Juri Belohlevek’s six years with the BBC Symphony Orchestra had made him one of London’s most popular conductors, but he returned to his homeland five years ago prompted by the offer from the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to become their music director.
This year he was due to bring them on a tour of the UK that would include his much anticipated appearance in Leeds Town Hall next Saturday (February 10). Sadly, after many years of illness, he died suddenly just days after renewing his contract with the orchestra.
His place is to be taken by the Czech-born Tomas Netopil, who has been shaping a much acclaimed international career principally in the United States, having made his first UK appearance 11 years ago.
He is taking over the scheduled and highly popular programme devoted to Dvorak opening with two of the most familiar Slavonic Dances, and closing with the Ninth Symphony, better known by its subtitle ‘From the New World’.
The soloist in the Violin Concerto is the brilliant Josef Spacek, who became the concert-master of the Czech Philharmonic at the age of 25.
He now shares that position with his time as a concert soloist on both sides of the Atlantic, his recording of the work, with Belohlevek conducting, being rated among the finest performances on disc.
Tickets are available from the box office on 0113 3760318 or online via www.leedsconcertseason.com