Baborák, Martin Kasík, and Igor Ardašev—as well as internationally recognized musicians such as Daishin Kashimoto, Jennifer Frautschi, Lara St. John, Chloë Hanslip, Konstantin Lifschitz, José Gallardo, Maciej Pikulski and Roberto Giordano. He represented the Czech Republic at the international exhibition EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan, and has performed chamber music around Europe at festivals such as Les Heures Romantiques au Pays de Monthodon and the Festival Pablo Casals in France. Other performances have included the Lange Nacht der Musik in Vienna, Les Journées Romantiques du Vaisseau Fantôme in Paris, the Shafran Festival at the Waldenburg Castle, the Chopin Festival in Mariánské Lázně, and the Prague Spring Festivals, among countless others. Patočka is a member of both the celebrated Talich Quartet and the Eben Trio.
Roman Patočka’s recordings have appeared on Czech Radio, BBC Radio 3, ORF, Radio 4 Netherlands, Romanian Radio, and Japanese TV NHK. In 2006, he recorded a CD of music by Beethoven, Suk, Dvořák, and Bartók with pianist Frédéric Lagarde. He also appears on recordings with the Talich Quartet and the Eben Trio. Most recently, he recorded a CD of violin concertos by František Benda with the Prague Chamber Orchestra.
Born in Prague in 1960, Michal Kaňka took up the cello under leadership of Mirko Škampa at the age of seven. Later, he studied in the Prague Conservatory under prof. Viktor Moučka (cellist of the famous Vlach string quartet). During his studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts – under the tutelage of Prof. Josef Chuchro – he participated in the G. Piatigorsky Seminars in Los Angeles under famous cel-lists Andre Navarra, Maurice Gendron and Paul Tortelier in 1983 and 1984.
In 1980, Michal Kaňka received honorable mention at the international Prague Spring Competition. One year later, he was awarded the grand prize for all categories in the Czechoslovak National Competition. This initial success has been followed by top prizes in the Tchaikovsky Cello Competition in Moscow in 1982 and in the Prague Spring Competition in 1983 (first prize). In 1986, Michal won the ARD International Competition in Munich.
Michal Kaňka has performed with leading European orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Radio Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic, the Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra, the Berlin Rundfunk Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, the Nagoya Phil., Kanagawa phil., Sapporo phil., the Century Symphony orchestra Osaka, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra,the Prague Chamber Philharmonic…. He has appeared as a soloist in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands,Italy, France, Kosovo, Spain, Portugal, North and South America and Japan. He had been a regular soloist of the Brno Philharmonic Or-chestra between years 1995–2005 and now he has been a nominated soloist of The Prague Radio Orchestra since 2003.
Michal Kaňka has recorded for Czech Radio, Radio France, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Hessischer Rundfunk, Suedwest Rundfunk, AVRO Radio Holland…. His CDs were released for Supraphon, Bonton, Panton, Radioservis Prague, Nuova Era (Italy). For a long time he had collaborated with the French company Praga digitals (distributed by Harmonia Mundi France), where he published around 40 CDs. For many of them, he received several awards – (Choc de la Music, diapason D´OR). His last CD came out by Japanese company the Nami Records.
Michal Kaňka has been always an active chamber music player. As a member of the Pražák string quartet (since 1986) and the Beethoven string trio he has appeared on major concert stages in the whole world and recorded many pieces above all for the CD com-pany Praga digitals.
In 2011 he started to teach cello-solo at the Academy of performing Arts in Prague and in 2013 he became a Professor at the Prague Conservatory. In 2014 he was chosen to be a chairman of the permanent committee of the international competition Prague spring.
He plays an outstanding contemporary instrument made by French violin-maker Christian Bayon 2006 and the bow made by French bow-maker Nicole Descloux 2000.
Radim Sedmidubský was born in Prague. He began to learn the violin at the age of seven under the guidance of his composer father, Miloš. Later he studied at the „Spezialschule für Musik Franz Liszt“ in Weimar.
Besides his study at the Prague Concervatoire of Music in the 80’s he played baroque violin and viola in the authentic interpretation ensemble Musica Antiqua Prague. He also was a member of the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra, a band specialising in authentic performance of early Jazz and dance music of the “Roaring Twenties”.
After graduating from the Prague Conservatory in 1986 he continued his studies on the viola at the Prague Academy of Music with prof. Milan Škampa, a member of the distinguished Smetana Quartet. During this time he developed a deep interest in chamber music which led in 1989 to the co-founding of the Škampa Quartet. He graduated in 1991 with a performance of the Bartok Viola Concerto. He also won the Pennycress Trust prize at the 1991 Lionel Tertis International viola Competition at the Isle of Man.
For twenty seven years Radim Sedmidubský has been a member of the Škampa Quartet and, with them, enjoyed an extensive international career, touring most of Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. They were appointed as the first ever resident quartet at London‘s Wigmore Hall. He is also in demand as a chamber musician, having played with ensembles such as the Keller, Endellion and Borodin Quartets. As a soloist he has given recitals in the Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, Holland, Greece and France.
After a two-year period as violist of the Pavel Haas Quartet in 2016 – 2017, he is happy to have become a permanent member of the Talich Quartet in 2018.
Radim Sedmidubský has led Chamber Music masterclasses in Holland, England, Germany and Mexico. From 2001 to 2015 he was appointed visiting professor of chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since 2018, he is appointed as professor of Viola and Chamber Music at Prague Conservatory.