ČESKY / ANGLICKY

PRAGUE STRING QUARTET

Prague String Quartet
Prager Streichquartett
Quatuor de Prague
Cuarteto de Praga

Břetislav Novotný was the founder, the first violin and the artistic leader of the Prague String Quart.The Quartet was founded in the autumn of 1955 by members of the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK. At that time, the members were:
Břetislav Novotný (1st violin),
Miroslav Richter (2nd violin),
Hubert Šimáček (viola),
Zdeněk Koníček (violoncello)

First Performance:
March 3, 1956 (Old Town Hall of Prague)

Pod názvem Kvarteto FOK hrál soubor do února 1958, kdy došlo k jeho přejmenování na Kvarteto města Prahy.

First change in the group:
In April 1957, Miroslav Richter abandoned the quartet for reasons of health and Karel Přibyl took his place

Second change:
From June 1961, the Quartet got a new viola player: Jaroslav Karlovský.

Third change:
From November 1968, the Prague String Quartet had a new viola player: Lubomír Malý and a new violoncello player: Jan Širc.

Fourth change:
From May 1983 until November 1988, a new violoncellist Alexander Večtomov joined the Quartet, but in January 1989, the former violoncellist Jan Širc came back again.

Finally Prague String Quartet concluded its career on October 9, 2001 with a major concert at Tukushima (Sixtine-Hall) Japan. The concert was transmitted live by the Japanese television.

Important events:
1958 Participation in the International String Quartet Competition. Liege (Belgium) – 3th prize.

1965 First Concert Tour around the world:
Brazil, Uruguay, Argentine, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Curacao, Mexico, the United States, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Japan, India, and the Soviet Union

1967 Second Concert Tour around the world:
Japan, Hawaii, the United States, Mexico, Panama (the first Concert of Czech artists in the history of Panama), Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Argentine, Uruguay, and Brazil

1967 Prague String Quartet received the Prize of the Capital City, Prague

Distinguished Concerts:
Integral of String Quartets by L. v. Beethoven (in five concerts):
1966 Christchurch (New Zealand)
1967 Mexico City (Mexico)
1970 Rio de Janeiro (Brasil)
1970 Bogotá (Columbia) – (twice)

1974 Rudolfinum Hall (Prague) Concert to celebrate B. Novotný’s 50th Birthday-Anniversary – Members of the Prague String Quartet as soloists with the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, conductor Dr. V. Smetáček:
J. S. Bach (Double-Concerto for two violins, soloists B. Novotný, and K. Přibyl),
W. A. Mozart (Symphony Concertante for violin and viola, soloists B. Novotný and L. Malý),
J. Brahms: (Double-Concerto for violin and violoncello, soloists B. Novotný and J. Širc).

1969/1970 Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna) The Full-season-cycle of concerts dedicated to the Czech Music and to the Classics of Vienna.

Master- Classes of the Prague String Quartet:
1964 Skive (Denmark)
1965 Christchurch, University of Canterbury (New Zealand)
1966, 1969 and 1973 Musashino Academy, Tokyo (Japan)
1973 Gei-Dai University, Tokyo (Japan)
1984 Aldeburg (England)
1987 Banff (Canada)
1993 – 1999 Summer Academy Prague-Vienna-Budapest, Semmering and Reichenau (Austria)
1999 International Music Festival Morelia (Mexico)

Pedagogical Activities of the Members of the Prague String Quartet in Prague:
Břetislav Novotný (1st violin): 1970 – 1981 was External Professor of the Academy of Music (AMU). Now, he still teaches privately.
Karel Přibyl (2nd violin) 1972 – 2003 was Professor of the Conservatory of Music (died in 2005).
Lubomír Malý (viola) 1966 – 1982 was Professor of the Conservatory of Music, from 1978 he was Docent, and since 2001 has been Professor of the Academy of Music (AMU).

Gramophone companies Prague String Quartet recorded with:
Supraphon, Panton (Czechoslovakia), Ariola (Germany), Nippon Columbia, King Records (Japan), Harmonia Mundi (France), Deutsche Grammophon – Polydor International (Germany).

