Josef Špaček is a leading Czech violinist. Currently, he combines a solo career with his work as the Concert Master with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. He performs all around the world. The Czech version of Forbes magazine includes him among the most prominent young Czechs in the “30 under 30” category.
There’s not need to be afraid to be ambitious and forceful, as long as it goes hand in hand with modesty and self-reflection.
Josef Špaček is quickly establishing himself as one of the best violinists of his generation. He has studied under the guidance of renowned teachers such as Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Music Institute in Philadelphia, as well as Itzhak Perlman of Juilliard in New York City. In May 2012, he was a finalist at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels; in 2009 he won the International Michael Hill Violin Competition in New Zealand; in 2008 he placed third and won the youth jury award at the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark; and three years later he won second prize at the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
Josef Špaček’s major solo performances have so far included subscriber’s concerts with the Czech Philharmonic under Valerij Gergijev, a debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek, a Berlin debut with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra and Thomas Sanderling, an Amsterdam debut in Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Philharmonic and Thomas Søndergård, a Tokyo debut with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša, and a debut in Padua with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto conducted by Gerard Korsten. In addition to this he also debuted in recitals at the Kennedy Centre in Washington and at La Jolla in San Diego.
Josef Špaček performs solo in Europe, USA and Asia with Philadelphia Orchestra, PKF – Prague Philharmonia, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Essen Philharmonic, Tonkünstler Orchestra Lower Austria, RAI National Symphony Orchestra Torino, Kansas City Symphony, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, etc.
He has collaborated with conductors such as Jiří Bělohlávek, Jakub Hrůša, Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Semyon Bychkov, Asher Fisch, Roy Goodman, Eliahu Inbal, Jun Märkl, Thomas Søndergård, Thomas Sanderling, Giordano Bellincampi, Tomáš Netopil, Marco Angius and Rossen Milanov.
recitals – recordings
Josef Špaček also takes part in recitals on European stages (e.g. in the Rudolfinum in Prague, Konzerthaus in Vienna and the spa town Schloβ Elmau) as well as in Asia and the United States.
In 2015 he recorded violin concerts by Dvořák and Janáček as well as Suk’s Phantasy with the Czech Philharmonic and Jiří Bělohlávek, all for the Supraphon recording company. The recording immediately gained accolades, amongst others as “Recording of the Week” for The Sunday Times and “Recording of the Month and of the Year” for MusicWeb International. In 2013 he recorded works of Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev for the same company as a debut recording. In 2010 he recorded, this time for Naxos, the works of H. W. Ernst. His first CD, which was released in 2006 by Artesmon, contains the complete Sonatas for solo violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
Looking back I think there won’t come better times than the years of student life. It is the time of discovering, absorbing all sorts of knowledge and experience. All of that shaping of one’s personality is then reflected also in the artistic character of the person that gradually emerges. The more you learn, the broader your outlook and the more creative you get.
I like it when students already have a vision of their own at an early age, an idea of what they want to achieve in life. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious and forceful, but at the same time stay modest and don’t forget the importance of self-reflection. Be curious and ask about anything.
I have visited Kroměříž several times. It is one of the most beautiful towns, rich in culture, and thus an ideal place for a music academy. I am looking forward to my stay in Moravia.
Tomáš is a great and respected figure on an international scale. It certainly is great that he makes an effort for such an important thing as the education of future generations. I deeply admire him for that and support him in this endeavour and hope that the project will continue to develop successfully.