"Never mind the superb technical accomplishment of his playing, it's the musical and interpretative achievement that is so impressive here." wrote the International Record Review about the young Czech violinist Josef Špaček, who is fast emerging as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He has been guided by highly regarded pedagogues, including Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School. In May 2012 he was finalist of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels; in 2009 Josef won the Michael Hill International Violin Competition (New Zealand) and both Third Prize and the Young People’s Jury Prize at the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in 2008. He currently combines a flourishing solo career with the position of concert master of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Future and recent highlights include solo performances with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek and Jakub Hrůša (including concerts in Prague, his debut in the Musikverein in Vienna in March 2015, a 5 concert tour in the UK in April 2015, and in the USA and Australia), the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Alondra de la Parra, the Essener Philharmoniker and Tomáš Netopil in June 2015, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and Jiří Bělohlávek in December 2014, the Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich and Jun Märkl in June 2015, the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Giordano Bellincampi in January 2015, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Belohlavek, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestras in the 2015/16 season, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša in the 2016/17 season, as well as recital appearances throughout Europe (including at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and at Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others Kennedy Center, Washington).
Josef has previously appeared with among others the Philadelphia Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Czech Chamber Orchestra, Brno Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Janáček Philharmonic, Erkel Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Russian Chamber Philharmonic. So far he has worked with conductors including Jiří Bělohlávek, Jakub Hrůša, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, James DePreist, Asher Fisch, Roy Goodman, Eliahu Inbal and Rossen Milanov.
A regular at music festivals, Josef has performed at the Dvorák Prague Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Bohuslav Martinu Festival and the Moravian Autumn Music Festival.
In April 2013 the Supraphon label released Josef’s first recital recording which has been garnering excellent reviews. Together with pianist Miroslav Sekera he performs works by Janáček, Smetana and Prokofiev. In October 2014 he recorded his second CD for this label, to be released in early 2015: the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, as well as Suk’s Fantasy, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek. His 2010 recording of various works by H.W. Ernst was released on Naxos in March 2013. In 2006 he recorded his debut CD featuring the complete sonatas for solo violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
The Forbes Magazine in the Czech Republic included Josef Špaček in their 2014 list of most influential “30 under 30” people.
Josef Špaček plays a violin made in 1855 in the workshop of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.
Click here to watch Josef Špaček's performance of the Tzigane by Ravel with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek during the New Year's Day Concert on 1 January 2014 at the Rudolfinum in Prague.
Click here to watch Josef Špaček's recital with pianist Miroslav Sekera, recorded live on 15 May 2013 at the Rudolfinum in Prague.