Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Mar 19, 2020 7:00 PM


Štěpán Filípek & Katelyn Bouska present an exclusive recital containing chamber compositions by Leoš Janáček and other composers from Brno including Vítězslava Kaprálová, Miloslav Ištvan and Radomír Ištvan. Silent Woods, a masterpiece by well-known Czech composer Antonín Dvořak, is meant as a special addition to the program. The concert is one of the events organized by the Czech Center New York on the occasion of the reappearance of Janáček‘s Káťa Kabanová at the Metropolitan Opera.



March 19, 7PM

In the Ballroom



1) Leoš Janáček: Pohádka (Fairy Tale for Cello and Piano)

I. Con moto

II. Con moto

III: Allegro

2) Vítězslava Kaprálová: Dubnová preludia, Op. 13 (April Preludes for Piano)

I. Allegro ma non troppo

II. Andante

III. Andante semplice

IV. Vivo

3) Miloslav Ištvan: Sonáta pro violoncello a klavír (Cello Sonata)

I. Introduzione

II. Canto

III. Recapitulazione

4) Leoš Janáček: Lístek odvanutý z cyklu Po zarostlém chodníčku (Blown Away Leaf for Piano from cycle On an Overgrown Path)

5) Antonín Dvořák: Klid lesa, Op. 68 (Silent Woods for Cello and Piano)

6) Radomír Ištvan: Arcuatus (Arch for Cello) 

7) Vítězslava Kaprálová: Ritournell, Op. 25 (Ritornello for Cello and Piano)

About composers:
More and more listeners all over the world are fascinated by the work of Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) who has been speaking to us through his timeless language for more than 100 years. Besides operas, his chamber compositions are also famous for their emotional power, themes, and expressiveness.

The concert will present two of Janáčeks subtle compositions. Pohádka (Fairytale for Cello and Piano, 1910) is inspired by a traditional Russian tall tale describing a deeply human story of Tsar Berendey, Tsarievna Maria, their son Ivan, and the crafty sorcerer Koschei the Deahless. The jewel of a composition, Lístek odvanutý (Blown-Away Leaf for Piano, 1911), from the popular cycle Po zarostlém chodníčku (On a Overgrown Path), is a short, partially romanticizing piece full of inner, poignant melancholy.

The vigorous musical talent of Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940) successfully broke through into the tough musical world still controlled by men in the first half of the 20th century. Her gorgeous Dubnová preludia, Op. 13 (April Preludes for Piano, 1937) is regarded as one of the authors top works. She dedicated them to the pianist Rudolf Firkušný. Also features Vítězslava Kaprálovás last composition, Ritournell, Op. 25 (Ritornello for Cello and Piano, 1940), which she finished in Paris, a mere month before she died.

Following the current worldwide trend, Brno was also impacted by a strong wave of musical modernism in the first half of the 20th century. One of the most significant figures of this trend was Miloslav Ištvan (1928-1990). Janáčeks work was one of the most important sources of inspiration for Ištvan throughout his life. Nevertheless, he managed to create his own, authentic technique of composing. He formulated his technique in a theoretical publication about the method of assembling isolated features in music. The representative example of his technique is Sonáta pro violoncello a klavír (Cello Sonata, 1970) which combines and experiments with contrasting features of classical music, rock, and other musical genres.

Radomír Ištvan (b. 1959), currently a professor of musical composition at the Brno Conservatory, follows in his fathers footsteps. In his composition Arcuatus (Arch for Cello, 2010), he deals with the arch form in music in a funny and attractive way. This work has been dedicated to the performing violoncellist, Štěpán Filípek.

