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The World of Leoš Janáček: A performance by Mannes School of Music’s young artists

Czech Center New York and The New School’s Mannes School of Music presented a unique concert The World of Leoš Janáček: A performance by Mannes School of Music’s young artists.

For the first time in the decades-long history of the festival the concert was virtual and Czech Center New York was proud to partner with the festival in organizing this event and bringing Janáček’s timeless music to audiences anywhere in the world.
In addition to compositions by Leoš Janáček, the performance featured poetry by Jaroslav Vrchlický and Otokar Březina.

We would like to thank our partners. 

The annual Mannes School Concert for the Czech Center New York is always the highlight program of our fall season. This year brought us even closer together working in very special circumstances.
We are very proud of the results we achieved which would not have been possible without the great vision of Pavlina Dokovska and excellent performances of the students from Mannes.
We would also like to express our gratitude to the Mannes leadership and partners. We are looking forward to next year when we want to reintroduce another Bohemian music giant, Bohuslav Martinů.

Here are some quotes confirming that this amazing event was very successful:

On behalf of Mannes Sounds Festival team and Mannes School of Music of the College of Performing Arts at The New School I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Czech Center for giving our young artists the opportunity to explore the world of Leoš Janáček and to present it to an online audience.
Our collaboration with the Center, for more than a decade, and its mission to bring the richness of the Czech culture to the New York audience, has been not only a privilege, but an exciting educational journey for all involved.
Because of the limitations imposed by the current health situation ,the fabulous events of the Czech Center are happening online and can reach an even wider audience.
The exemplary professionalism, passion, and commitment of Director Miroslav Konvalina, Program Managers Em Solarova and Tereza Novicka, and the the entire team of the Czech Center, made the success of our event possible.
It has been a joy working together and we look forward to our collaboration in future exciting projects .
~Pavlina Dokovska
Artistic Director, Mannes Sounds Festival
Chair, Piano Department
Mannes School of Music 

As an alumna and also a member of the Board of Governors of Mannes for many years, I look forward to Mannes Sounds Festival concerts every year.  I’ve enjoyed past live concerts at the beautiful Bohemian National Hall and this year, although not live, I was thrilled to hear an in-depth study of the music of Leos Janacek performed by the exciting young talent of Mannes.  It is wonderful that the Czech Center has had such a strong relationship with Mannes over the years and is promoting so well the greatness of Czech culture!
~Beatrice Broadwater
Member of the Board of Governors of the College of Performing Arts at The New School

The Mannes Sounds Festival concert, celebrating the great Czech composer Leos Janacek was one of the most inspiring of the many I have attended. It was a joy from beginning to end!  With this program the Czech Center in New York provided a unique opportunity for a wide audience to come to know not only the music of a great Czech composer, but the poetry of two of his contemporaries: Otokar Brezina and Jaroslav Vrchlicky, as well. Clearly inspired by the beauty of these works, the quality and sensitivity of all the performers: pianists, violinists, singer, and poetry presenter, gave evidence of their extraordinary talent and preparation.   
I have been a supporter  of the Mannes festival since its inception because it gives its promising students the opportunities to perform, so essential to their development, with a variety of musical repertoire, in a variety of venues throughout the metropolitan area.
Last night's concert took place in a new "venue": on line!  It gave proof once more, if proof were needed, of the professionalism of these young performers. They met every challenge of "ensemble at a distance".  Indeed, were it not for the excellent visuals, one might easily have forgotten the existence of any difficulties to be faced whatsoever.
I repeat, it was a joy!
~Rizel Louise Sigele, Patron of Mannes School of Music

I have long been fascinated and deeply moved by the music of Leoš Janáček and I am grateful to finally have had the opportunity to study and perform his works. Along with my musical performance, preparing and reciting poetry by Otokar Březina and Jaroslav Vrchlický has deepened my understanding of Janáček’s music and the world to which it belongs. Together, these artists' works express a truth and mystery that was inspiring. I am very grateful to Czech Center New York for their partnership, and for the wonderful community with whom “The World of Leoš Janáček” was shared.
~Michael Owen Dodds, pianist 

I want to thank the Czech Center for this great opportunity to perform the incredible Sonata 1.X.1905 “ From the Street”  by Leoš Janáček! I think the  music of Janáček is not as well known as it should be. I I have never played Janáček before and I prepared this sonata exclusively for the Mannes Sounds Festival, performing it for the first time. I felt absolutely in love with this music and I will play music by Janáček more and more around the world!
~Andrei Romanov, pianist 

It was a great pleasure to sing and celebrate the music of Leoš Janáček as part of the Mannes Sounds Festival. Especially during this time, it was an awesome experience to not only learn how to collaborate virtually but to accept the challenge of learning to sing in Czech! I had never studied the language before this, but as I learned my voice loved it right away! Thank you so much to the Czech Center and Mannes and to my collaborator, Julian Jensen, for this amazingly special opportunity!!
~Chantal Freeman, soprano 

I first encountered the music of Janáček via Dr. David Kalhous at Florida State University with whom I studied in the past. I knew then that I wanted to explore Janacek's rich and varied catalogue of works. Now at Mannes, thanks to Mannes Sounds Festival and the Czech Center, I've had the opportunity to work on a beautiful set of traditional folk songs through Janacek's eyes and ears. It was an immense pleasure to perform with soprano Chantal Freeman these songs in Czech language--one that is, in my opinion, underrepresented in the canon of classical music. We were both honored to bring this collaboration to life, and we're thankful to the Czech Center for giving us the chance to do so. 
~Julian Jenson, pianist

Janáček has been one of my very favorite composers since I discovered his string quartets and piano cycles as a teenager, opening a window for me into a wider appreciation of Czech art.I have since learned both quarters as well as Janáček’s incredible violin sonata, and it was exciting to discover this earlier work of his, “ Dumka” for violin and piano.Despite the challenges of putting together chamber music remotely , I enjoyed being a part of this celebration of Janáček, and I look forward to further collaborations with both the Czech Center and my fellow Mannes students.
~Ledah Finck, violinist 

During this challenging period of time, I cherish and feel particularly grateful for this opportunity to play in the concert that is presented by the Czech Center.
I still vividly remember the time when I gave a performance in the stunning Bohemian Hall, but this time, playing music of Leoš Janáček and giving online performance, has been an even more powerful experience to me. Though this was my first experience with his music, the poignant, poetic and idiomatic nature of “In the Mists” allowed me to feel strongly connected to the music spiritually, and render me a chance to express myself during these difficult times.Thanks to this special event, I was able to explore the world of Janáček and I am keenly hoping to play more music of his!
~Yanran Li, pianist 

I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to perform Janáček’s Romance for Violin and Piano.  As it was my first performance and really the first step into the world of Janáček,  I am so thrilled that this concert and this piece was a part of that.  Janáček’s beautiful melodies and influences of folk music make his music so unique and one of a kind and I am overjoyed to have been able to share this newfound love for Janáček with the Czech people listening.  I want to sincerely thank the Czech Center and everybody who made this concert possible. 
~Ann-Frances Rokosa, violinist



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