František Chaloupka’s composition nominated by Czech Radio succeeds at the 2024 International Rostrum of Composers

27. květen 2024

Contemporary music composer František Chaloupka’s Allegory of the Cave II, which was nominated by Czech Radio, succeeded at the 70th International Rostrum of Composers (IRC) and ranked among the nine most outstanding works in its category that were recommended for international broadcasting and concert performance.

“It is a great achievement. František Chaloupka’s composition aroused enormous interest among many foreign delegates during the listening session,” says Czech Radio’s music producer Martin Klusák. “It has a remarkable atmosphere of quivering, independent of time. Its individual parts are random but minutely blurred in terms of rhythm, creating the impression of organic (not perfect) harmony. The composer musically deals with the same question – When do we discover things and when do we get lost in inner darkness? – as Plato in his famous parable of human society, the allegory of the cave. Chaloupka is also inspired by Indian Vedas and Buddhist philosophy, which describe the concept of four cyclic ages called Yugas. Each of the composition’s four movements symbolises one of these ages. It is colourful orchestral music, which was world-premiered at the 2023 Ostrava Days Festival by the ONO Ostrava New Orchestra with conductor Jiří Rožeň,” adds Klusák.

“After several years, Czech Radio renewed contact with this contemporary music platform (interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic) and its return to cooperation is very welcome by the organiser, the International Music Council (IMC),” says Martin Klusák.

The prestigious festival was hosted by the Lithuanian radio station, LTR Klasika, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, on 14–17 May 2024. The IRC has been one of the most important platforms for radio programme managers in the area of contemporary classical music for 70 years. Its objective is to support contemporary music exchange among radio stations. The composition has two categories: General and the Category of Composers under Thirty Years of Age. Apart from the winning compositions, several other pieces are selected in each category and recommended for international broadcasting. This year, the jury consisted of twenty-one representatives of national radio stations from four continents.

The winner of the General category was Totentanz for countertenor, orchestra and electronics by Polish composer Rafał Ryterski and the young composers’ category was won by Thomas van Dun from Denmark with Rocailles de l'après-vie… for large ensemble. In the previous year, the Recommended Compositions were broadcast by more than 700 radio corporations and networks.

The other piece of music nominated by Czech Radio was Three Sirens for three female voices by renowned composer Jana Vöröšová, which was part of Czech Radio and Berg Orchestra’s project Music for the Sirens. The project was successful and won an award at the Prix Europa international competition in 2021.

In the Year of Czech Music, Czech Radio will also be recording a new full-length opera work by František Chaloupka, The Sell-Out (Zaprodanec; 2024), commissioned by the New Opera Days Ostrava. The radio microphones will capture its world premiere at the Antonín Dvořák Theatre in Ostrava on 27 June 2024. Direction and stage design by ROCC. Performers: the ONO Ostrava New Orchestra, the Canticum Ostrava and members of the Ostravská banda, including soloists, and conductor Bruno Ferrandis. Chaloupka’s opera will be broadcast by Czech Radio Vltava as part of the Opera Evening programme, along with a work by Haštal Hapka.

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