Oliver Messiaen

Quartour pour la fin du temps

Jan Mráček
Anna Sysová
Marcin Zdunik
Amadeus Wiesensee

Olivier Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps ("For the End of Time") is a most outstanding chamber music works written for this instrumentation. Composed during his own stay in the German prisoner-of-war camp in 1941, the mystical sounds are inspired by the Book of Revelations.

(c) Shirley-Suarez
(c) Shirley-Suarez

Jan MráčekCzech violinist Jan Mráček was born in 1991 in Pilsen and began studying violin at the age of 5 with Professor Magdaléna Micková. From 2003 he studied with Professor Jiří Fišer, graduating with honours from the Prague Conservatory in 2013 and until recently at the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna under the guidance of the Vienna Symphony concert master Jan Pospíchal.

As a teenager he enjoyed his first major successes, winning numerous competitions, participating in the master classes of Maestro Václav Hudeček – the beginning of a long and fruitful association. He won the Czech national conservatoire competition in 2008, the Hradec International Competition with the Dvořák concerto and the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009, was the youngest Laureate of the Prague Spring International Festival competition in 2010, and in 2011 he became the youngest soloist in the history of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he took first prize at Vienna’s Fritz Kreisler International Violin Competition at the Vienna Konzerthaus. When the victory of Jan Mráček was confirmed, there was thunderous applause from the audience and the jury. The jury president announced “Jan is a worthy winner. He has fascinated us from the first round. Not only with his technical skills, but also with his charisma on stage”.

He has performed as soloist with the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra and Romanian Radio Symphony, both under Sascha Goetzel, Lappeenranta City Orchestra (Finland), Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK), Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra and almost all Czech regional orchestras.
Jan Mráček had the honour of being invited by Maestro Jiří Bělohlávek to guest lead the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in their three concert residency at Vienna’s Musikverein, and the European Youth Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda and Xian Zhang on their 2015 summer tour.
In 2008 he joined the Lobkowicz Piano Trio, which took first prize and the audience prize at the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach (Austria) in 2014. His recording of the Dvořák violin concerto and other works by the Czech composer under James Judd with the Czech National Symphony was recently released on the Onyx label and has received excellent reviews.

In addition to his British debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, this season Jan Mráček made his American debut with the St Louis Symphony under Han-Na Chang, with the Symphony of Florida with James Judd, debuts in Dubai with the Vienna Concert Verein and in China with the Slovenian Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic under Manuel López-Gómez as well as recitals at festivals in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In April he made his Swiss debut with the Tchaikovsky concerto as an Orpheum Foundation soloist in Zurich’s Tonhalle with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Fedoseyev. In July he will perform with the Asian Youth Orchestra in Tokyo; next season he has three performances of the Dvorak concerto in Prague with the Czech Philharmonic under Jiří Bělohlávek

Jan Mráček plays on a Carlo Fernando Landolfi violin, Milan 1758, generously loaned to him by Mr Peter Biddulph.

(c) Alexandra Hrašková
(c) Alexandra Hrašková

Anna Sysovástarted her clarinet studies in Prague at the age of 12. Later on, she had studied at High School of Music in Prague and Prague Conservatory both in the class of prof. Milan Polák. During that studies, she was chosen to perform Jean Francaix’s Theme and Variations with Prague Symphony Orchestra in Rudolfinum in May 2014.

Starting 2014 she attended Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno in the shared class of prof. Milan Polák and doc. Vít Spilka. She is laureate of many international competitions – Chieri International Competition (Italy) 2017 – 3rd Prize, Concorso per Clarinetto Carlino (Italy) 2015 – 1st Prize, International Competition for Woodwinds in Wroclaw(Poland) 2014 – 1st Prize, Markneukirchener Wettbewerb(Germany) 2014 – 1st Prize, Czech Clarinet Art Hořice (Czech Republic) 2014 – 1st Prize plus a prize for the best czech competitor and Pro Bohemia Ostrava (Czech Republic) 2013 – 2nd Prize plus Bohuslav Martinů Foundation Prize. In the spring of 2015 she received The Oleg Podgorny Prize for the youngest and most successful participant at Prague Spring Competition 2015. As for her engagement in chamber music, Anna is a scholarship member of Academy of Chamber Music in the Czech Republic and since 2018 of Villa Musica in Germany. She is a member of two stable chamber groups based in Prague – Kalabis Quintet and Slavic Trio. Between years 2016 and 2018 she was a member of the Orchestra Academy of Brno Philharmonic. In the past two years she has been a member of both significant youth orchestras in Europe – Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and The European Union Youth Orchestra. In the academic year 2018/2019, Anna is studying with Andrew Marriner at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London as a part of Erasmus+ programme.

(c) Maciej Mulawa
(c) Maciej Mulawa

Marcin Zdunikwas born on 5 December 1987. He attended a primary music school in Warsaw, where he took cello lessons with Professor Maria Walasek. In 2006 he graduated from the Brzewski Music School in Warsaw under Professor Andrzej Orkisz. He is currently studying at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw with Professor Andrzej Bauer.
He gives concerts in many European and Asian countries, often presenting his own interpretations and compositions. He has performed as a soloist in many famous halls, such as the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Ermitage Theatre in St. Petersburg, the Philharmonic for Westphalia (Dortmund Concert Hall), the Slovak Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic in Warsaw and the Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio.

