Josef Špaček

Violin

Josef Špaček has gradually established himself as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin  Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

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Josef Špaček has gradually established himself as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation. He studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

Recent and forthcoming highlights include concerts with the Orchestre de Paris and Krzysztof Urbański, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Jakub Hrůša,  the Kammerakademie Potsdam and Václav Luks, the Bamberger Symphoniker and Manfred Honeck, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Maxim Emelyanchev, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse and Thomas Søndergård and Cornelius Meister, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Sanderling, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Zhang Guoyong, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Eliahu Inbal, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and Paul Daniel, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Marc Albrecht, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Aziz Shokhakimov, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Tomáš Netopil, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Christian Vasquez, the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Daniel Blendulf and the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra and Lio Kuokman. He also appears as soloist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for concerts, both in Prague and on tour, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, Jakub Hrůša, James Gaffigan and Thomas Adès.

Josef Špaček equally enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music and is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls  throughout Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum in Prague, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Evian Festival, Kaposfest and Schloß Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., La Jolla, San Diego, ChamberFest Cleveland and Nevada Chamber Music Festival). His chamber music partners include Gil Shaham, Kian Soltani, Gerhard Oppitz, Julian Steckel, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Máté Szücs, Miroslav Sekera, Tomáš Jamník, Kristóf Baráti and Suzana Bartal.

Previous highlights include concerts with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, a return visit to the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino and James Conlon, his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, his Berlin debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Thomas Sanderling, his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård, his Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša and debuts with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto and Gerard Korsten, the Sønderjylland Symphony Orchestra and Johannes Wildner and the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Adrien Perruchon (recorded by Mezzo Live HD TV).

In addition to the afore-mentioned orchestras Josef Špaček has appeared with orchestras across Europe, the US and Asia, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Essener Philharmoniker, Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Orchestre National de Belgique, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Supraphon released highly praised recordings of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, and of the Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek (among others “Recording of the week” of The Sunday Times, “Recording of the month and of the year” of MusicWeb International and 5* in Diapason), as well as a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera. In 2010 he recorded works by H.W. Ernst for Naxos. His first CD, which was released in 2006, includes a complete recording of the Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.

He has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. The orchestra named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016. He will leave this post by the end of the 2019/20 season in order to devote himself exlusively to his solo career. 

Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.

Representation

General Management: Nymus Artists
Japan: Amati Tokyo

Concerts

  • September 23, 2019, 7:00 pm
    Česká Lípa, Czech Republic
    Allerheiligenbasilika
    Recital
    Violin: Noah Bendix-Balgley
    Leclair, Rózsa & Ysaÿe – Violin duos

    http://www.lipamusica.cz
  • September 27, 2019, 8:00 pm
    Queens, United States
    Flushing Town Hall
    New York Classical Players
    Cello: Michael Katz, Piano: Haesun Paik, Conductor: Dongmin Kim
    Beethoven – Triple Concerto in C major, op. 56

    http://www.nycpmusic.org
  • September 28, 2019, 8:00 pm
    New York, United States
    W83 Auditorium
    New York Classical Players
    Cello: Michael Katz, Piano: Haesun Paik, Conductor: Dongmin Kim
    Beethoven – Triple Concerto in C major, op. 56

    http://www.nycpmusic.org
  • September 29, 2019, 3:00 pm
    New Jersey, United States
    West Side Presbyterian Church
    New York Classical Players
    Cello: Michael Katz, Piano: Haesun Paik, Conductor: Dongmin Kim
    Beethoven – Triple Concerto in C major, op. 56

    http://www.nycpmusic.org
  • October 3, 2019, 7:00 pm
    Grossschönau-Waltersdorf, Germany
    Evangelich-Lutherische Kirche
    Chamber music
    Violin: Tobias Feldmann, Viola: Sergej Malov, Viola: Máté Szücs, Cello: Tomáš Jamník, Cello: Julian Steckel
    Schoenberg – Verklärte Nacht, op. 4
    Dvořák – String Sextet in A major, op. 48

    http://www.lipamusica.cz
  • November 10, 2019, 3:00 pm
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Rudolfinum
    Chamber Orchestra of the Czech Philharmonic
    Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, op. 8
    Piazzolla – The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

    https://www.ceskafilharmonie.cz/en/
  • November 16, 2019, 2:00 pm
    Tokyo, Japan
    Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
    Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
    Conductor: Eliahu Inbal
    Shostakovich – Violin concerto no. 1 in a minor, op. 77

    https://www.tmso.or.jp
  • November 21, 2019, 7:00 pm
    Budapest, Hungary
    Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music
    MÁV Symphony Orchestra
    Conductor: Péter Csaba
    Dvořák – Violin Concerto in a minor, op. 53

    http://www.mavzenekar.hu/en/
  • December 8, 2019, 8:00 pm
    Shanghai, China
    Shanghai Symphony Hall
    Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
    Conductor: Zhang Guoyong
    Shostakovich – Violin concerto no. 1 in a minor, op. 77

    https://www.shsymphony.com
  • January 11, 2020, 7:30 pm
    Potsdam, Germany
    Nikolaisaal Potsdam
    Kammerakademie Potsdam
    Conductor: Václav Luks
    Mozart – Violin Concerto no. 5 in A major, KV 219

    https://kammerakademie-potsdam.de
  • January 20, 2020, 5:00 pm
    Rapperswill, Switzerland
    Schloss Rapperswill
    Chamber music
    Cello: Claudio Bohorquez, Piano: Suzana Bartal
    https://artarena.ch
  • January 26, 2020, 4:00 pm
    Berlin, Germany
    Berliner Philharmonie
    Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
    Conductor: Jakub Hrůša
    Dvořák – Violin Concerto in a minor, op. 53

    https://www.rsb-online.de
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Reviews