At first glance, it may seem that one of the most famous Czech composers, Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904), has nothing in common with Brno. However, there existed an intense personal connection between him and Leoš Janáček - for certain time, Dvořák was Janáčeks teacher, even letting his favorite student stay at his Prague apartment. In return, Janáček strove to popularize and present the work of his older friend in Moravia. The composition Klid lesa (Silent Woods for Cello and Piano, 1891) is an extraordinarily well-done arrangement of one part of the cycle Ze Šumavy pro čtyřruční klavír Op. 68 (From the Bohemian Forest). Dvořák rearranged the composition for this orchestration in 1891 as part of the chamber program which he was preparing for a U.S. tour together with his colleagues. Later, in 1893, when he was already living in New York, he orchestrated a version of the composition for cello and orchestra.

About performers:
It was in search for a new generation of Czech composers, that pianist Katelyn Bouska first met cellist Štěpán Filípek in the summer of 2015. Since then, the duo has gradually built a close collaboration dedicated to that same spirit of discovery and commitment to the performance of contemporary or little-known Czech and American music. Their first album, published in 2018 by Český Rozhlas on their Radioservis label, connected the cities of Brno and Philadelphia with works by Leoš Janáček, Miloslav Ištvan, Samuel Barber and Jeremy Gill. Their upcoming second album, on the same label, is entitled The Art of Rondo and features works by Antonín Dvořák and Jan Václav Hugo Voříšek as well as two works commissioned by them by American composer David Carpenter and Hong Kong composer Barry Wan. They have also undertaken several concert tours in the Czech Republic and the United States, including a prestigious recital at Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D. C. and acclaimed performances at international festivals including Forfest, New Music Encountres, Krumlov Autumn Recitals and American Spring.

Katelyn Bouska 
With interpretations described as “full of life, flexibility, gripping rhythms and a richness of dynamic shadings” (Milan Bátor, Czech Radio) and a skill at engaging audiences in the musical dialogue, Katelyn Bouska (*1985) is a frequent solo and collaborative musician. Her unique programming combining rarely-heard Czech and American music with music being written specifically for her by rising composers has found an audience throughout America and on the international concert stage. Katelyn received a DMA from Temple University in Philadelphia, where her research centered on the piano music of 20th Century Brno composer Miloslav Ištvan. She recently published a recording of his complete works for solo piano on the Radioservis label. In addition to her doctorate, she also holds graduate degrees in historical keyboard performance and collaborative piano.   

Katelyn is currently based in Philadelphia where she serves on the Music Studies Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her commitment for informed and personal musical expression extends beyond her piano studio into seminars on performance practice, continuo and period repertoire, and classes exploring theory and harmony as a tool to unlock the grammar of music.

Štěpán Filípek
Cellist and composer Štěpán Filípek (* 1981) is considered as one of the leading Czech interpreters of today. He has graduated Cello at the Prague Conservatory and at the Music Faculty of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts. Later he has also graduated Composition at the Brno Conservatory. At the present time is most important of Štěpán‘s interpretive focuses recital discipline (among others a joint project with pianist Katelyn Bouska). However, he is also active in concertant genre, interesting are for example world premiere of composition Evening separations - Concerto for electric Cello and symphony Orchestra composed by Brno author Ondřej Hájek, which took place in 2013 together with Pilsner Philharmonic, or in 2018 Czech premiere of composition Molitva-Concerto for cello and mixed choir by estonian author Galina Grigorieva in collaboration with choir Gaudeamus Brno. In addition, he has been cooperating with Czech Radio in recording contemporary works for cello. Many international music festivals has invited Štěpán Filípek as a soloist, chamber musician, or commisioned his piece: Moravian autumn, Janáček Brno, Forfest, Music contemporaneity, New Music Encountres, So klingt die gegenwart!, Melos-Éthos, Exposition of New Music and others. Štěpán is performing his concerts with master Cello called „Imperio“, build by Brno luthier Jan Hus Bursík.

Štěpán currently lives in Brno, where he is engaged in the Orchestra of the Janáček Opera of the National Theater Brno.

Watch video HERE.





Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Mar 19, 2020 7:00 PM


Czech Centre

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