Czech National Symphony Orchestra

Czech National Symphony Orchestra Opens Its 2019/20 Season

August 27, 2019

September 17th – The Azrieli Foundation Celebrates Azrieli Music Prize Winners with Czech Debuts in Prague

The preeminent Czech National Symphony Orchestra opens its 2019/20 season performing the Czech debuts of works by 2018 Azrieli Music Prize-winners Kelly-Marie Murphy and Avner Dorman on September 17 as part of the composers’ prize package. Established in 2014 by the Azrieli Foundation, the Azrieli Music Prizes offer opportunities for the discovery, creation, performance, and celebration of excellence in music composition.

In its first concert under new music director Steven Mercurio, the symphony is joined by celebrated violinist Lara St. John in Avner Dorman’s Nigunim for Violin and Orchestra and COULOIR (cellist Ariel Barnes and harpist Heidi Krutzen) for Murphy’s En el escuro es todo uno (In the Darkness All is One) – a double concerto for cello, harp and orchestra. Other works include those by Mahler, American composer Leon Stein, and an arrangement of a work by prolific Canadian-Jewish composer Srul Irving Glick, featuring soprano Sharon Azrieli.

Just days ahead of this concert, both Azrieli Music Prize-winning works receive their world premiere recording on a new album released by Analekta featuring the same soloists – Lara St. John and COULOIR. Titled New Jewish Music Vol. 2, the album is available in Canada and digitally worldwide on September 13, 2019. It comes to the United States on October 4 and Europe in late October.

In 2018, the Azrieli Foundation awarded Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman The Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music for writing “the best new major work of Jewish music” for his composition, Nigunim for Violin and Orchestra. The original violin sonata version of Nigunim was premiered in New York in 2011 by the renowned Gil and Orli Shaham, for whom it was written.

Also in 2018, The Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music was awarded to Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy to create the work En el escuro es todo uno (In the Darkness All is One). Seeking to encourage composers to creatively and critically engage with the question “What is Jewish music?”, the Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music is given to the composer who proposes a response in the shape of a musical work that displays the utmost creativity, artistry and musical excellence.

Performance Details:

Koncert vítězů Azrieliho hudebních cen
17. září 2019, 19:30
Smetanova síň Obecního domu
nám. Republiky 1090/5, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia


Leon Stein – „Dance of the Joyous“ ze Three Hassidic Dances
Srul Irving Glick – “Let Him Kiss Me” a “How Beautiful You Are My Love” ze Seven Tableaux z cyklu The Song of Songs (aranže Francois Vallières)

Avner Dorman – Nigunim pro housle a orchestr
Kelly-Marie Murphy – En el escuro es todo uno (Tma vše mění v jediné) pro violoncello, harfu a orchestr
Gustav Mahler – “Adagio” ze symfonie č. 10

Sharon Azrieli soprán
Lara St. John housle

Ariel Barnes violoncello
Heidi Krutzen harfa

Steven Mercurio dirigent
Český národní symfonický orchestra

Tickets, 150-600 Kč, and more information available at

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