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Vojtěch Spurný

Vojtěch Spurný was born in 1964. He studied at the Prague Conservatory (flute and piano), at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (opera stage direction, conducting and cembalo) and at Utrecht University (cembalo and old music performing practice). Notable teachers of his were Helmut Rilling, Johann Sonnleitner and Kenneth Gilbert. As an assistant stage director and conductor he has worked with Bohumil Gregor, David Radok (National Theatre in Prague) and Arnold Östman (Drottningholm Court Theatre). While still a student, he conducted symphony orchestras and also directed operas (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Bohuslav Martinů one-acters and Benda’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at the DISK theatre, Gagliano’s Daphne at the Baroque festival in Valtice, Lortzing’s Die Opernprobe for Czech Television). As a conductor, he gained well-deserved recognition for his last-minute standing in at the lectern in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride during a National Theatre guest performance in Bratislava (1993), as well as the Czech premiere of Scarlatti’s oratorio Agar (interpretation on old instruments) at the Old Testament in Arts festival (1995). In the 1996/1997 season he conducted Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims at the Göteborg Opera, which the critics praised as one of the best productions of the past twenty years. In June 1998 he and the stage director J. A. Pitínský created a production of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas (at the Pilsen Theatre, with the ensemble Musica Solutaris), which critics hailed as the Production of 1998. In the 2000/2001 season he conducted at the Göteborg Opera Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Between 1999 and 2004 he was a permanent conductor at State Opera Prague. In the 2002/2003 season he was the theatre’s artistic director and today is a permanent guest conductor. He has prepared or adapted eight operas there. Vojtěch Spurný has also intensely devoted to concert activities – playing historic keyboard instruments and the quarter-tone piano. He is the artistic director of Musica Salutaris, with whom in 2000 he presented at the Litomyšl Castle Theatre the Czech premiere of the first of Jacopo Peri’s preserved operas, Euridice. He has been over the long term on a recording of a complete edition of Telemann’s cantatas for Czech Radio. Since 1999 Vojtěch Spurný has permanently collaborated with the Czech Chamber Philharmonic and since 2003 he has been the orchestra’s principal conductor. Since 1991 he has annually taken part in the Ticino Musica master classes in Switzerland (cembalo, piano cooperation, opera course, heading of the opera studio). As a pianist he has accompanied the mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková at master classes within the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival. He teaches at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Update: September 2008

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