New Concert Master of the Czech Philharmonic

In September, the current concert master of the Prague Philharmonia (PKF), Jan Fišer, will take his place next to Jan Mráček and Jiří Vodička as concert master of the Czech Philharmonic. Last Autumn, Fišer successfully auditioned for the position, replacing Olga Šroubková, whom the orchestra did not vote into a permanent contract after her 2019/2020 trial period. Former concert master Josef Špaček will continue to collaborate with the Czech Philharmonic as a guest concert master and artistic advisor to the orchestra.

„Jan Fišer is an excellent violinist which is why I’m happy that he will complete our team of excellent concert masters. I also trust that he will work well with Jan Mráček and Jiří Vodička and that they will be on the same page with each other and the entire orchestra. Unless we have to cancel again due to a second wave of the coronavirus, Jan Fišer will perform as concert master for the first time on September 14th at a Dvořákova Praha festival concert under the baton of guest conductor Jakub Hrůša,“ says Robert Hanč, general manager of the Czech Philharmonic responsible for concert activities.

Jan Fišer, who is among the leading young Czech violinists, has succeeded at many competitions. Alongside his position as concert master, he maintains an active career as a soloist, appearing even outside the Czech Republic at festivals in Switzerland, Spain, and the US. He also dedicates himself to chamber music. He is a member of the Dvořák Trio, with pianist Ivo Kahánek and cellist Tomáš Jamník, which is a leading chamber music ensemble in the Czech Republic. He is also one of the mentors of the MenArt academy and teaches regularly at various master classes.

He took his first violin lessons under the tutelage of Hana Metelková, later studying at the Prague Conservatory with professor Jaroslav Foltýn. In 2003, he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s school of Music in the USA, from the class of concert master Andrés J. Cárdenes.

Jan Fišer performs Bach for the Prague Philharmonia’s coronavirus performances

“I’m really looking forward to my collaboration with the Czech Philharmonic. It is a great honor to be part of the ‘first lady’ of our music scene. It is also a task that is highly motivating, when you consider the legacy and the level of this orchestra. I trust that the 17 years a spent in the same position at the Prague Philharmonic will come to my aid,” says Jan Fišer.  

After a yearlong trial period, the entire orchestra will vote on whether Jan Fišer will stay. If he passes this test, he will be able to sign a permanent contract as well have the opportunity to perform with the orchestra as soloist, a chamber player, or as artistic director of the Chamber Orchestra of the Czech Philharmonic, as is common among the concert masters of the leading Czech orchestra. Given this tradition, listeners may look forward to hearing Fišer’s colleagues, the other two concert masters of the Czech Philharmonic, as soloists next season: Jan Mráček will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on September 14th  as part of the Dvořákova Praha festival and Janáček’s Putování dušičky (The Wandering of a Little Soul) the 14th and 16th of April 2021, in both cases under the baton of Jakub Hrůša. Jiří Vodička will perform Korngold’s Violin Concerto from the 8th to the 10th of April, 2021, under conductor Tomáš Netopil. Jan Mráček and Jiří Vodička, along with one of the cello concert masters, Václav Peter, will perform together at the New Year’s concert on January 1st, 2021. The role of artistic manager of the Chamber Orchestra of the Czech Philharmonic will be taken over by former violin concert master Josef Špaček who will accept this position on September 17th at the Dvořákova Praha festival, during a concert which will include works by Czech composers Jusef Suk, Bohuslav Martinů and Antonín Dvořák.

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