26th Season


Municipal House, Smetana Hall


Steven Mercurio conductor
Zuzana Rzounková french horn


B. Martinů
Overture for Orchestra

K. Turner
French Horn Concerto “The Gothic”

D. Šostakovič
Symphony No. 9

Bohuslav Martinů Born in the Czech tower town of Polička, Martinů was a prolific composer whose work extends to around 300 opuses, most of which were released by prestigious publishers and are played all around the world. The less well-known Overture H. 345 was conceived as a concert overture applying one of his most beloved forms - the concerto grosso - a seven member concertino featuring flute, oboe, two violins, viola, and two cellos alternating with the orchestra.

Kerry Turner, American composer and world-renowned French horn soloist. Czech listeners will be interested to learn he was awarded bronze at the 39th Prague Spring Music Festival. Kerry's music ingenuously draws inspiration from a range of sources including folklore of the British Isles and Mexico, American western style and the exotic sounds of North Africa and the Arab world. "The Gothic" Concerto was written for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 2013 with soloist Karl Pituch under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. The FOK symphony orchestra principal French horn Zuzana Rzounková will play the solo part.

Dmitry Shostakovich is rightly considered one of the most original symphonists to emerge from the 20th century. Originally planning to write his Ninth Symphony to celebrate Russian victory at the end of the war, he soon abandoned the idea, laconically reporting to friends that "It didn't work out". He then set about writing a different kind of composition, which at its premiere on 3rd November 1945, which with its absence of pathos and monumental celebration of victory shocked official circles. The symphony is cheerful and high-spirited in nature, frequently bearing features of chamber style. The joy, encoded in the work, is not at all boyishly naïve, but rather awash with shades of melancholy, captivating with its instrumental virtuosity, and diverse melodic themes, delighting above all with its rejection of the number 9 (Beethoven's influence) as a mere philosophical necessity. The composer simply decided it was time to bring joy to the listener. What sympathetic conceptual originality, by its very nature!