Special Concert with the Artist-in-Residence Julia Fischer

Petr Popelka Conductor
Julia Fischer Violin

Josef Suk

  • Fantasy for violin and orchestra in G minor, Opus 24

Antonín Dvořák

  • Romance for violin and orchestra in F minor, Opus 11
  • Symphony No. 6 in D major, Opus 60

Melodic inspiration

Antonín Dvořák does not seem to have been entirely happy with his String Quartet in F minor: after the work failed to impress at early rehearsals, it subsequently remained unpublished. Yet the composer was appar­ently more convinced by the theme of the slow movement, which in 1877 he trans­formed into the gently rocking melodic heart of his Romance for Violin and Orchestra, a work also featuring poetic and wistful themes, virtuoso passages and songlike mo­ments, all evidence of the sheer inexhausti­ble creativity of the Bohemian composer. As his friend and patron Johannes Brahms once confessed: »I want to jump out of my skin with envy at what this man comes up with so casually.«

Petr Popelka

Celebrated for his captivating, authentic and inclusive approach to conducting, Petr Popelka has been appointed as the new Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra from the 2024/25 season. The Czech is also Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and was previously Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo. In the 2023/2024 season, Popelka will lead the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as Chief Conductor Designate in a new production of Weinberger's "Schwanda der Dudelsackpfeiffer" at the MusikTheater an der Wien and accompany the orchestra at several concerts in Vienna and on two European tours. He will also make his debut with Mozart's "Don Giovanni" at the Zurich Opera House and will work with the Gewandhausorchester, Munich Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre national de France and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for the first time. He also returns to the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique du

Luxembourg, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Previous debuts have taken him to the Czech Philharmonic, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Bamberger Symphoniker, SWR Symphonieorchester, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Orchestra sinfonica nazionale della RAI and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also conducted the traditional ORF TV concerts "Springtime in Vienna" and the ZDF Advent concert in Dresden. His new productions of Shostakovich's "Nose" at the Semperoper and Strauss' "Elektra" at the Oslo Opera were acclaimed by the press and public. Petr Popelka received his musical training in his home town of Prague and in Freiburg. From 2010 to 2019, he was deputy principal double bass of the Staatskapelle Dresden. In addition to conducting, Petr Popelka is also active as a composer.

Julia Fischer

One of the world's leading violinists, Julia Fischer is a versatile musician also known for her extraordinary abilities as a concert pianist, a chamber musician and a violin teacher.

Born in Munich to German-Slovakian parents Julia received her first violin lessons at the age of 3 and her first piano lessons shortly after from her mother Viera Fischer. At the age of 9 she started studying with the renowned violin professor Ana Chumachenco, later becoming her successor. The first prize at the international Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 1995 was one of the milestones in her early career and she has since performed with top orchestras worldwide frequently working with renowned conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Vladimir Jurowski, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov and Franz Welser-Möst among others.

In the 2020-2021 season, Julia Fischer appears in concert with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Alan Gilbert, Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, premieres a new piece by Pascal Zavaro with Orchestre national de France and tours Europe with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer, Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Anthony Pappano and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and ensemble with which she has enjoyed a long-standing relationship leading from the violin. Her recitals this season focus on Bach’s solo Sonatas and Partitas which she will perform in their

entirety at the Berlin Konzerthaus as well as New York’s Lincoln Center. In North America, Julia Fischer returns to the Cleveland Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.

In 2011 Julia Fischer founded her own Quartet with Alexander Sitkovetsky, Nils Mönkemeyer and Benjamin Nyffenegger and continues to tour extensively in this formation. Teaching is another integral part of her musical life as she continues to nurture and guide young talent including performances alongside her students.

Over the course of her artistic career Julia Fischer has released numerous critically acclaimed and awarded CD and DVD recordings, first under the Pentatone label and later under Decca. Breaking new ground in the classical music market, she has recently launched her own music platform, the JF CLUB, which offers exclusive audio and video footage, previews of her new recordings as well as personal insight into music and her her work. The six solo sonatas by Eugène Ysaye, César Franck’s Sonata in A major and Karol Szymanowski’s Sonata in D minor are all available exclusively on JF CLUB.

Julia Fischer holds numerous awards including the Federal Cross of Merit, Gramophone Award and the German Culture Prize. She plays a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini (1742) as well as an instrument made by Phillipp Augustin (2018).