Josef Špaček

Praised for his remarkable range of colors, his confident and concentrated stage presence, his virtuosity and technical poise, as well as the beauty of his tone, Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation. His performances of a wide range of repertoire demonstrate his “astonishing articulation and athleticism” (The Scotsman) and “a richness and piquancy of timbre” (The Telegraph).

He appears with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Paris, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen and Kammerakademie Potsdam.

Špaček collaborates with eminent conductors such as Jakub Hrůša, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck, Valery Gergiev, Thomas Adès, Krzysztof Urbański, James Gaffigan, James Conlon, Maxim Emelyanchev, Jiří Bělohlávek, Thomas Søndergård, Cornelius Meister, Michael Sanderling, David Zinman, Eliahu Inbal, Tomáš Netopil, Marc Albrecht, Aziz Shokhakimov, Christian Vasquez and Lio Kuokman.

He enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music and is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe (including the Rudolfinum in Prague, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Kronberg Academy, Evian Festival, Kaposfest and Schloß Elmau), Asia and the United States (Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., 92Y in New York, La Jolla in San Diego, ChamberFest Cleveland and Nevada Chamber Music Festival).

His chamber music partners include Gil Shaham, Kian Soltani, James Ehnes, Clemens Hagen, Yuja Wang, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Máté Szücs, Miroslav Sekera, Tomáš Jamník, Suzana Bartal, Kristóf Baráti and Sharon Kam.

Supraphon released a highly praised recording of the violin concertos of Dvořák and Janáček, coupled with the fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. It was named the Recording of the Week by the Sunday Times, Recording of the Month and  Year by MusicWeb International, and it received five stars in Diapason. Other recordings to date are a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera (Supraphon), works for violin solo and violin and piano by H.W. Ernst (Naxos) and an early CD with the complete sonatas for solo violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.

Špaček studied with Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

He has served as concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the youngest in its history. The orchestra named him associate artist in January 2016. He left this post after the 2019-20 season to devote himself exclusively to his solo career.

Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.