He is invited to participate in music festivals such as the Music Olympics in St. Petersburg, Asiago Festival, Wartburg Festival, Musica Polonica Nova in Wroclaw, Autunno Musicale and Lago Maggiore Musica in Italy, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival (Young Elite) and the Festival of Chamber Music “Evenings in Arsenal”.
He collaborates with excellent orchestras such as the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Camerata, the Polish Radio Orchestra, the Vratislavia Chamber Orchestra and with numerous renowned instrumentalists such as Urszula Krygier, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Andrzej Bauer, Julius Berger and Jan Stanienda.
Two years ago Marcin Zdunik met the violinist Janusz Wawrowski. The fruit of this collaboration was an innovative project in which the young musician composed a cello part for Paganini’s “24 Capricci”.
He prepares his own interpretations and compositions by means of pieces for cello and chamber orchestra (among others: Capricci by Paganini, Légende and Le Chant de Bouivac by Heinrich Wieniawski, Sonata in G minor and Partita in D minor by J. S. Bach, Sonata in G major by M. Ravel, Moments Musicaux, Romanze and Vokalise by S. Rachmaninow).
Marcin Zdunik has already won prizes at several youth competitions in Poland and Austria as a pupil. In 2005 he received the third prize in the 40th International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen. In 2007 he won first prize in the 6th International Witold-Lutoslawski-Cello Competition in Warsaw. At this competition he was also awarded the Grand Prix for the outstanding performance of the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra by W. Lutoslawski. He also received two special prizes for the best prelude to the Sacher Variation by W. Lutoslawski and Gigue for solo violoncello by P. Szymański, and seven other prizes.
He represented Polish Radio in the International Forum of Young Artists in Bratislava, organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). He emerged as the winner and received the title “New Talent 2008”.
He also won the Talent Week 2008 at the Paderewski Centre in Tarnow, where he was rewarded for his achievements with a scholarship from the Anna Knapik Association “Pro Arte”.
In 2006 he attended the master classes of the Mozateum University in Salzburg as one of the best students. He is a scholarship holder of the Pro Polonia Society Foundation and the Mozart Society Dortmund. He participated in the master classes held by well-known professors such as Leonid Gorochow, Michael Flaksman, Gary Hoffman and Julius Berger. In the period 2000-2006 he was a scholarship holder of the Polish Foundation for Highly Gifted Children. Four times he was awarded the Artist Scholarship of the Polish Minister of Culture and in 2007 the Young Poland Scholarship.
He plays a cello made by Wojciech Topa in 2003.

(c) Sammy Hart
(c) Sammy Hart

Amadeus Wiesenseegave his debut with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester at the age of 12. The Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote on occasion of his opening recital of Nymphenburger Sommer: „This young man has an almost uncanny sense of the dark places, the veiled spaces, the contemplative and its shadings. He is far from content with brilliantly illuminating the foreground of the pieces; the musical process allows him to give access, so to speak, to the echo chambers and fields of association that lie behind them. At its most exalted moments it seems as if one can explore the music as a three-dimensional environment.“
After his debut at the “Europäische Wochen Passau” in 2015, the press enthused: “At just 21 years of age, Amadeus Wiesensee outshone nearly all that had gone before with his trance-like combination of reflection and passion, grandeur and daring, monumentality and charm, while proving his ability to separate pathos from bombast.” (Landshuter Zeitung).

In 2018 he will make his debut in London in St. Martin-in-the-fields, at Klavierfestival Ruhr and on invitation of Christian Thielemann in Konzerthaus Berlin.
At the age of eight, Amadeus Wiesensee became a pupil of Prof. Thomas Böckheler at the Richard Strauss Conservatoire in Munich, and from 2007 a junior student with Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. After Kämmerling’s death in 2012 he continued his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich with Prof. Antti Siirala and in 2013 was accepted as a member of the “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”. Numerous masterclasses with teachers such as Elena Richter, John O’Conor, Robert Levin, Dimitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher and Matti Raekallio as well as with Hélène Grimaud at the invitation of the “Symphonieorchester des Bayrischen Rundfunks” have rounded off his training. He gained special and lasting impetus from Alfred Brendel and Till Fellner and still takes guidance from Elisabeth Leonskaja.
He has been invited to give concerts at many music festivals including “Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern”, “Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival”, “Würzburger Mozartfest”, “Oleg Kagan Musikfest”, “Schwetzinger Mozarttage”, “Opernfestspiele Gut Immling”, and in many parts of Europe as well as performing on a Central American cruise on the MS EUROPA. In many cases he has been invited to return, as he was by “Kampener Kultursommer”, “Musikwoche Hitzacker”, “Bergische Symphoniker” and the “Europäische Musikwochen” in Passau.
Amadeus Wiesensee has won prizes at German and international youth competitions, including “Jugend musiziert”, the “Karl Lang Competition”, the “Schumann Competition” in Zwickau and the “Klavierpodium” international competition in Munich. He has repeatedly won first prizes and special prizes at the “Jürgen Ponto Stiftung” and the “Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben”. He has played live many times on radio for stations such as BR, WDR and SWR. At 12 years of age, he was awarded the special prize of the Munich Radio Orchestra and performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto K 491 for BR Klassik.
In January 2014 he made his debut with the Bayerisches Landesjugendorchester (BLJO) playing the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Franz Liszt in the Philharmonic Hall in the Gasteig Munich, a performance broadcast by BR Klassik. He has played as a soloist with many ensembles including Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie, Philharmonisches Orchester der Stadt Heidelberg, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Bergische Symphoniker, Bad Reichenhaller Philharmoniker and the BLJO under conductors such as Dimitri Jurowski, Sebastian Tewinkel, Peter Kuhn, Michael Sanderling and Clemens Schuldt.
The young pianist has been charged with premiering the works of many contemporary composers including Wilfried Hiller, John Foulds and Birke Bertelsmeier.
Amadeus Wiesensee’s second great passion alongside the piano is philosophy, a subject he simultaneously studied at the Munich School of Philosophy until July 2015, graduating with the top mark in a Bachelor of Arts.