(MARTINŮ PIANO ENSEMBLE)
Miroslav Matějka – flute, artistic leader
Radka Preislerová – violin
Bledar Zajmi – cello
Štěpán Kos – piano
The Ensemble Martinů, a Czech piano quartet consisting of piano, flute, violin and violoncello. The Ensemble Martinů has produced on 10 CD´s and regularly made records for the Czech Radio, the Czech TV include the production of one piece of film music as well.
The Ensemble Martinů has been invited for more than 1500 concerts and tours around the world. They performed in many EU countries ( mostly in Frnce, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, also Austria, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Bulgary, Neetherland, Greece, Estonia), Switzerland, Ukraine, China, Brazil, explicity as : Beejing International Music Festival in Forrbiden City, "Sala Cecília Meireles" in Rio de Janeiro, "CondeDuque" in Madrid, Budapest Tavaszi Festivál (Budapest Spring Festival), Konserthuset Stockholm, International Judiska - Norrköping, International Music Festival de Santorini, Chamber music festival at Plovdiv.
Ensemble appears at regulary international music festivals and organizers at the Czech Republic : at the Czech Philharmony - Rudolfinum (festival Prague Premiers, the concert series of the Czech Association for Chamber Music), Prague Spring Festival, Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, Intenational Television Festival Golden Prague, Moravian Autumn, Smetana´s Litomysl - International Opera Festival, Dvořák´s Festival, Martinů Fest and Janacek´s May etc, in.
The Ensemble Martinů was founded in 1978 by the flautist Jan Riedlbauch, a professor of the Prague Conservatory, and his brother Josef as well as Mr. J. Pípal, F.Kůda, J.Pěruška. In that time – aproximatly about 1977-78 - there began the story of the ensemble. It was the time when Charlotte Martinů - widow of the great Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů - visited the Czech Republic. She had decided to transport remains of her husband to his home in Polička in the Czech land. In 1993 the Ensemble M. was renewed after a brief pause by its present leader, the flautist Miroslav Matějka.
The repepertory contains more than 90 compositions. Along with the traditional repertoire from the 18th to the 20th centuries (including A. Dvořák, L. van Beethoven, M. Ravel, A.Piazzolla), the group has concentrated especially on the music of Bohuslav Martinů and also on works by contemporary Czech composers for piano quartet or piano trio with flute. In this way the Ensemble Martinů has definitely established the piano quartet genre in Central Europe (with the flute replacing the viola) and has prompted a number of leading more than 50 Czech composers to write works for it (Z. Lukáš, O. Mácha, J. F. Fischer, S. Bodorová, V. Riedlbauch, M. Kubička, J. Matys, I. aHurník etc). Thus the group has won recognition for presenting contemporary Czech music in its historical and world context. Its repertoire also includes works that incorporate elements of rock, jazz, blues and swing. Since June 2003 Ensemble Martinů is one of the group to be appointed for the highest regular Czech Price - Award of the Czech Chamber Group - Czech Philharmony.
Discography of the Ensemble Martinů: “Con Flauto” and “Meetings-Departings’” - Czech Contemporary Music - Triga Publishers/Czech Radio, “Echoes from Long Ago”’ - EM-ART, “Astor Piazzolla -Tangos’”- BonArtProduction/Panther, ”RendezVous” - French and Czech music - CubeBohemia, “Jazz&Rock in Classic” - Radioservis, “Antonín Dvořák”- MusicVars/Czech Touches of Music, Ensemble Martinů „Live“ - American Dream of Bohuslav Martinů” – Czech Radio / EM-ART, DVD – Ensemble Martinů „Live“ at Golden Prague festival – Czech TV/EM-ART.
All members of the Ensemble M. represent the highest quality of Czech musicians.
The flautist Miroslav Matějka has performed in more than 50 premiers of compositions by contemporary Czech composers. He made more than 20 th CDś. He also performs as a soloist with prestigious leading orchestras and soloist. He has been working as a director for the company Czech Touches of Music, as well as an advisor for Public Relations & Media for Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. He graduated from the Prague Conservatory and the Charles University at Prague.
The violinist Radka Preislerová started her profesional career in 1993 as
a member of the Opera orchestra of the National Theatre in Prague, and Ensemble
Martinů. She has graduated from The Concervatory and Academy Music of Art under
professor Vladimír Rejšek. In the beginning of the 90’s he had became the member
of the prestigious Young orchestra of the European Union countries as only one
exlusive violinist from the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovak).
The violoncellist Bledar Zajmi. At his 12 years of age, he won the 2nd price in the cello National Competition and starts giving concerts in Albania and abroad. After graduating at the musical arts highschool in Tirana (prof. Xhovalin Lazri) he compeets for and wins the scholarship for the Academy of Music in Prague, where he studies during 1992-1997 (doc.Rudolf Lojda )and graduates with honors. In 1999, he wins the 2nd prize and the jury’s Special Prize for the best interpretation of the contest piece played in the international Chamber music Competition “Palma d’Oro” ( Duo cello and piano) in Finale Ligure, Italy. In 2004, he wins silver and 3rd prize in the international Chamber music Competition “Rovere d’Oro” (Duo cello and piano) in San Bartolomeo al Mare in Italy.
Since the year 2000, he has been the concertmaster-cello soloist at the Opera orchestra National theatre Prague and at chamber orchestra Virtuosi di Praga as well. He plays a cello by the Czech violin-maker Jan Sipka “Clarus” (1996), which has been a trustworthy and a much beloved companion to Bledar throughout the years.
Štepán Kos studied at Pilsner Conservatory and then at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of Prof. Ivan Klánský. He is a laureate of many Czech and international competitions: e.g. 2001 Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz /Poland/ - 1st prize and the prize for the best interpretation of piano concert with orchestra, Pomorska Philharmonic Award, The Polish Radio Award; 2002 – international piano competition „A.M.A. Calabria“ (Italy) – 3rd prize; 2002 – international piano competition „Giuliano Pecar“ in Gorizia /Slovenia/ - 2nd prize; 2003 – international piano competition „Premio Rovere d‘Oro“ /Italy/ - 2nd prize. Štepán Kos recorded several recordings for Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, Czech radios and for Czech Television. He performs in solo recitals with her brother violinist Martin Kos. He is regular soloist of the Suk Chamber Orchestra.