Prague Philharmonia

Prague Philharmonia & Midori

March 2021

A leading concert violinist for over 30 years, Midori regularly transfixes audiences around the world, bringing together graceful precision and intimate expression that allows the listening public not just to hear music but to be personally moved by it.  She has performed with, among many others, the symphony orchestras of London, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Berlin, Vienna, New York, Los Angeles, St Petersburg and Czech philharmonics and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with such outstanding musicians as Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Christoph Eschenbach, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvi, Yo-Yo Ma, Susanna Mälkki, Menahem Pressler and Mstislav Rostropovich.

PKF — Prague Philharmonia is considered one of the greatest cultural phenomenona in the recent history of the Czech Republic, after 1989. It was founded in 1994 on the initiative of the conductor Jiří Bělohlávek (1946–2017) under the name Prague Chamber Philharmonic. Today it is one of the most recognised orchestras, not only among Czech but also among world ensembles. Regular invitations to tour abroad as well as recording projects with the most prestigious international labels bear testimony to this. Since 2015–2016 season the orchestra has been led by the French conductor Emmanuel Villaume.

 Freshness, energy and perfectionism are characteristics inscribed in the orchestra’s ‘Birth Certificate’, as well as a love of music expressed in each of their concerts. Behind the highly valued distinctive sound of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia is partly its key repertoire, which has been from the beginning Viennese Classicism, namely compositions by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. As far as Czech composers are concerned, the orchestra finds itself most ‘at home’ with the work of Bohuslav Martinů.

This project is managed in association with IMG Artists

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The highlight of the recital was the performance of the Sonata in G major by Johannes Brahms. Midori’s ethereal phrasing made me forget the down-to-earth projection of her partner. With her expressive body language she seemed to be in perfect symbiosis with the sonata, allowing the audience to have a brief glimpse into her inner world, where every note followed a direction and every instruction of the score gained a musical meaning. For a magical half hour or so, even the dark Sydney Harbour in the background seemed to be lit up by the serene beauty of this performance.

By Zoltán Szabó

Bachtrack, June 2016