I would like to welcome you at the threshold of the new 71st concert season of the Slovak Philharmonic, a season in which we will continue with our well-established concert cycles filled with musical novelties, whilst also continuing to offer well-known and popular works performed by local ensembles and various guest artists. With the start of the new season the previous, anniversary season, will be fading out. The opening concerts of the Slovak Philharmonic, on 24 and 25 October, are at the same time gala concerts to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Slovak Philharmonic. Two artistic greats, Václav Talich and Ľudovít Rajter, who stood at the birth of our orchestra and conducted the first concert of the professional symphony orchestra on 27 October 1949, must not be overlooked. These gala concerts, commemorating the seventy years of existence of the orchestra will be conducted by our Principal Conductor, James Judd. Seventy years is an admirable artistic history for an orchestra. Unlike us mere mortals, an orchestra does not age with passing time, but each new generation restores its youthful vigour, ideals, joy and enthusiasm to meet new challenges. And as this process is taking place throughout all the artistic ensembles of the Slovak Philharmonic, we believe that a beautiful season is awaiting us, filled with excellent performances and breathtaking musical works. Not only our Principal Conductor, James Judd, will ensure this, but also our other foreign guests who are well-known to our home audience; conductors like Wayne Marshall, George Pehlivanian, Daniel Raiskin, Darrell Ang and Fabrizio Ventura. It is an honour for our orchestra to continue cooperation with Juraj Valčuha and Petr Altrichter. The talented Spanish conductor Pablo González, the new Principal Conductor of the Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, will make his conducting debut with the Slovak Philharmonic this season, as will Jacek Kaspszyk, Artistic Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic. Of the soloists I would like to mention the pianists Alexei Volodin, Stephen Hough, Hinrich Alpers and Ivan Klánský, violinists Svetlin Roussev, Benjamin Schmid and Dalibor Karvay, cellist Alexey Zhilin, double bass player Roman Patkoló, French horn player Radek Baborák and clarinetist Pablo Barragán. We are pleased that our own top vocalists, Simona HoudaŠaturová, Jana Kurucová and Štefan Kocán will also honour us with their presence. Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius for solo, choir and orchestra, Dariachanghi’s Orchard by Vladimír Godár, the oratorio Paradise and the Peri by Robert Schumann and Symphony No. 2 in E-flat major by the Bratislava-born composer Franz Schmidt will further enrich our program. Premieres will include works by the Slovak composers Peter Zagar and Iris Szeghy. Our program will further be complemented by the traditional Christmas, Old Year’s and New Year’s concerts, as well as our very popular film music concerts. The program choice is rich and varied, and we are sure that it will continue to fulfill the expectations of our season ticket holders and be a joy and inspiration for all who come to our concerts in the 2019/2020 season. I am looking forward to seeing you at the Bratislava Redute.
Prof. Marian Lapšanský,
Slovak Philharmonic Managing Director