Discography (Selection): (SQ = String quartet)
SUPRAPHON
Bartók B.: SQ Nr. 3 (1964)
Bartók B.: SQ Nr. 5 (1954)
Beethoven L. v.: SQ E flat Major Op. 74 “Harp” (1967)
Beethoven L. v.: SQ F Minor, Op. 95 “Serioso” (1967)
Borodin A. P.: SQ D Major (1981)
Borodin A. P.: SQ A Major (1981)
Burian E. F.: SQ No. 4 (1963)
Dobiáš V.: Quartettino (1963)
Dvořák A.: SQ F Major Op. 96 “America” (1966)
Dvořák A.: SQ A flat Major Op. 105 (1966)
Dvořák A.: Integral recording of String Quartets (co-produced with DGG)
Feld J.: SQ No. 5 (1981)
Glinka M. I.: SQ F Major (1983)
Haydn J.: SQ Op. 20 No. 4. and SQ No. 5 (1959)
Haydn J.: SQ Op. 54. No. 2 (1959)
Haydn J.: SQ Op. 76 No. 4 (1959)
Hindemith P.: SQ No. 3 (1962)
Franck C.: SQ D Major (1960 and 1982)
Ježek J.: SQ No 1 (1969)
Jirko I.: SQ No. 6 (1978)
Macan K. E.: SQ F Minor (1960)
Martinů B.: String Sextet H 224 (J. Motlík 2nd viola, A. Večtomov 2nd violoncello) (1965)
Martinů B.: Piano Quintet H 298 (E. Bernáthová piano) (1966)
Mozart W. A.: SQ E flat Major, KV 428 (1970)
Mozart W. A.: SQ G Major, KV 387 (1970)
Mozart W. A.: SQ D Minor, KV 421 (1972)
Mozart W. A.: SQ C Major, KV 465 (1972)
Mozart W. A.: SQ B flat Major, KV 485 (1972)
Mozart W.A.: SQ A Major, KV 464 (1972)
Mozart W.A.: SQ D Major, KV 499 (1977)
Mozart W. A.: SQ D Major, KV 575 (1977)
Mozart W. A.: SQ B flat Major, KV 589 (1978)
Mozart W. A.: SQ F Major, KV 590 (1978)
Ostrčil O.: SQ B Major (1961)
Podešva J.: SQ No. 6 (1963)
Prokofjev S.: SQ No. 2 “Kabardinian” (1968)
Schubert F.: SQ D Minor “The Death and the Maiden” (1973)
Schulhoff E.: Concerto for string quartet and wind instruments orchestra (members of the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, conductor V. Smetáček) (1963)
Tchaikovsky P. I.: SQ No. 1 D Major (1969 and 1983)
Železný L.: Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (clarinet J. Štengl) (1975)
Železný L.: Concert music for viola, strings, piano and orchestra (members of the Prague String Quartet, Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, conductor M. Konvalinka) (1971)

ARIOLA
Haydn J.: SQ Op. 3 No. 5 “Serenade” (1972)
Haydn J.: SQ C Major Op. 76 No. 3 “Kaiser” (1972)

NIPPON COLUMBIA
Brahms J.: SQ No. 1 C Minor (1979)
Brahms J.: SQ No. 2 A Minor (1979)
Brahms J.: SQ No. 3. B flat Major (1978)
Borodin A. P.: SQ D Major (1977)
Prokofjev S.: SQ No. 2 “Kabardinian” (1977)
Schubert F.: SQ D Minor “The Death and the Maiden” (1973)
Schubert F.: Quartettsatz C Minor (1973)
Wolf H.: Italian Serenade (1979)

DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON – POLYDOR INTERNATIONAL:
Dvořák A.: Integral recording of String Quartets (1973 – 1977)

HARMONIA MUNDI
Franck C.: SQ D Major (1978)

KING RECORDS
Dvořák A.: SQ F Major Op. 96 “America” (1996)
Janáček L.: SQ No. 2 “Intimate Letters” (1996)
Schubert F.: SQ D Minor “The Death and the Maiden” (1996)
Smetana B.: SQ No. 1 E Minor “From My Life” (1996)
Tchaikovsky P.I.: SQ D Major Op. 11 (1996)