Czech musicians celebrate new honorary consulate with Oak Bay performance

Classical concert From Prague With Love is Oct. 29 at Oak Bay United Church

Martin Kasik is one of the Czech Republic’s foremost temporary pianists and recipeint of numerous prizes and awards. He performs in Oak Bay on Sunday, Oct. 29. (Submitted photo)

To celebrate the new Czech Honorary Consulate in Victoria and commemorate the 99th anniversary for the independence of Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) a pair of top classical performers from that country play a concert in Oak Bay.

“This event is bound with history,” says Lenka Storzer, honorary vice-consul with the Victoria Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic. The concert is in part to celebrate that new honorary consulate based in Victoria. “It’s so exciting because its the first.”

People had to travel to Ottawa, Ont. previously to get paperwork and documentation, which is “costly and difficult,” she said.

The Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Victoria opened in March.

Every year there’s a prominent western Canadian tour featuring artists from the Czech republic. This year, the organizer offered the local consulate that opened in March, to host a show.

“I decided to promote the concert to not only the Czech community, but to the general community,” Storzer said.

Two world-class musicians from Prague: Jiri Vodicka (violin) and Martin Kasik (piano) plan to perform music by Beethoven, Slavicky, Suk, Saint-Saens and de Sarasate in the Oak Bay United Church venue.

“It’s incredibly exciting, these two are just so good,” Storzer said.

Kasik is one of the Czech Republic’s foremost temporary pianists, and recipient of numerous prizes and rewards. A laureate of the Prague Spring, the Young Concert Artists Competition and the Davidoff Prix, he has appeared in number of the world’s major concert halls including the Berlin Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall. He appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Vodicka is one of the most prominent Czech violinists of the present days. Concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic since 2015, he has been the recipient of numerous international prizes including the Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinist and Young Artist Competition. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Smetana Trio with whom he recorded two CDs winning the prestigious BBC Music Magazine and Diapason d’Or awards. He plays an Italian violin build by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in Torino in 1779 kindly loaned by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins London.

Music and history are clearly connected says Jan Klinka, a member of the Czech community who Storzer turned to for his expertise in the field.

From Prague With Love is Sunday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell St. Tickets $20 to $35 are available at Ivy’s Bookshop (cash only), 2188 Oak Bay Ave. or reserve and pay via interac e-transfer: jindra@uvic.ca.


 

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