Bio — Gabriela Demeterová

Gabriela Demeterová

Violin & Viola Virtuoso. Soloist for many world orchestras. The first Czech finalist in The Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 1987, and in 1993 the overall winner of all major prizes in that competition. The only person to ever achieve this accolade. Member of the Artistic Council of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. Acknowledged as “The Woman Of The Year 2005“ in a competition of the prestigious Prague Leaders Magazine…

Gabriela Demeterová

Background & Education

Gabriela started to play the violin at the age of three and gave her first public performance at the age of five. Thanks to her very profound classical music background, including her grandfather violinist Hynek Wolf who studied chamber music with composer Leos Janacek and premiered his famous Violin Sonata in Brno Conservatory, in Gabriela’s genes circulates the best of the famous Czech Classical Music tradition of Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana, Josef Suk and most particularly Leos Janacek, who’s clear vision of an interpretation of his music and his Violin Sonata has been passed on to Gabriela personally by her grandfather. Gabriela carries that precious Bohemian – European musical heritage and her performances and interpretations of world known and unknown violin and viola repertoire are therefore unique and very special in today’s world of uniform performers. Gabriela studied at the Prague Conservatory and at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts (AMU) under Prof. Nora Grumlikova. During her studies, she regularly took part in Master Classes all over the world with such renowned professors and violin players as Catherine Macintosh, John Holloway, Dora Schwarzberg, Joseph Gingold, Uzi Wiezel, Helmuth Rilling and many others. Very important for Gabriela’s artistic growth as a soloist were her personal consultations with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Ruggiero Ricci, Josef Suk and pianist Jan Panenka, who she was honoured to perform with. In 2000, Gabriela completed her two-year post-graduate Master Class Degree at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, where she studied under Marta Libalova. The specific rules of period performing practice she consulted with specialists in Holland.

Competitions and Awards

Since 1980, Gabriela has entered many national as well as international competitions and was awarded many prizes, among others in The Jaroslav Kocian International Violin Competition in Czech Republic. In 1987, she participated in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Great Britain becoming the very first Czech finalist. In 1993, she won in this competition all major prizes, including The Absolute Winner title, the Laureate title, The All Stages First Prize, The Audience Prize and a special prize for The Best Performance of Solo J. S. Bach’s Composition as the first All Prize Winner in the history of this competition. Gabriela also gained the 2nd prize, the Laureate title and The Prize of the Capital Town of Prague in the Prague Spring Violin Competition in 1992. In years 1992-1993 Gabriela was twice awarded the Premier Prix of The Czech Musical Foundation for her achievements and presentation of Czech culture on international competition stages. In 1996 Gabriela was nominated for the Talent of the Year Award by the Harmonie Magazine. Her videoclips, the first in classical music field, were nominated andawarded several times the prize “Pecka roku” by AČRA association. In June 2015, she received Grand Prix Award by The International Musical Festival Letohrad in Czech Republic for The Best Festival Performance in 2014.

The Woman Of The Year 2005

Gabriela was awarded The Women Of The Year 2005 title in the competition of the prestigious Prague Leaders Magazine. She gained this title for her contribution in the field of fine arts, recording, and her unique representation of the Czech culture all over the world. Gabriela was also included in The TOP 50 Most Interesting Women in Czech Republic.

Baroque Music

For many years, has Gabriela been involved in baroque music studies and performances; she plays a modern instrument using elements of period performing practice including a baroque bow. Since 1998, she has been using baroque tuning (A=415Hz), which is almost a halftone lower than that used today and has started to play a baroque violin. The result of the lower tuning is a better sound of the particular keys and their discord, a better possibility of work with upper partials, and a better tone-colour.

Viola

In 2001, Gabriela started to play the viola. She has become one of the few musicians who possesses the virtuoso technique on both instruments – the violin and the viola. She has recorded several CDs for Supraphon Records with Carl Stamitz – Violin and Viola Concertos and Duos. Recording both instruments, using a playback recording technique.

Instruments

Gabriela plays a violin signed Giuseppe Rocca – Genoa 1855, Italian Violin Maker and Guarneri del Jesu 1743. The latter instrument has been lent to Gabriela by The State Collection of Instruments of The National Museum in Prague, Czech Republic. The viola she plays was built exclusively for her by Dalibor Bzirsky, Czech Violin Maker, in 2006.

Media

Gabriela was between 2002 - 2004 the TV presenter of the Czech TV classical music programme “Terra Musica”, which maps the current world of culture. Since 2003, she has also been collaborating with the Czech Radio 3 Vltava Station. She composes programme “Rondo”, in which she presents remarkable recordings from the world of classical music. Gabriela also discusses classical music topics in the programme called “Matinee" on the same radio station.

