Ondřej Vrabec, Hana Sapáková, Daniela Roubíčková, Michaela Vincencová (horn)
Mio Sakamoto (piano)
Ondřej Vrabec is one of the world’s truly great horn players. Solo horn of the Czech Phil since the age of 17, numerous works have been dedicated to him, and he has released many albums both as player and conductor. This disc features two established British composers, teacher and pupil: Robin Holloway and Peter Seabourne. Their music exhibits something of a shared language and aesthetic, but each has an instantly recognisable and distinctive voice (something perhaps not so common nowadays). Holloway’s two Partitas were written for Barry Tuckwell in the 1980s. Seabourne’s “The Black Pegasus” is a significant recent addition to the canon. The disc also includes solos, duets and quartets. All are première recordings. One of the most important horn releases, and its memorable performances are sure to delight!
Peter Seabourne: Mille Fiori - fanfare for four horns
Robin Holloway: Partita No.1
Peter Seabourne: Encounters
V. Finale Serioso
Robin Holloway: Partita No.2
II. Gavotte & Musette
Robin Holloway: Lament
Peter Seabourne: The Black Pegasus
Peter Seabourne: Julie Dances
I. Dance, Little Bacy
II. Incy Wincy
III. Ladybird, Ladybird
IV. Little Boy Blue
V. A Hunting We Will Go
IV. Dr. Foster
Sound Recording/editing - all tracks except 18: Ondřej Vrabec | 18. Rhapsody "The Black Pegasus": studio of the Academy of
Performing Arts, Prague (engineers Filip Čermák, Aleš Dvořák - music direction Ondřej Vrabec / Petr Strejc and Jiří Gemrot)
Mastering: Peter Seabourne and Spencer Cozens, Steinway Recording, Fulbeck, UK
Total Time: 61.21
Release Date: June 2020
Conductor and horn player Ondřej Vrabec is an extraordinary figure on the Czech music scene. Whilst many leading instrumentalists feel drawn to the conducting baton from time to time, few can say that they have maintained such an impressive international schedule in both spheres. Ondřej Vrabec became solo horn of the Czech Philharmonic even before sitting his final school examinations at the age of 17 and has remained in that position ever since. He has also acted as Assistant Conductor for the same orchestra for many years - in fact only Jiří Bělohlávek has conducted them more this century!
Graduating from the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he has won numerous international prizes. He has regularly collaborated for many years with the world's élite wind players, performing alongside Maurice Bourgue in the oboist's renowned ensemble. He frequently presents solo recitals and is intensively involved in chamber music, primarily with the Brahms Trio Prague (whose Brahms Horn Trio recording was hailed by Fanfare magazine as "probably the greatest ever"), the PhilHarmonia Octet, Juventus Quintet, Czech Philharmonic Horn Club etc..
Ondřej Vrabec has directly and indirectly stimulated the creation of a large quantity of contemporary horn music - concerti, chamber and solo works. The majority of these are dedicated to him, with their international premieres being both performed and, as a rule, recorded by him. These include the Double Concerto for horn and orchestra by Peter Seabourne. As soloist he appears widely on the world's stages from London to Tokyo with major orchestras. He is also Professor of Horn at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
In addition to conducting the Czech Philharmonic he has made guest appearances with numerous other orchestras including Japan Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Reykjavík Chamber, London Soloists Chamber, Danish National Symphony, Prague Chamber Philharmonic and Lviv Virtuosi. He has performed as horn soloist with dozens of domestic and foreign orchestras. Above all, Ondřej Vrabec is a consummate musician with a staggering technique. Always meticulously prepared, he brings excitement, inspiration, insight and huge creative energy to every performance. Audiences feel immediate engagement and electricity when he plays! He is, in short, one of the world's great horn players.
Born in 1996, Hana Sapáková studied the French horn at Brno Conservatory with Milan Mrazík, continuing in 2018 at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz in the class of Raimund Zell. While still a student, Hana was a member of the Orchestra Academy of the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonia. A laureate of competitions, she received first prize in the 2017 International Competition for Wind Instruments in Brno, and in the 2014 Pro Bohemia Ostrava. She was also awarded the Olega Podgorný Prize at the International Music Competition, Prague Spring 2018. Hana´s performances as a soloist have included appearances with Brno Philharmonic, Young Symphony Orchestra Brno and Helfert Chamber Ensemble. Together with Ondřej Vrabec she recorded the Double Horn Concerto by Franz Habermann. Hana is a member of the Czech Philharmonic, Czech Wind Harmonie, and the Orchestra Academy of Chamber Music in Prague.
Michaela Vincencová (b.1995) started to play French horn at the age of 12 as a pupil of Robert Tauer in České Budějovice. She continued her studies at the Prague Conservatory in the class of professor Petr Hernych, and is now continuing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with Jan Vobořil and Ondřej Vrabec. Since 2017 she has been a member of the South Bohemian Theatre Orchestra. She is also a regular player with the South Bohemian Philharmonic, the Czech Student Philharmonic, FOK and others.
From the age of eleven Daniela Roubíčková (b.1993) began studying the horn at the Prague Music Grammar School in the class of Vladimír Klánská. During this time she won first prize at the Competition of the Conservatories of the Czech Republic and second prize at the International Brass Competition in Brno. She studied with Bedřich Tylšar at the Prague Conservatory where she graduated in 2015, and subsequently at the Faculty of Music of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She is currently taking a Master's in Dresden with Robert Langbein. She is active as an orchestral player in Prague, appearing with Philharmonia, Radio Symphony Orchestra, and at the National Theatre. She is also a founding member of the Alinde Quintet, awarded first prize at the Bucharest International Music Competition, and the BRASStet, winning the Jehu Competition in South Korea in 2019.
Mio Sakamoto (b.1983) was born in Tokyo. Since 1995 she has lived in the Czech Republic. She studied at the Prague Conservatory with Prof. Jan Novotný, graduating in 2004 with a solo recital and Mozart's Concerto in A K.488. She won several awards including first prize at the Competition in Olomouc for students of Czech Pedagogical Faculties and second prize in the Concertino Praga Radio competition. Most notably, she won second prize at the Smetana Piano Competition, together with the Smetana Association
and Czech Radio prizes for the best performance of a classical sonata.
Now she is engaged in concert and pedagogical activities. She performs regularly both as soloist and chamber music player, participating in a number of music festivals such as Prague Music Days, Treasures of the Broumov Region, Prague Proms etc. She regularly cooperates with the Western Bohemian Symphony Orchestra, Mariánské Lázně, and with members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra and Suk Chamber Orchestra. She is also a much sought-after accompanist.
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