April 21, 2018
Sporcl leads Kocian Violin Competition 60th birthday celebrations

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, the leading Czech violinist Pavel Sporcl, is himself a successor of Kocian. This year, to mark the competition's 60th anniversary, Sporcl is curating 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 and Bohuslav Matousek. Sporcl will play works by Kocian himself, Vivaldi and 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."

Watch Pavel Sporcl with the Prague Symphony Orchestra here.

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