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Prague Symphony to perform

The Prague Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the acclaimed Rastislav Stur, with featured pianist Martin Kasik, will perform works by Smetana and Dvorák at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 at Zoellner Arts Center.

There will be a free pre-show talk at 7 p.m. by Nadine Sine, chair of Lehigh’s music department. Sine is a musicologist specializing in 19th- and 20th-century music.

The orchestra, founded in 1934, will perform Smetana’s The Moldau; Dvorák’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G Minor, Op. 33 with pianist Martin Kasik, and Dvoøák’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (“New World”).

Orchestra founder Rudolf Petárek defined the ensemble’s fields of activity with the words Film-Opera-Koncert, which—abbreviated into FOK—became part of the orchestra’s official title of Symphony Orchestra of the Capital City of Prague - FOK. The orchestra has toured Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East and the U.S., and recorded extensively on numerous labels.

Permanent conductor Rastislav Stur joined the Prague Symphony Orchestra in 1998. He is also the Chief Conductor of the Slovak National Theater Bratislava. Previously, he was second conductor of the Youth String Orchestra Bratislava, Principal Conductor of the Chamber Orchestra VUS Tur of the Czech Republic and Conductor for the Tabor Symphony Orchestra Bolech. Stur has performed in many concert halls, with his orchestras and as guest conductor, throughout Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain and Greece, as well as Japan.

Pianist Martin Kasik, born in 1976, is a graduate of the Conservatory in Ostrava and the College of Music of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He has won First Prize in a number of major international competitions, including the Davidoff Prix in 2000 as the best Czech performer under the age of 28. Kasik has performed as a soloist with orchestras around the world and in international music festivals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, France, Holland, Slovakia, the United States, Canada and Singapore.

Tickets are $32 to $40. Call (610) 758-2787 (7LU-ARTS); visit Zoellner Ticket Services, Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and two hours before curtain; or order online.

Posted on Thursday, February 10, 2005

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