Pavel Sporcl Leads 60th Anniversary Gala Concert Of Kocian Violin Competition
The leading Czech violinist and patron of the world's oldest violin competition for under-sixteens will lead a gala concert in Prague on April 25th, featuring a gathering of competition laureates.
The name Jaroslav Kocian holds a special place in the hearts of Czech music-lovers, so much so that after that iconic violinist died a violin competition was established in his name, and in his beloved home town of Usti nad Orlici. It remains the oldest major violin competition in the world for under-sixteen-year-olds. Its patron is a successor of Kocian as the leading Czech violinist, Pavel Sporcl. This year, to mark the competition's 60th anniversary, Sporcl has curated a gala concert at Prague's Smetana Concert Hall.
He has invited for the occasion, the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jessica Cottis, and a line-up of laureates of the Kocian Violin Competition. Among them, Stefan Milenkovich, Josef Spacek, Bohuslav Matousek and others. Sporcl will play works by Kocian himself, Vivaldi, Saint-Saëns and will take part in the finale, a world premiere by Lukás Sommer for eight violinists called "Gala Violin - Concert Phantasy on Jaroslav Kocian Themes for Eight Soloists And Orchestra". The event will be recorded for broadcast by Czech Television.
Sporcl, widely-seen in his native country as being in the 'royal line' of great Czech violinists, was taught by Václav Snítil, who was not only the chairman of the jury for many years for this competition, but also a student of Kocian himself. Says Sporcl, "This competition means a great deal to me personally, for the sake of my dear teacher, but also of course for the sake of Jaroslav Kocian, for all that he meant to Czech culture and for all this competition continues to do, at once paying respects to the great traditions of the past and nurturing the musicians of tomorrow. I am thrilled to mark this special occasion in my home city of Prague."
Well-known in his native Czech Republic (where he is frequently recognised on the street) and beyond, Pavel Sporcl has been one of the country's highest-selling classical artists in recent years, with album sales now in excess of 200,000. He is recognised as being in the 'grand line' of Czech violinists (his teachers included Vaclav Snitil - himself a student of legendary violinist Jaroslav Kocian - as well as Itzhak Perlman and Dorothy DeLay).
He recently signed to Universal Music Group, for whom his album "Christmas On The Blue Violin" went platinum within weeks. Prior to UMG, he recorded extensively for the leading Czech independent label, Supraphon, as well as for EMI.
Pavel Sporcl has performed with many of the world's leading conductors and orchestras. With a vast range of repertoire at his command, his previous albums have ranged from the Dvorak Violin Concerto with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Czech Philharmonic, to Bach Sonatas and Partitas, to his crossover album Sporcelain. Alongside his extensive classical activities he leads a gypsy music ensemble, who have recorded two albums and been seen in concert by more than 120,000 people. He is also very active in music education, both in special children's concerts and in television programs designed to bring children to classical music.
Pavel Sporcl is Director of the Kocianovo Usti Festival, Patron of the International Kocian Violin Competition and Patron of the Znojmo Music Festival. He is an Ambassador for BMW, for EPOS Watches and a Cultural Ambassador of the Czech Republic. His documentary series on the great Czech violinists is currently being broadcast by Czech Television.