“The age of dictators is over. Thank God!” Conductor Jac van Steen in the Music in the Millennium programme
At Classic Praha, the Dutch conductor talks about the changes in his profession, the cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast and Czech music in general, but also about the December concerts with the FOK orchestra called “Christmas in Paris”.
Jac van Steen is a Dutch conductor of international renown who has worked mainly in Germany and Great Britain for most of his career. For example, he worked as a chief conductor Nuremberg symphonists, Staatskapelle Weimar or Dortmund Philharmonic. He teaches at Royal Conservatories in The Hague. In Britain, for example, the main host was a conductor BBC National Orchestra of Walesis the honorary chief host conductor Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland, with whom, for example, he recently recorded a remarkable CD with Symphony No. 2 and also with A violin concerto composer Kurt Weill. At his end, he has a respectable discography of recordings with the various orchestras he has conducted over the years.
Since 2013, he has also been the main host conductor Symphony Orchestra City of Prague FOK and will end up in this position in 2023 after ten years. Thanks to this work in Prague, he is recognized abroad as a recognized interpreter of Czech music, especially the works of Bedřich Smetana. Precisely Smetana’s cycle of symphonic poems My Country performed this year in Smetana Hall on the occasion of the national holiday on October 28. December 7 and 8 will conduct the FOK orchestra at two concerts called “Christmas in Paris”where the music of WA Mozart and Francis Poulenc will be heard and on which he will sing Prague Philharmonic Choir soprano Marie Fajtová.
Why are Czech conductors Czech music such a success in the UK and Great Britain? How has the conductor’s approach to conducting an orchestra changed over the course of his career? And what is his relationship to Poulenc and the French repertoire? That’s not all Jac van Steen talks about in the program premiered in Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m as reruns in Friday, November 25 at 10:00 p.m and subsequently in Saturday, November 26 at 11:00 a.m.
Photo: FOK archive