Echoes of the Prague Spring festival
String Quartets from the Schwarzenberg music collection
- Jan Vent - String Quartet in G dur
- Giuseppe Maria Cambini - Quatuor d’airs choisis
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Adagio a fuga c moll, K 546
- Joseph Haydn - String Quartet in G major, Op. 54 No. 1
- Leoš Čepický – 1st violin
- Jan Schulmeister – 2nd violin
- Jakub Čepický – viola
- Matěj Štěpánek – cello
Zuzana Benešová – vocals
Established in 1985, the WIHAN QUARTET is one of the leading Czech chamber ensembles. Made up of its four founding members, it has been widely lauded as a superlative performer of the Czech and international Classicist and Romantic quartet repertoire, as well as contemporary music.
The ensemble has appeared at prominent festivals in Europe and East Asia, given regular concerts in the USA, and toured Australia and New Zealand to great acclaim. It has frequently performed in the UK, including at Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, South Bank and other prestigious venues, with its concerts being often broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
The Wihan Quartet has won a number of international competitions, including within the Prague Spring festival (1988), in Trapani, Sicily (1990), and in Osaka (1996), following which it has been invited to Japan on an annual basis. In 1991, it gained both the first and the audience prize at the prestigious London International String Quartet Competition. The ensemble received three nominations for the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards in recognition of its excellent educational accomplishments and outstanding musical achievements in the UK.
The quartet’s discography, encompassing more than 20 CDs, bears witness to its fervent affinity to Czech music, yet it also includes albums that feature numerous international Classicist, Romantic and contemporary works. Its recording of Schönberg’s Quartet No. 4 and Pfitzner’s Quartet No. 2 received the Discophage award from the French magazine Repertoire. In December 2005, its CD of Beethoven’s quartets was launched within a concert at the Rudolfinum hall in Prague that marked the ensemble’s 20th anniversary. In the 2007/08 season, the ensemble performed the complete quartet pieces of Ludwig van Beethoven within 6 concerts at the Convent of Saint Agnes in Prague, which were recorded and released on CD and DVD by Nimbus Alliance in the UK. In 2009, Nimbus Alliance released the Wihan Quartet’s unique album of Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices, arranged for string quartet by the American composer William Zinn.
The Wihan Quartet is an ensemble-in-residence of the Trinity College of Music in London. During its time in the UK, it has regularly performed at the concerts held by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust with the aim to increase the classical genre’s popularity among the young. Moreover, the Wihan Quartet has given master classes at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, and participated in numerous other educational projects, including the Dartington International Summer School and the Pro Corda inspirational ensemble training.
Zuzana Benešová studied opera singing at the Faculty of Music of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She is currently performing as a guest soloist at the Karlín Music Theatre in Prague and the South Bohemia Theatre in České Budějovice. She has regularly appeared in musicals within the Theatre Summer events at the Hluboká nad Vltavou Chateau, including Romeo and Juliet, Casanova and A Night at Karlštejn Castle.
- Baroque night in Český Krumlov castle I. ®28.06.2019 19:302nd - 4th Castle Courts, Masquerade Hall, Casing Hall, Baroque Theatre, Castle Garden
- Baroque night in Český Krumlov castle II. ®29.06.2019 19:302nd - 4th Castle Courts, Masquerade Hall, Casing Hall, Baroque Theatre, Castle Garden
- Schwarzenberg Guard Jazzband30.06.2017 17:002nd Castle Court
- Jazz above the Vltava02.07.2019 18:00Hotel Růže Terrace
- Compositions for wind harmony from the Schwarzenberg collection03.07.2019 17:00
- Nocturne in tribute to the cello virtuoso and composer Antonín Kraft03.07.2019 21:00