Sir András Schiff
András Schiff has long been one of the most brilliantly shining stars among pianists. A native of Hungary, he lives mainly in Basel and Florence, and he is widely regarded as one of the great interpreters of the music of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, although his vast repertoire extends into the music of the 20th century as well. He is a great lover of Czech music: his recordings for the ECM label include most of Leoš Janáček’s piano music, he frequently performs the chamber works of Antonín Dvořák, and he also instigated and financially supported the publication of a facsimile edition of Dvořák’s Piano Concerto in G minor. Schiff appears regularly on all of the world’s important stages, and he has an enormous discography to his credit including complete sets of the Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert piano sonatas. He teaches masterclasses at prestigious music schools, and he has also enjoyed success as a conductor. For his artistic activities, he has won countless awards, including a Grammy, a Gramophone Award, and the Order of the British Empire.
Petr Hejný, cellist of the Stamic Quartet, studied at the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Already as a student he won prizes at several international competitions, including two at Concertino Praga. In 1977 he joined the Prague Madrigalists and began intensively studying early music and playing the viola da gamba and Baroque cello. From 1987 to 1997 he was a member of the Doležal Quartet, and for two years he played in the Czech Philharmonic. As a soloist, the has collaborated with many renowned artists, including Alfréd Holeček, Josef Suk, Ivan Ženatý, Zuzana Růžičková, and Jaroslav Tůma, and with a number of leading Czech orchestras. He has made many recordings for Czech Radio and more than 30 solo and chamber music CDs for labels including Supraphon, Panton, Arta Records, Pony Canyon, Bonton, Popron, and Harmonia mundi. He performs with such chamber ensembles as Antiquarius Consort Praga and the Czech Cello Duo, and in 2004 he founded the Zanetto Consort. He plays a rare Italian instrument made by Peregrino Zanetto (Brescia, 1581).
Three years ago, the legendary Panocha Quartet celebrated an incredible 50 years of activity with unchanged membership. They are one of the greatest representatives internationally of the Czech school of quartet playing. Over the years, they have made appearances in concert halls in practically every country of Europe, as well as in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Cuba, Australia, and New Zealand, in addition to their many concerts in this country. They have performed repeatedly at international music festivals (Prague Spring, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Dubrovnik, Tel Aviv, Mondsee). They have made countless recordings, including the reference recording of Antonín Dvořák’s complete string quartets and quintets. Their exceptional artistry has earned them a number of important awards including both a Gold Disc and Platinum Disc from Supraphon, the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros in Chézy-sur-Marne, and a MIDEM Classical Award in Cannes.
Appearing at this concert are members of the Panocha Quartet: Jiří Panocha - violin I, Pavel Zejfart - violin II, Miroslav Sehnoutka - viola.