Ensemble | North American Representation
2017-2018 Biography

The Smetana Trio
Jitka Cechová (piano); Jirí Vodicka (violin); Jan Pálenícek (cello)  

The Smetana Trio, founded in 1934 by the legendary Czech pianist Josef Pálenícek, violinist Alexandr Plocek and cellist František Smetana, is today’s foremost Czech chamber ensemble. Currently comprised of Jitka Cechová (piano), Jiří Vodička(violin) and Jan Pálenícek (cello), the Smetana perpetuates the interpretational ideals created by its illustrious predecessors as well as other superlative 20th-century soloists active in chamber music. “There is nothing routine about the Smetana Trio’s approach to this engaging repertoire. Every aspect of their interpretation is carefully considered without losing an ounce of spontaneity. Individual lines are remarkable for their focus and beauty, though the powerful sense of ensemble is never sacrificed to individual display.”  - BBC Music Magazine

In spring 2017, the Smetana Trio was voted to win the BBC Music Magazine Chamber Award for its recording of the complete trios by Bohuslav Martinů, released by Supraphon Records in March 2015. The acclaimed recording received other recognition, including BBC Music Magazine’s June 2016 Recording of the Month, Sunday Times Recording of the Week, Diapason d'Or award, and a review on theArtsDesk.com saying, “This is the greatest chamber disc I’ve heard in ages, and I can’t imagine a better introduction to Martinů's music.” Following a successful North American tour in the 2014-15 season, the Smetana Trio returns to the United States in spring 2018 for a ten-city tour with a program that includes piano trios by Zemlinsky, Shostakovich, and Mendelssohn.  Highlights from this sprawling tour include performances at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, The Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Duke Performances Chamber Arts Series, the Chicago Chamber Music Society, and the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles.

The Smetana Trio has toured extensively as both chamber music ensemble and orchestral soloists, working with conductors such as Jirí Belohlávek, Libor Pešek, John Axelrod, Michael Boder, Tomáš Hanus and Stanislav Vavrínek and orchestras such as the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana Lugano, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic, Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc. Festivals and concert series include Cambrai, Aix-en-Provence and Nice in France, and Munich, Würzburg and Tübingen in Germany. In 2015 the Smetana Trio toured South America with performances in Lima, Medellin, Rio de Janeiro as well as a performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.  

With an impressive discography of nearly a dozen albums recorded exclusively for Supraphon since 2000, the group’s recordings include an album featuring the complete piano trios of Shostakovich and Ravel, and an all-Dvořák disc which received BBC Music Magazine’s Chamber Award for 2007 and the French Diapason d'Or. Additional discs include works by Smetana, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Schubert. 



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