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Kocian Quartet

The Kocian Quartet has earned the reputation among the foremost Czech string quartets of its time. Its repertory is usually broad, encompassing requirements by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, aswell as mainstream Czech functions by Dvorák, Smetana, Janácek, and Martinu, and little-known fare by Pavel Haas and Hans Krása. Nonetheless it has also launched many new functions by a range of modern Czech composers, including Tichy, Loudova, Kaslik, Kubicka, Riedelbauch, and conductor/composer Rafael Kubelik. The Kocian Quartet offers made several recordings for a number of labels, included in this Praga and Orfeo. The Kocian Quartet was founded in Prague in 1972. The founding users — Pravoslav Kohout (1st violin), Jan Odstrcil (second violin), Jirí Najnar (viola), and Václav Bernásek (cello) — had been all Prague Academy of Music graduates. In the beginning the players used the rather generic-sounding name New String Quartet, as well as for the 1st three years had been mentored from the cellist from the Smetana Quartet, Antonin Kohout, an extremely well known virtuoso who may be counted as the 5th creator of the group. In 1975 the outfit used the name Kocian Quartet, following the popular Czech violinst Jaroslav Kocian. It had been at the moment, as well, that Kohout was changed by Pavel Hula, who also became the quartet’s innovator. The Kocian players quickly produced a name for themselves in Czechoslovakia after their Prague Springtime Event debut in 1976. In 1981 these were awarded an creative prize from your Czech Culture for Chamber Music. More than the next 2 decades the Kocian Quartet would travel frequently throughout European countries, including to Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Russia. Its 1992 debut in the U.K. (London’s Wigmore Hall) was belated, but an excellent success, as well as the group later on made an appearance on BBC Radio. In 1993 violist Zbynek Padourek changed Najnar, however the switch was largely smooth in the fabric from the group’s design, allowing the Kocian players to keep to woo both critics and the general public. In 1997 the quartet received the exclusive Grand Prix International du Disque de l’académie Charles Cros (Paris) for recordings from the Hindemith string quartets around the Praga label. The Kocian players’ 2002 tour from the U.S., Canada, and Japan was another crucial achievement. Among the Kocian Quartet’s later on recordings had been a set of Praga discs: the 2004 SACD of Schulhoff chamber music as well as the 2006 SACD of Borodin’s Quartet No. 1 and String Quintet.

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