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Jan Jirásek (1955)
Since 1989, Jan Jirásek’s works have been presented on numerous stages and festivals worldwide. Jirásek composes music for major music houses and interpreters. Examples include his Bread and Circuses composition for six players on percussion instruments (Munich Biennale, 1992), a postmodern arrangement of J.S. Bach’s St. Luke Passion (Munich Biennale, 1996, Minneapolis MN, 2000), Dance with the Universe concert for the organ and orchestra (Portland Chamber Orchestra, 2012), Missa propria choral composition (Prague, Spring 1994 and 2014, Carnegie Hall, New York, Lincoln Center, New York, Avignon Festival, France etc.), Fragile Balance/Letter to Heaven (Vega String Quartet, Atlanta GA, 2012), King Lávra (micro-opera, Khorikos New York NY, 2013), and other works.
Jirásek’s compositions have been issued by Ricordi, a major global publishing house based in Berlin.
Jirásek’s film music has also attracted numerous prestigious awards. Jirásek has received two Czech Lion Awards in the Czech Republic for his film music in F. A. Brabec’s Kytice (Wild Flowers) and Juraj Jakubisko’s Nejasná zpráva o konci světa (An Unclear Message of the End of the World). Films with Jirásek’s music have also received several prestigious international awards, such as the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix Award, the Jerusalem Prize, and others.
Jirásek also works as teacher: He has taught composition at prestigious universities in the United States and Europe (Hartt School of Music, Hartford; Colorado College; Florida International University; University at Lehigh; University of Colorado at Boulder; Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna Austria; ISAM, Ochsenhausen Germany; and at many other universities).
Samuel Hendricks noted on the album Renaissance of Humanity, “Jirásek’s excellent and fine method of work clearly expresses his musical thoughts that, as is the case with every true artist, do not act as a mask for art but represent the face behind it” (BMG Classics 1995). janjirasek.com
BONIFANTES Boys Choir
The BONIFANTES Boys Choir was founded in 1999 and in its short life has won a place among the cream of the choir ensembles in the Czech Republic. Talented boys from the ages of 4 to 20 years work in seven departments of the singing school known as “BONIFANTES School of Arts” with a capacity of 350 students. All the singers have solo voice training lessons and many of them play musical instruments. Almost 100 boys visit the concert department alone and the choir takes part in up to 100 concerts and performances each year.
Among the successes achieved so far are a number of concert tours (Germany, Great Britain, France, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia, Japan and the United States) and performances in operas and movies. The choir performs in harmony with many Czech orchestras on an annual basis. Over the past years of its activity, the choir has taken part in many international competitions at which it has been awarded with dozens of gold medals, several titles of competition prize-winner, and prizes for outstanding conducting performance by the choirmaster. The two most distinguished successes for the choir have been 1st prize “CUM LAUDE” at the European Choir Festival in Neerpelt and the title of overall winner at the Festival of Song 2004 in Olomouc ahead of 159 competitors.
In 2013 the BONIFANTES made their debut in Asia by performing Gustav Mahler‘s 8th “Symphony of a Thousand“ and a range of individual concerts. Next year the choir made 47 concerts in the United States and Canada during the 35-day-long trip. In 2016 the BONIFANTES sang for Pope Francis and performed at two concerts with the legendary tenor maestro José Carreras. In 2017 BONIFANTES performed for the first time in Japan.
CZECH SOLOIST CONSORT
The Czech Soloist Consort is a project-based vocal and instrumental ensemble of students and graduates of music academies, schools of pedagogy, and performing arts. Due to its individual approach, the ensemble has no limits in terms of interpretation complexity, as its singers and instrumentalists can easily grasp and perform musical works of any difficulty. The ensemble is consistent with its clarity in interpretation style in both modern compositions and the music of old masters. The ensemble was founded by Jan Míšek, who also works as its art director. www.consort.cz
Founder & Art Director
Jan Míšek (born 1976) gained his first choirmaster experience by leading the preparatory section of Boni pueri. His professors of conducting were Professor Jiří Skopal (University of Hradec Králové) and Doctor Vlastislav Novák (Conservatory Pardubice). He is a graduate of several master classes (Prof. Gert Frischmuth, Gábor Hollerung, Prof. Friedrich Krell, Robert Sund, Prof. Jerry Jordan, Petr Vronský) including master classes under Bachakademie Stuttgart with Prof. Helmuth Rilling.
He went on to found the choir at the J. K. Tyl Grammar School in 1993 and then took his place at the head of the Kantiléna Chamber Choir, before prompting the establishment of the Hradec Králové Male Chorus. He lived his greatest dream and founded the BONIFANTES Boys Choir in Pardubice in 1999. Despite his youth, Jan Míšek has been presented with a number of awards for outstanding conducting performance. He and his choirs have won dozens of gold medals (for example, with the Hradec Králové Male Chorus at the 1st World Choir Olympics in Linz Austria) at various international competitions. Jan Míšek is artistic director of a professional ensemble CZECH SOLOIST CONSORT.
Jan Míšek is also involved in composing activities. As a composer, he attended International Summer Music Academy in Michelstadt with Prof. Jan Jirásek and Prof. Ofer Ben-Amots. He won the 2nd Prize at Joseph Dorman Int. Composer’s Competition. The Union of Czech Choirs awarded him the “Junior Choirmaster” prize in 2003. Jan Míšek is also editor-in-chief and intellectual father of the project SBOR.CZ, a Czech choral association. He has been acknowledged by experts for his interpretation of 20th-century music and for historically authentic interpretation of Baroque music. Jan Míšek is an official member of World Choir Council founded by Foundation Interkultur.