Josef Špaček, Petr Popelka

13/10/2020 from 7:30 pm Concert Hall of Sts. Simon & Jude

Josef Špaček, Petr Popelka


  • Juraj Filas Egmont - Nesmrtelný
  • Ludwig van Beethoven Symfony No. 7 in A minor
  • Johannes Brahms Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major

  • Josef Špaček, violin
  • Petr Popelka, conductor

Josef Špaček

Praised for his remarkable range of colours, his confident and concentrated stage presence, his virtuosity and technical poise as well as the beauty of his tone Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation.

He appears with all significant orchestras of the world and collaborates with eminent conductors such as Jakub Hrůša, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck, Valery Gergiev, Jiří Bělohlávek, Jamesem Conlon, Tomáš Netopil, Michael Sanderling, Thomas Søndergård or Cornelius Meister, among others.

Josef Špaček studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

He has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. The orchestra named him “Associate Artist” as of January 2016. He will leave this post by the end of the 2019/20 season in order to devote himself exclusively to his solo career.

Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.

Petr Popelka

Czech conductor Petr Popelka will begin his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season. The orchestra offered him this honourable position after a very successful joint tour of Norway in September 2019. In addition, he will become the Principal Guest Conductor of the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava.

Currently Conductor Fellow of NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Petr Popelka is regularly invited by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and various Czech ensembles. So far, operatic performances have taken him to Den Norske OperaOslo, Semperoper Dresden and to Hungarian State Opera Budapest. Future engagements include Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra or Bergen Philharmonic.

Petr Popelka acquired his music education both in his hometown of Prague as well as in Freiburg. Between 2010 and 2019 he held the position of deputy principal double bass.

Petr Popelka was awarded the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy’s Neeme Järvi Prize 2017. His new career path was particularly encouraged and nurtured by Vladimir Kiradjiev, and master classes with Peter Eötvös, Alan Gilbert, Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli also had a formative influence on his development as a conductor.

Next to conducting, his work as a composer plays another important role within Petr Popelka’s artistic range.