Afflatus Quintet

When five remarkable musicians get together, the result can only be a superb chamber ensemble, in this case the Afflatus Quintet which was founded in 1995 while its members were practically still students. The ensemble became established on the international scene just one year later, in October 1996 – during the annual Leipzig Gewandhaus chamber series (other guests for this jubilee series included quintets from the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras). The Afflatus Quintet also dazzled both audience and critics alike at their first major concert in Prague (1997). The ensemble’s musical career very soon attained its highest goal: victory in the prestigious international competition organised by ARD in Munich (September 1997).

The ensemble has a whole series of triumphant concerts to its name, both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg, Brussels, Paris, Japan, international festivals in Finland, Switzerland and Germany). Of particular note are their appearances at the Prague Spring (1999), concerts organised by the Czech Chamber Music Society in the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall, which awarded the Afflatus Quintet its Annual Prize in 1998 for exceptional performance, particularly of 20th century music.

The Afflatus Quintet also won this award in 2003 (for an outstanding performance of Dvořák´s American quartet op.96) thus becoming the first ensemble in history to receive the prize on two occasions. In 1997 they also won the Classic Award and the main prize at the ”Young Podium” festival in Karlovy Vary. The Afflatus Quintet has represented Czech chamber music during the Europalia festival in Belgium (1998) and the ”Czech Culture Days” festival held in France (2002).

The year 2000 heralded the Afflatus Quintet’s Japanese debut and subsequent mutual collaboration in interesting projects with the recording company Octavia Records. In the Czech Republic the ensemble’s recordings are covered by the renowned Supraphon label; the Afflatus Quintet has so far released a total of five CDs featuring music by Czech, French and German composers. With their CD entitled ”Mozart”, the ensemble reached the finals in nominations for the prize ”Golden Harmony 2003”.

The Afflatus Quintet’s most outstanding successes on the concert platform undoubtedly include several appearances in the prestigious Suntory Hall in Tokyo (2002), broadcast by Japanese television, during which the ensemble’s members also performed as soloists in concerts featuring music by Mozart, accompanied by the Prague Chamber Orchestra and the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra.

Afflatus Quintet performed in the frame of the international music festival Struny podzimu (2003), in Rudolfinum with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra (2004), have realized fourth Japan tour including masterclass in prestigious university Toho Gakuen in Tokyo, in 2004 have appeared at the interantional festivals like Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Bad Hersfeld, Concentus Moravia, Janáček´s Hukvaldy, in the Dvořák´s Hall of Rudolfinum together with pianist Martin Kasík. In 2005 shined Afflatus Quintet during the Prague Spring Festival again with the pianist Ivo Kahánek. In 2006 ensemble realized Mozart´s Symphony Concertante in Tokyo accompained by leading Japanese orchestras in the frame of Mozart´s celebration.

Present days brings to the Afflatus Quintet (apart from Radek Baborák´s come-back from Berliner Philharmoniker) lots of plans and new projects. Among the most distinguished ones belong a new cooperation with the pianist Gerhard Opitz included also the performance in Rudolfinum, concerts in Paris or in the frame of the festivals like Janáček´s May and Moravian Autumn.

Afflatus Quintet became the resident ensemble of the Czech Chamber Music Society for the 2011/2012 season and will appear in three concerts in the Dvořák´s Hall of Rudolfinum. Ensemble made its premiere in Australia in September 2012 performed in famous Sydney Opera House.

All the members of the Afflatus Quintet - flutist Roman Novotný (Czech Phil. Orchestra), oboist Jana Brožková (Czech Phil. Orch.), clarinetist Vojtěch Nýdl (Prague Radio Symphony Orch.), bassoonist Ondřej Roskovec (Czech Phil. Orch.) and horn player Radek Baborák are united in their opinion that quintet playing is one of the most difficult disciplines: ”Our sound is the point of intersection for five different types of instruments and tone colour, five different ways to create the right tone and five musical individuals.”