Paul Sacher was a Swiss conductor who championed new music, and commissioned many works from the world's top composers. For the conductor's 70th birthday, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich organised a unique birthday present. He asked 12 leading composers to write works based on the conductor's name, using the 6 notes: E-flat (Es), A, C, B-natural (H), E and D (Re) which adapting music naming conventions spell out eSACHERe. The resulting 12 compositions were partially premiered in Zurich in 1976, but to date there has not been a complete performance of all 12 works. Czech cellist Frantisek Brikcius gave the first full performance of all these works on Monday 9th May 2011 at 7pm, at the National Gallery in Prague - Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia (U Milosrdných 17, Praha 1). Entry to the concert was free but due to limited seats, reservations were strongly recommended via email to eSACHERe reservations.
Czech cellist František Brikcius was born in Prague, into a family with a distinguished cultural background. From early childhood he began to play the cello and quickly developed into a competent student. He was accepted into the Janáček Academy of Music (JAMU) in Brno after completing his study of the absolutory at the Prague Conservatoire, under Professor Jaroslav Kulhan. As a student at JAMU, František studied in Bedřich Havlík’s cello class. He furthered his study at The Toho Gakuen Academy in Japan, and continues his studies today with master classes under the guidance of Professor Anna Shuttleworth in United Kingdom. He graduated from JAMU with an MgA degree, under the tutelage of Professor Evžen Rattay. Since his graduation, František Brikcius has actively participated in many international cello master classes, he has performed at many festivals across the world, and he has toured both as a solo artist and with his sister Anna Brikcius as "Duo Brikcius". He plays a "George Kriwalski" cello made in 1904. More information about the cellist can be found at his website www.Brikcius.com.
Some of the composers who took part in the eSACHERe project are very famous indeed, which shows the important influence that Sacher (and Rostropovich) had on the development of 20th Century music. Here is a very brief outline of the 12 composers involved:
Conrad Beck (1901-1989) - Swiss composer who benefitted from Sacher's support
Luciano Berio (1925-2003) - Italian experimental composer who spent some time in the USA
Pierre Boulez (1925) - French experimental composer and conductor
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) - English composer famous for his opera Peter Grimes
Henri Dutilleux (1916) - French composer who had composed a cello concerto for Rostropovich
Wolfgang Fortner (1907-1987) - German composer
Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) - Argentinian composer
Cristobal Halffter (1930) - Spanish composer
Hans Werner Henze (1926) - a German composer who worked for a time in Italy
Heinz Holliger (1939) - an oboist, composer and conductor from Switzerland
Klaus Huber (1924) - a Swiss composer
Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) - Polish composer who incorporated folk music ideas in his early works
The twelve compositions which make up the eSACHERe project are:
The premiere of the complete cycle of 12 works was performed by František Brikcius on Monday 9th May 2011 at 7pm. The free concert took place at the National Gallery in Prague - Convent of St Agnes of Bohemia (U Milosrdných 17, Praha 1). Entry to the concert was free, but due to limited seating, it was strongly recommended to reserve seats in advance - via email to eSACHERe reservations.
The concert was very successful with a capacity audience. At a future date we hope to include links to videos with excerpts of the concert, though a number of photos from the event have been posted at this page.