November 13, 2017
Pavel Sporcl signed by Universal Music Group
Pavel signs his Universal Music Group contract, alongside the Managing Director of Universal, Czech Republic, Tomas Filip
Pavel signs his Universal Music Group contract, alongside the Managing Director of Universal, Czech Republic, Tomas Filip

Czech superstar violinist Pavel Sporcl has signed to Universal Music Group, with a Christmas album, the first fruit of their collaboration, out today. The album’s title, “Christmas On The Blue Violin”, is a reference to Sporcl’s iconic instrument, and its distinctive colour, commissioned from the great Czech violin maker Jan B. Spidlen. The album features Pavel Sporcl alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Christmas carols of both Western and Czech influence are featured, in beautiful new arrangements by Jon Cohen (also the album’s producer), Geoff Lawson and Pavel Sporcl himself. There is also a new work composed by Sporcl, “The Prayer”.

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, as well as Itzhak Perlman and Dorothy DeLay, Vaclav Snitil – himself a student of legendary violinist Jaroslav Kocian).

“I am so thrilled with this collaboration,” says Sporcl, “Universal is of course a leading music company in the world, and I am very excited to become part of their family. And to join for this project with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, one of my very favourite orchestras, with one of America’s leading conductors in Sebastian Lang-Lessing, and with Jon Cohen and his fabulous collaborators – all of this is a dream for me. Christmas is a very meaningful time for me and for so many of us; a time of family, a time for reflection, for beauty. So it was always important to me that a Christmas album should be of the very highest standards, and I’m deeply proud of what we have all achieved here. I hope it brings as much seasonal joy to others!”

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 (most of them for Supraphon) 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 childrens' concerts and in television programs designed to bring children to classical music.

The new album will be supported by a multi-city tour around the Czech Republic and internationally. 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 from 2018 will be a Cultural Ambassador of the Czech Republic. He is currently working on a television documentary about the great Czech violinists.

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