Prague Spring artist-in-residence Tamestit: It’s a package, in the best sense

Photo: Festival Pražské jaro

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the 78th Prague Spring takes place on Wednesday night, with rising classical star Klaus Mäkelä making his debut appearance in Czechia, conducting the Czech Philharmonic and viola player Antoine Tamestit. Ahead of the concert, featuring works by Schnittke and Mahler, I asked Tamestit what it meant for him to also be the music festival’s artist-in-residence.

“This is a fantastic honour, of course, because of the historic reputation of the Prague Spring festival.

“But it’s also a fantastic chance for me as a musician to express myself in different contexts.

“And also as a viola player, where in the last 200 years we have not necessarily been given the same exposure as a violinist, or a pianist or an opera singer to appear as a soloist or an individual.

“But as the artist-in-residence I was given the choice of repertoire, of partners. “Really, it’s a fantastic chance, for me and the viola.”

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Author: Ian Willoughby