On 24 March 2023, Supraphon will release an album of the complete Sergei Rachmaninoff piano concertos, made by Lukáš Vondráček, one of the most renowned contemporary Czech pianists, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its music director Tomáš Brauner. Subsequently, Vondráček and the orchestra will also commemorate the anniversaries of the famous composer’s birth and death with two gala concerts at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House in Prague.
Lukáš Vondráček and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Scarcely do we encounter a connection between a musician and a composer so close, strong and energising. When, at the age of 15, Vondráček was invited by Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Czech Philharmonic to perform Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1, he had garnered international acclaim at numerous concerts and competitions. Just a year later, the pianist toured the USA and appeared at Carnegie Hall. At the age of 29, he triumphed at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels (2016), performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, conducted by Marin Alsop. Love at first listen, Rachmaninoff has become his flagship composer: “Besides affording the opportunity to showcase one’s technique, his music impresses by being contrastive and having an immense dynamic range … What more could a person keen on tone colour wish? It’s sheer beauty!” Lukáš Vondráček has been invited to perform Rachmaninoff’s concertos by the most prominent orchestras and conductors worldwide. He has regularly collaborated with the Prague Symphony Orchestra since 2017, appearing as a guest at their concerts and giving piano recitals.
The double album, containing recordings of all the Piano Concertos and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943), refined in each and every detail, teeming with emotions, colours and contrasts, will be released by Supraphon on Friday 24 March on CD and in digital formats alike. The present album is one of the few sweet fruits of the Covid pandemic, which cleared the sought-after soloist’s otherwise jam-packed diary and afforded him peaceful time for recording with the excellent Prague Symphony Orchestra and its principal conductor Tomáš Brauner.
Lukáš Vondráček will launch the album within his concerts with the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House in Prague on 29 and 30 March, and feature Rachmaninoff’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G minor and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.