Back to All Events

Dvořák Prague Festival LIVE Simulcast at Bohemian National Hall

  • Bohemian National Hall 321 E 73rd St, 3rd Fl New York, NY USA (map)
Antonín Dvořák Lithograph by Oldřich Kulhánek, DAHA Archive

Antonín Dvořák Lithograph by Oldřich Kulhánek, DAHA Archive

Antonín Dvořák: Saint Ludmila Oratorio

Live from the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival 2018!

Courtesy of the Dvořák Prague Festival, Czech Television (CT) and Dvořák American Heritage Association

Admission Free, No Reservations Required, Seating is Limited, Doors Open at 1:30 PM

Program Notes

Dvořák: Saint Ludmila, Op. 71, B. 144

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall


  • Kateřina Kněžíková soprano

  • Alena Kropáčková mezzosoprano

  • Richard Samek tenor

  • Jozef Benci bass

  • Ondřej Koplík tenor

  • Prague Philharmonic Choir

  • Lukáš Vasilek choirmaster

  • Czech Philharmonic

  • Jakub Hrůša conductor

For more concert details, CLICK HERE!

Rudolfinum by Martin Divíšek

Rudolfinum by Martin Divíšek

The Dvořák American Heritage Association joins in celebrating the centennial of the founding of Czechoslovakia with a special simulcast of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival 2018 and its gala performance of the rarely heard oratorio Saint Ludmila by Antonín Dvořák, as it is broadcast live from Prague. The concert will take place in the Dvořák Hall of the historic Rudolfinum, where the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonic Choir, under the direction of Jakub Hrůša, will be joined by a stellar cast of Czech and Slovak singers, including soprano Kateřina Kněžíková.  It will be further amplified by a choir of 250 singers on an outdoor stage in the Jan Palach Plaza in front of the Rudolfinum. Dvořák's composition is based on the story of Saint Ludmila, the revered Bohemian saint; it was commissioned in 1885 for the Leeds Festival in England, and premiered there under Dvořák's direction in October 1886. 

The Dvoŕák Prague International Music Festival, established in 2008, is a preeminent annual music festival highlighting the works of world-famous Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) and featuring leading international vocal, instrumental, and orchestral performances. 

This is the first US broadcast of a Dvořák Prague Festival event.

Presented in collaboration with Consulate General of the Czech Republic

Supported by Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association

Dvořák Hall by Petra Hájska

Dvořák Hall by Petra Hájska

The Dvořák Prague Festival is dedicating its performance of Dvořák’s oratorio Saint Ludmila to the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. The work unites Christian symbolism with patriotism, two things of fundamental importance to the composer’s spiritual world. Logically, the performance has been entrusted to the country’s leading orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic with the Prague Philharmonic Choir under the baton of Jakub Hrůša, and the solo parts will be sung by leading Czech and Slovak artists.

The world premiere of the oratorio Saint Ludmila took place in October 1886 at the music festival in Leeds, which had commissioned a work “on a Biblical theme” from Dvořák after the triumphant success of his Stabat Mater. The master accepted the commission, but he insisted on a theme from Czech history, and he got his way. The libretto, inspired by the life of one of the most important Czech saints, Saint Ludmila, was written at Dvořák’s request by a leading Czech poet, Jaroslav Vrchlický. Dvořák took exceptional pride in the oratorio Saint Ludmila, and he put his utmost effort into working on it. It was one of the composer’s largest works in terms of both its length and the size of the vocal and instrumental forces it required. It is characterised by exceptional melodic inventiveness, elaborate polyphonic writing, and beauty of sound.