Concerts

Gabriela gives concerts all over the World. In Europe, the USA, South America and Japan. She collaborates with notable ensembles and conductors from all over the world. Among her successes include Antonin Dvorak’s Violin Concerto conducted by Libor Pesek in Prague’s Rudolfinum, which brought her an exclusive contract with Supraphon Records, and her concerts with conductor Paavo Jarvi and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra preforming Sergei Prokofiev Violin Concerto N.1 and the European Premier of Erkki Sven-Tuur’s Violin Concerto. Interesting was her debut in Clowes Hall in Indianapolis, the USA. She performed with one of the best-known chamber ensembles in the USA, The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Kirk Trevor, the principal director. Again she appeared in the USA in Columbia, the capital of Missouri, at the prestigious Summer Music Festival. And many times in Arizona. In September 2004, Gabriela performed with huge success several performances of Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in Mexico City with The Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM conducted by the Chief Conductor Maestro Zuohuang Chen. The concerts were broadcast live across Latin America. In March 2005, she gave several highlyregarded concerts with Maestro Tadaaki Otaka and The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra in Japan. With her own ensemble Collegium of Gabriela Demeterova, she regularly takes a Christmas concert tour in Japan. Gabriela collaborates with contemporary composers. The latest collaboration is with Czech born composer and conductor Krystof Marek, who composed exclusively for Gabriela the Violin Concerto “Key to the Gardens”. Another of Krystof’s Violin Concerto for Gabriela will be premiered in 2016. Gabriela has been invited many times as a guest on crossover projects. She has been asked to appear as a special guest with popular Czech rock bands and singers as Olympic, Dan Barta, “Hundred Animals”, Krystof and recently with singer Noid, who invited Gabriela to be a special guest on his solo CD. Gabriela and Noid recorded together tango “Roxanne” by Sting from his musical Moulin Rouge, arranged by Krystof Marek. For more details about Gabriela’s concert projects visit.

Ensembles

Between 1995–2005, she was a soloist and artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic Collegium, her chamber ensemble. Its focus was performing baroque music and little-known pieces of Czech composers. Her solo-partner in performing baroque music is Prof. Giedre Luksaite - Mrazkova and Jaroslav Tuma (harpsichord, hammerklavier, organ), Petr Wagner (viola da gamba). Since 2003, she has also collaborated with pianists Rena Sharon, Norbert Heller, Nora Skuta, Ludek Sabaka. Since 2004, she performed together with guitarist Pavel Steidl and recently also with guitarist Ozren Mutak. In June 2005, Gabriela founded Collegium of Gabriela Demeterova. She is the soloist and artistic director of this ensemble. Gabriela performs with this ensemble very often. Besides classical performances of Vivaldi’s, Bach’s and other baroque composers Violin Concertos she performs on occasions all six Brandenburg Concertos by J. S. Bach, being not only conductor, artistic leader and violin soloist but also viola soloist in concerto N. 6. She performed this score with great success in Prague as a part of The Prague Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Series in 2011.

The Festival and The Endowment Fund of Gabriela Demeterova

In August 2001, Gabriela founded The International Music Festival “Baroque Pearls of Gabriela Demeterova“. It focused on support for young talented musicians, who could take part in Master Classes led by Gabriela and other renowned artists from all over the world during the festival. Another focus of the festival was the support of Czech historic monuments. One of these “baroque pearls” was at Manetin Castle near Pilsen, also at St. Nicolas’ Church in Kozojedy and Valec Hall… Generally, the support of the festival aimed at historic monuments in Pilsen-North region. In January 2003, she founded the Gabriela Demeterova Endowment Fund, which became the organiser of Gabriela’s festival. Its main goal is still the support of young musicians and reconstruction of historic monuments.

Recordings

Since 1994, she has recorded for Supraphon Records, where she released 13 solo CD’s, e.g. Viola Concertos and Sinfonias Concertante by Carl Stamitz, Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A minor with conductor Libor Pesek [the former Chief Conductor of The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra] and the Czech early baroque composer H.I.F. Biber’s Mystery Sonatas (the set). To celebrate the Year of J.S. Bach in 2000, Gabriela, together with Giedre Luksaite-Mrazkova, recorded all six Bach’s Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 using the baroque tuning. The recording of Six Duets by Carl Stamitz Op. 1 for Violin and Viola is considered a unique project, as she herself recorded both the violin and the viola parts. Together with pianist Norbert Heller, she has recorded Mozart’s sonatas for piano and violin. The set of five CD’s include all finished sonatas written by the mature composer. Both artists used historic instruments in lower tuning usual in the 18th century. Since 2003, she has also recorded for Classico, a Danish company, where she recorded four CD’s. In May 2005 a Czech Pop Group called “100 Animals“ released the DVD “Are You Crazy?“ with a live recording from Prague`s club Acropolle. Gabriela was the only classical music exclusive guest. She performed Petr Ostrouchov`s arrangements of the famous Largo from Antonin Dvorak`s The New World Symphony and the chart topping 100 Animals’s song “Lady With a Stork “. For more informations look on www.stozvirat.cz. Gabriela’s latest CD is Brahms’s Violin Concerto conducted by Douglas Bostock with The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. For the complete Gabriela’s Discography, please visit www.gabrielademeterova.com.

In 2014, Gabriela became a patron of The Emmy Destinn Foundation. Next to Sir Charles Mackerras, Libor Pesek, Sir John Tusa or Lady Grenfell - Baines. More on www.destinn.com. Gabriela will collaborate with the foundation through her concert performances. Gabriela has recently moved to the United Kingdom. Based in the lovely County of Shropshire, she is now moving many of her interesting concert projects to the British concert stages.