PAVEL SPORCL

Pavel Šporcl is a Czech violinist of global repute, a direct successor to the famous tradition of the Czech violin school. His artistic abilities and unconventional performances have won him praise and appreciation from audiences of all generations on the greatest stages of the world. He is generally considered the most popular Czech musician of our time in the classical music scene.

Pavel Šporcl is regarded as a very distinctive and powerfully artistic personality. He is the only Czech violinist of the younger generation to be named in Violin Virtuosos: From Paganini to the 21st Century, a major work by the world-renowned critic and historian Henry Roth. Following his performance of Dvořák’s violin concerto with the Czech Philharmonic at the Rudolfinum in Prague in the 2001/2002 concert season, critics lauded Pavel Šporcl as a talent the likes of which is born only once in a century.

Audiences from around the world have had the opportunity to hear his violin play in prominent concert venues, such as Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, or Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. He enjoyed a highly successful debut in New York’s Carnegie Hall in February 2016. He also “sold out” the legendary Prague concert venue Lucerna several times. He has performed at some of the greatest music festivals in the world (Salzburger Festspiele, Prague Spring, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Festival Radio France, Brucknerfest, Festival international de Colmar). He has worked with world-famous orchestras (Czech Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Prague Philharmonia) and eminent conductors (V. Ashkenazy, L. Pešek, J. Bělohlávek, V. Fedoseyev, Y. P. Tortelier, A. Nelsons, R. Minczuk, J. J. Kantorow, J. Axelrod). Pavel Šporcl also performs with other brilliant musicians (J. Suk, S. Mintz, N. Lugansky, M. Esfahani, M. Rysanov, P. Gallois, V. Larderet, J. Boušková, J. Bárta). He is not afraid to collaborate with artists from different genres (K. Gott, E. Pilarová, L. Filipová, V. Dyk, E. Farna, and music bands: Kryštof, Čechomor, Olympic, Hradišťan).

The extensive repertoire of this leading Czech violinist consists of over 40 violin concertos and a myriad of sonatas, chamber works, and virtuosic compositions. Besides accentuating the great figures of Czech music, he also works with contemporary composers, and his core classical repertoire is augmented by works from other genres. His admiration for the accomplishments of Gipsy violin virtuosos led to two successful albums, Gipsy Way and Gipsy Fire. He established a Gipsy cimbalom band, Gipsy Way Ensemble, with which he has performed more than 350 concerts in numerous countries all over the world, including the US and China. In 2012 he recorded his first pop-crossover album, Sporcelain, which he premiered in an uncommon Prague venue – Terminal 2 of Václav Havel Airport.

Šporcl persistently popularises and promotes classical music. Throughout his career he has played scores of concerts for schools and children, which are extraordinarily well received by young people. Since 2017, Czech Television has broadcast Pavel Šporcl’s Music Pearls, in which the violin virtuoso introduces the youngest generation of viewers to classical music. He also teaches at workshops for adolescents.

Through his art he supports fundraising projects for charities and non-profit organisations (Srdce pro děti, Nadace Adra, Kapka naděje, Naše dítě, Běh pro Paraple, Pomozte dětem, Hodonín Local Charity, Oliva Children’s Sanatorium, collection for the St Vitus Organ, Agnes of Bohemia Hospice, relief for flood-stricken areas). He is a benefactor of the “Czech quintuplets”, Post Bellum, and others in need. He has also taken up the patronage of Czech SOS Villages, the Foster Family Centre in Hradec Králové, the National Autism Institution (NAUTIS), and the Orion Centre in Rychnov, which helps families with handicaps.

Media presence is a major aspect of Šporcl’s career. He regularly appears in broadcasts by all national TV channels in the Czech Republic and has performed in RTV and TV Markíza (Slovakia), TV Asahi (Japan), or ARTE (Europe). Radio audiences have enjoyed Šporcl’s art both at home and on Slovak Radio, the BBC, Radio France, KUSC Los Angeles, and other radio stations around the world.

Šporcl’s recordings are keenly received by both critics and the broader public. He has released 16 solo albums, with overall sales exceeding 200,000 units. Many of them have won awards (Gramophone, The Strad, The Diapason). His latest album, Christmas on the Blue Violin, was released by Universal Music and placed in the TOP 10 of 2017 across all genres and performers. Most of his records have been certified gold or platinum for sales. Besides major labels like Universal Music, Supraphon, Warner, or EMI, Šporcl has also recorded for Cedille, Three Fold Record, Arco Diva, Šporcl Arts Agency, and other music publishers.

Recent years have brought further success to Šporcl as a composer and arranger. His works can be heard both at live performances and on a number of his albums (Sporcelain, My Violin Legends, Gipsy Way, Gipsy Fire, Christmas on the Blue Violin, Kde domov můj). His Bohemian Nostalgia for violin and piano won the OSA Award for Classical Music in 2015. Christmas on the Blue Violin includes another of his compositions, Prayer for violin, symphony orchestra, and children’s choir. The pop hit Surprise ranked in the TOP 50 and enjoyed success in domestic radio charts. His Variations for Solo Violin on the Czech National Anthem support a positive approach to national pride.

Pavel Šporcl takes an intense interest in the history of the Czech violin school and famous Czech violinists. He is a direct successor to the tradition of the best Czech violinists ever to have lived: Ševčík–Kocian–Snítil–Šporcl. Besides organising seminars on this topic, he was also the screenwriter and presenter of a six-part documentary series for Czech Television, titled Czech Violin Legends. He often performs the works of these virtuosos at his own recitals.

He is widely acknowledge as an artist and as a personality by both the general public and critics. In 2014 he was appointed as Ambassador of Good Will for the Year of Exchange between the Visegrád Group and Japan. In 2015 he won Czech Radio’s nationwide poll for Charming Personality of the Year, and he is a recipient of the Medal of Merit of the Czech Republic.

His unforgettable achievements and service to the world in the field of culture were also recognised in 2018 with the Sri Chimnoy Torch Bearer Award. Šporcl received the award together with the well-known Hollywood actor Richard Kind in front of the UN Headquarters in New York. His moral and ethical endeavours earned him the epithet of “global humanist” at the ceremony.

Besides his superb skill, Šporcl is also famous for his open approach to classical music, which he uses to promote the art among audiences from all generations. He also gained public endearment for his highly informal attitude and style of clothing, creating an easy-going appeal – with a stylised “pirate” scarf on his head and jeans.

Pavel Šporcl was born in České Budějovice. He attended a conservatoire and studied at the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Professor Václav Snítil. He furthered his violin education at prestigious institutions in the US (Juilliard School, Brooklyn College, SMU Dallas) and under the guidance of eminent teachers (D. DeLay, I. Perlman, M. Kawasaki, E. Schmieder). He has been teaching the violin at his alma mater in Prague since 2011.

Pavel Šporcl is a patron of the Kocian Violin Competition and the Znojmo Music Festival. He has served as artistic director of Kocianovo Ústí since 2016. He is also the director and chief executive of ŠPORCL ARTS Agency, which represents Czech and foreign artists. Its motto is “When stars shine”.

Šporcl plays on a unique blue violin, made for the twenty-first century by the best Czech contemporary luthier, Jan Špidlen, which he commissioned in 2005. He uses bows by Petr Auředník and Warchal strings.

Pavel Šporcl loves his family. He and his wife, the actress Bára Šporclová Kodetová, are raising three daughters.

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