IC Concerts: Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck
The Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra will open the yearlong Ithaca College Concerts series "Sounds of Home" on Friday, October 3, in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. The performance will begin at 8:15 p.m.
In a tribute to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa, a former longtime School of Music faculty member and a native Czech, the ensemble will perform Husa's Pastoral. Also on the program will be a Mozart overture, a Prokofiev symphony, and Beethoven's third piano concerto, featuring Welsh pianist Richard Ormrod.
Husa will deliver a pre-concert lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert A. Iger Lecture Hall. He will be joined by the chamber orchestra's artistic director, Pavel Prantl. Preferred seating will be held in the concert hall for those attending the lecture.
Tickets can be purchased at the Clinton House ticket center; at the Willard Straight Hall box office; and at the door if seats are still available. For ticket information call 607-274-3171. Prices are as follows:
- Children, senior citizens, and Ithaca College students--$10
- Ithaca College alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators; Friends of Ithaca College; other students---$16.50
- General public--$20
The Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1977 by Pavel Prantl and his colleagues from the world-renowned Czech Philharmonic. The ensemble debuted successfully under a series of internationally respected conductors including Josef Suk and Vaclav Neumann, though in general the group performs without a conductor. The orchestra has since come to be known and lauded for the characteristic sound of its "Czech strings" -- an expression that applauds the Czech tradition of sensitivity to sonority and unique tone color. Not surprisingly, this unique sensibility and mellifluous sound are pedigree traits from the chamber orchestra's namesake, the Czech Philharmonic. Today the chamber orchestra includes prominent musicians from both the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Pavel Prantl's music career began when he was seven years old; his public debut came at the age of 11. He studied at the Prague Academy of Music and won first prize in both the Martinu and the National Violin Competitions. Prantl has served as concertmaster of the Singapore Symphony and has taught at the Hong Kong Academy of the Arts.
The young Welsh pianist Richard Ormrod has been the soloist for both of the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra's previous American tours. The winner of numerous major competitions, he has recently appeared with the Salzburg Hyperion Ensemble, San Jose Chamber Music Society, Yale University Chamber Music Society, and Northern Chamber Orchestra.
Karel Husa taught composition at Ithaca College from 1967 to 1986 and is the Kappa Alpha Professor of Music Emeritus at Cornell University. His compositions have won him many honors, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his "String Quartet No. 3." In 1995 he was awarded the Czech Republic's highest civilian honor--the State Medal of Merit, First Class--which was presented to him by Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel.
Tickets to the entire three-concert series -- which features a January performance by guitarist Sharon Isbin and percussionist Gaudencio Thiago de Mello and a March concert by soprano Sylvia McNair and pianist Ted Taylor -- are available by calling 607-274-3171. Season subscriptions are 20 percent off the cost of buying three individual tickets.
Prices for season tickets are as follows:
Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck
- Children, senior citizens, and Ithaca College students--$24.00
- Ithaca College alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators; Friends of Ithaca College; other students--$39.50
- General public--$48.00