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“Ce grand jeune homme vif et sympathique venait se confronter à l’un des concertos pour violon les plus exigeants du…” →“Ce grand jeune homme vif et sympathique venait se confronter à l’un des concertos pour violon les plus exigeants du répertoire romantique, celui d’Antonin Dvořák. … Les difficultés accumulées n’intimident visiblement pas Josef Špaček qui se lance dans ce défi avec une énergie, une volonté, une virtuosité sans faille, lesquelles mobilisent tout son corps. Le violoniste danse autant qu’il joue cette pièce, avec une élégance naturelle. La clarté de sa sonorité passe aisément celle d’un orchestre très présent et dirigé avec vigueur et relief par Thomas Søndergård. Le soliste occupe tout l’ambitus, jusqu’aux extrêmes aigus avec la même ardeur. Le premier volet de la partition, constitué de l’enchaînement des deux premiers mouvements, est ainsi parcouru comme un conte épique, alternant les épisodes dramatiques et les plages de nostalgie caractéristiques de la « mitteleuropa ». Le violoniste n’élude aucune des difficultés accumulées par le compositeur : doubles cordes, sons harmoniques, trilles diaboliques sont restitués avec panache. Le final, Allegro giocoso ma non troppo, est pris au pied de la lettre. Le soliste et l’orchestre dialoguent sur un rythme de danse d’une jubilation contagieuse. Jusqu’à cette coda conclusive qui semble libérer toute l’énergie accumulée. C’est une acclamation unanime qui salue la performance. Rappelé avec insistance, Josef Špaček offre un bis tout aussi virtuose : le final de la Sonate n° 2 d’Eugène Ysaÿe « Obsession », parcouru du thème obsédant du Dies Irae. Frisson assuré !”” ←
– Classictoulouse, 16/02/2018
“Musicista dall’innata cantabilità, sorretta da una cavata di grande profondità e da un’intonazione vibrante e sicura, a Špaček sembra andare…” →“Musicista dall’innata cantabilità, sorretta da una cavata di grande profondità e da un’intonazione vibrante e sicura, a Špaček sembra andare un po’ stretto lo stile del Mozart più saldamente ancorato alla tradizione settecentesca quale è quello dei giovanili concerti per violino. La sua visione, comunque bilanciata nei passi concertati con l’orchestra, si libera appieno nelle tre cadenze alla fine di ogni movimento, con una libertà nel fraseggio che sarebbe parsa inaudita ai tempi dell’autore, ma oggi apprezzabile nel suo anelito a una rivisitazione in chiave contemporanea di una prassi esecutiva talvolta paludata in un eccessivo rigore filologico. Nell’attesa di ascoltarlo ancora in un opus magnum dell’Otto-Novecento non abbiamo potuto non riconoscere la sua versatilità anche nei due bis concessi a una sala trascinata dalla sua esuberanza giovanile e dal suo sorriso aperto, in grado di contagiare i presenti con l’entusiasmo di far musica. Tra uno sbalorditivo Ysaÿe (Les furies) con la sua ripetuta citazione del Dies irae e un più angelico Bach (Sarabanda dalla seconda partita in re minore) si fa strada la convinzione di trovarsi di fronte a un nome che potrà essere uno dei protagonisti assoluti del concertismo dei prossimi anni.” ←
– L'Ape musicale, 03/06/2017
“Zum Erfolg trug wesentlich der Solist bei, der mit seiner Violine selbst den höchsten Anforderungen von Brahms’ Violinkonzert D-Dur genügte.…” →“Zum Erfolg trug wesentlich der Solist bei, der mit seiner Violine selbst den höchsten Anforderungen von Brahms’ Violinkonzert D-Dur genügte. Wie Josef Špaček sich in diese technisch hoch anspruchsvolle Komposition hineingab, sich völlig vertiefte, ihr Kraft und Fülle verlieh, wie er als gleichwertiger Partner mit dem Orchester kommunizierte, die Energie der Sätze brillant auslebte und der Musik zu einer blendend schönen Wertigkeit verhalf, das war so schön, dass man sich keine schönere Interpretation denken kann. Dazu kam noch die komplexe Kadenz, die voller Tücken steckte und ein Höchstmaß an Konzentration verlangte – das hatte Klasse.” ←
– Emder Zeitung, 18/11/2016