PhilHarmonia Octet Prague
Currently, the most prominent representative of the so-called Czech wind school - in the European context - is the ensemble "PhilHarmonia Octet", a music group that was founded in 2007 on the initiative of Vilém Veverka and Václav Vonášek. Their intention was to create a formation of the best Czech players of one generation (who significantly influenced themselves during their studies at HAMU), or to confront the domestic musical interpretation tradition with modern European styles and trends.
The aim of the ensemble is to significantly enrich the Czech music scene, expand the repertoire and especially to move the current standard of interpretation. A characteristic element of the ensemble is the fact that the performers are winners of prestigious international competitions, or graduates of foreign studies, who continue to profile themselves as solo players. This is, after all, characteristic of the world's best ensembles of this kind. The work of individual members in leading European orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the WDR Cologne and the Czech Philharmonic, is also not without interest. The ensemble's repertoire follows a strong interpretation of the transformation of musical speech against the background of alternating musical epochs and styles, from the second half of the 18th century to the beginning of the new millennium.
An essential repertoire pillar is the presentation of compositions in an extended cast - W. A. Mozart / Serenade in E flat major "Gran Partita", A. Dvořák / Serenade in D minor for wind instruments op. 44 - and the search for other possible inspirations in the form of appropriately selected adaptations (M. P. Mussorgsky / Pictures from the Exhibition, G. Mahler / The Boy's Magic Horn). The name of the ensemble can be interpreted in two ways: by the original meaning of the word "philharmonic" - a fondness for harmony, and by the term "harmony", used for this type of ensemble since the time of classicism. PhilHarmonia Octet is a sought-after ensemble not only on Czech concert stages, but also successfully establishes itself abroad. In 2019, the ensemble successfully presented itself at the Prague Spring International Music Festival.
The ensemble's profile recording - "Music for Wind Instruments", with compositions by L. v. Beethoven, G. Klein and W. A. Mozart, from 2017 (Supraphon), which is currently considered by professional critics, is currently considered the best Czech film of its kind.
PhilHarmonia Octet Prague:
Vilém Veverka, Monika Fürbach Boušková- oboe
Irvin Venyš, Karel Dohnal - clarinets
Václav Vonášek, Martin Petrák - bassoons
Přemysl Vojta, Ondřej Vrabec - horns