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Mar 16, 2011 7:00 PM

Smetana Trio

CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERT. Music by Beethoven, Dvorak and Smetana. Admission: $15. Members of the Czech Center Club, Children (under 12), Seniors (over 65) : $10

Jitka Cechova ­– piano, Jana Vonaskova-Novakova - violin,  Jan Palenicek  - violoncello


Ludwig van Beethoven         
Trio B flat major
(Gassenhauertrio), Op.11
Allegro con brio
Tema con Variazioni. Allegretto

Antonin Dvorak
Trio op. 90, „Dumky“
Lento maestoso. Allegro, quasi doppio movimento
Poco adagio. Vivace non troppo
Poco adagio. Vivace non troppo
Andante moderato. Allegretto scherzando
Lento maestoso. Vivace, quasi doppio movimento


Bedrich Smetana
Trio g minor op.15
Moderato assai
Allegro ma non agitato
Finale. Presto 

The Smetana Trio
, founded in the year 1934 by the legendary Czech pianist Josef Páleníček, the violinist Alexandr Plocek and the cellist František Smetana, is today one of the foremost Czech ensembles. The Smetana Trio Celebrated Ten Years of Its New Incarnation in 2010. The current members Jitka Čechová ( piano), Jana Vonášková-Nováková (violin) and Jan Páleníček (cello) link up to the interpretational ideals created by their illustrious predecessors, as well as other superlative 20th-century soloists active in the area of chamber music (Oistrakh, Rostropovich, Richter, Stern, Rose, Istomin). Today’s members of the Smetana Trio – all three of whom distinguished Czech soloists in their own right – also prove that the precondition for every first-class trio’s success is perfect soloist mastery of the respective players. Upon organisers’ request, from time to time they enhance their trio performances with solo numbers, in the glorious original tradition of this chamber ensemble. 

The Smetana Trio has recently garnered remarkable acclaim, it can be seen frequently on leading concert stages both in the Czech Republic (Prague Spring, Janáček May, Moravian Autumn, Concentus moraviae, Malá Strana Chamber Festivities) and abroad (France, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Japan, Brazil). The Smetana Trio works with leading conductors – Jiří Bělohlávek, Libor Pešek, John Axelrod, Michael Boder, Tomáš Hanus, Stanislav Vavřínek – and Czech and foreign orchestras, including, for example the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana Lugano, the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonic, the Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc. 

The Smetana Trio has made a number of recordings for Czech and international labels and has recorded regularly for Supraphon since 2000. This cooperation has brought a number of prestigious awards both at home and abroad – e.g. a CD with works by Smetana, Suk and Novák (Supraphon 2005) received prestigious awards from the French magazines Diapason and Le Monde de la musique. This recording was also chosen by the British BBC Music Magazine as its chamber music recording of the month in August 2005. Another Smetana Trio recording, this time works by Dvořák (Supraphon 2006), was again voted by the BBC Music Magazine as the best recording of the month in September 2006 and later received the BBC Music Magazine Chamber Award for 2007 and also the prestigious French Diapason D’Or. The recording of trios by Tchaikovsky and Dvořák (Supraphon 2008) received the BBC Chamber recording of the month in December 2008. The most recent Supraphon recording, released in 2010, is a CD with works by Mendelssohn and Schubert. The critics praise the “remarkable soloist qualities and brilliant technique, the dynamism of performance, perfection of interplay…” etc. They even speak of “the three artists’ kinship of blood”. 

The Smetana Trio has recently made several triumphant foreign tours – last December it toured France, performing 7 times with John Axelrod and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire to a tumultuous response and great ovations a programme made by Beethoven and Schumann. Of late, they have also appeared as guests in festivals and concert series in Cambrai, Aix en Provence and Nice in France and München, Würzburg and Tübingen in Germany. In year 2011 the Smetana Trio is invited to its tour in the USA, Brazil, UK, France, Switzerland, Italy and Egypt.

Jitka Čechová completed her piano studies at Prague Conservatory under Jan Novotný and continued at the Academy of Performing Arts under Peter Toperczer. She completed her postgraduate studies under Eugen Indjic in Paris and Vitali Berzon in Freiburg, and took master classes under Rudolf Kehrer in Weimar, and Eugen Indjic and Lazar Berman in Piešťany. 

She has been the laureate of numerous international competitions and the subject of critical acclaim as a soloist in many European countries as well as in South Africa, South America and Japan.

She performs regularly on prestigious international stages and festivals both at home and abroad (Edinburgh, Graz, Paris, Frankfurt, Baden-Baden, the Bodensee Festival, Prague Spring, Ticino Musica etc.). For Jitka Čechová, chamber music is one of the essential elements of her musical identity. She has made a number of solo and chamber recordings for Czech and international labels. She is currently recording the complete piano works of Bedřich Smetana for Supraphon (7 CDs).

Jana Vonášková-Nováková studied violin at the Prague Conservatory under Jindřich Pazdera and continued at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Václav Snítil.

In March 2000 she won the Talent of the Year competition, the prize being a year’s study at the Royal College of Music in London. Further success came when she was awarded the Orpheus Scholarship, enabling her to continue her studies under the direction of Felix Andrievsky. She furthered her education at master classes given by Robert Szreder, Sherban Lupu and Joshua Epstein. She was the overall winner of the International Wieniawski and Lipiňski competition for young violinists in Lublin (Poland) in 2000, and was awarded the European Prize a year later in Strasbourg. She is the laureate of the Juventus festival (Cambrai 2003) as well. In May 2002 she won the Young Concert Artists Trust competition in London and was selected by the agency of that name to represent it. 

She has hosted on a number of prestigious stages and festivals – e. g. Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), St. David’s Hall (Cardiff), Prague Spring, Mecklenburg, Bath, Chester, Gower, etc. 

In 2008 she recorded her debut CD on Cube Bohemia with works by Milhaud, Britten and Martinů, together with the pianist P. Novák.

She has been a member of the Smetana Trio since 2003.


Jan Páleníček studied at the Conservatory and the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague under Saša Večtomov and Miloš Sádlo. Close contacts with Paul Tortellier, the world-famous French cellist, made for a happy culmination to his early development. He studied chamber music under his father, Josef Páleníček, and in the class of Josef Vlach – first violin in the legendary Vlach Quartet.

Participation in international competitions has brought Jan Páleníček numerous awards. As a soloist he plays regularly with leading Czech and international orchestras, including the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava, the Lugano Festival Orchestra (Switzerland), the Suk Chamber Orchestra, the Hradec Králové Symphony Orchestra, the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the Brno State Philharmonic, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra - Zlín, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra (Germany), the Prague Philharmonia, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc, and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic-Durban (South Africa).

His concert tours have taken him not only to numerous Europe countries, but to America, Africa and Japan as well.

He has made numerous recordings for both Czech and internationals labels, and for radio and television.

His recordings of the sonatas of Brahms, Martinů, and Rachmaninov and the concertos of Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Haydn have been exceptionally well received. 

For a number of years he taught at the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.


We don't take any reservations. Admission on First-come, first-served basis.


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


Mar 16, 2011 7:00 PM


Czech Centre

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