JAN ŠKRDLÍK, Cello



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Jan Škrdlík comes from a musical family. His teachers Jan Hališka (a professor at the Ostrava Conservatory) and Miroslav Doležil (a primary school teacher) had studied under Bohuš Heran, a private pupil of Hanuš Wihan, founder of the Czech Quartet. In 1987-1991 he studied at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Brno under Professor Bedřich Havlík, a member of the Moravian Quartet. Further development was shaped by Josef Chuchro and Daniel Veis. An opportunity to study under Spanish virtuoso Luis Claret in Barcelona proved a milestone on the path to gathering experience and knowledge.
The number of concerts that Jan Škrdlík has given over the past twenty years runs easily into four figures. In the early 1990s He joined the Wallinger Quartet, a highly respected chamber music ensemble, a position that brought with it many opportunities to perform in the Czech Republic and beyond. The Wallinger Quartet concerts apart, Jan Škrdlík also performed in violoncello recitals and later became a soloist with various orchestras. Jan Škrdlík also collaborated with other chamber music ensembles and helped establish, among others, Ardor musicus, the Czech Baroque Trio, the Gideon Trio and Ensemble Messiaen. In 2004 he help establish the ensemble known as the Brno Chamber Soloists ensemble, which specialises in 19th- and 20th-century music. A year later he toured the USA with them as soloist; in the course of six weeks he performed on 35 stages and critics in Miami lauded his performance as “a sensation”1).
In 2007, the theft of Jan Škrdlík’s violoncello inspired what was possibly the first instrumental classical music video in history2). The instrument, a precious product of the craft of Adam Emanuel Homolka in 1842, was stolen from his studio; news of the crime merited a spot on TV news and the violoncello was returned. A year later, this led to the innovative Claude Debussy - Sonate pour violoncelle et piano, set as a short film narrative, with mime, an imaginative performance based on events around the “crime”. A Czech-Slovak team, including Czech film director Milan Růžička, created the film, which Škrdlík later used as part of multimedia concerts; it was employed as back-projection for live performances. Several films made for similar purposes followed.
In 1997-2009 Jan Škrdlík taught violoncello and chamber music performance at the Brno Conservatory. Some of his students went on to work with him on the organisation of a variety of musical projects, or became players in ensembles that he led. Further pedagogical activities include teaching violoncello interpretation courses in Murcia, Spain in 2003 and international courses in baroque music in Kelč in 2009 and elsewhere. His teaching aims to support the natural musical development of the student with respect to the development of her/his personality; it is far less concerned with criticism of performance.
After twenty years on the Czech music scene Jan Škrdlík has come to realise that Czech society lacks a wider base of enthusiastic amateur musicians that might promote interest in classical music. Since 2004 he has helped organise interpretation courses in Opočno, and led them, providing a milieu in which amateur musician can play alongside conservatory students and university-trained musicians.
The artistic scope of Jan Škrdlík reaches from the authentic baroque styles all the way to the traditional Czech romantic and neo-romantic expressive school. Various European critics concur about the characterization of Škrdlík's musical interpretation. W. Tagesblatt emphasizes his “distinct and unfailing management of tones even in the most treacherous parts of the composition.” Holland's H.Dagblad wrote about him, “He is outstanding, with vivid sounds and impressionable tones.” The magazine Harmonie in a review of his profile CD writes about “a refined tone and quality technical preparedness.”

1) (Reviewer of The Miami Herald, 10/2, 2005, Lawrence Budmen, wrote: “...ensemble's principal cellist, Jan Skrdlik, gave an exhilarating account of the Concerto in C Minor by Johann Christian Bach. Skrdlik commands a huge tonal palette and bold, fearless virtuosity in the manner of Lynn Harrell. He imbued the grave, noble, slow movement with a rich, darkly burnished sound of molten lava and displayed daredevil agility in the concluding Allegro...”)
2) Taťána Kuxová, Magazine Metropolitan, Volume 3, VII/VIII, 2008, p.19



Jan Škrdlík Jan Škrdlík at the Shirehall, Hereford, a review by Peter Williams (2017):
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"…Jan intensively alive to every nuance in music that he seemed to be discovering for the first time as he played.

His brain and heart, the bow in his hand, drew from his 250-year-old cello whatever kind of response he sought. The sounds could be beautiful, sweet as honey, or rough, rustic, urgent, as the player responded to the music’s deepest demands. It was a joy and a privilege…"

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Nothing compares to the pleasure                             
of performing for a delighted audience ↑            


Audio:
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L. VAN BEETHOVEN Cello Sonata A major, Op. 69, No. 3
   Allegro, ma non tanto:
   
   Scherzo. Allegro molto:
   
   Adagio cantabile. Allegro vivace:
   

Jan Škrdlík, Cello; Petra Besa, Piano
Shire Hall, Hereford, UK, 11/14/2015, Live
     BOHUSLAV MARTINŮ Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano, H. 286
   Poco andante. Moderato:
   
   Andante:
   
   Allegro ma non Presto:
   

Jan Škrdlík, Cello; Petra Besa, Piano
Shire Hall, Hereford, UK, 11/12/2016, Live


HAYDEN WAYNE Dances for Cello and Piano
   Reggae Animato:
   
   Moderato:
   
   Vivace:
   

Jan Škrdlík, Cello; Petra Besa, Piano
Brno, Czech Republic, 12/2-3/2004
     CLAUDE DEBUSSY Sonate pour violoncelle et piano
   Prologue. Lent
   Sérénade et Final. Modérément animé. Final Animé


Jan Škrdlík, Cello; Petra Besa, Piano
Brno, Czech Republic, 3/28/2006 (videoklip 2008)


Photos of Jan Škrdlík in high resolution:
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Jan Škrdlík Jan Škrdlík Jan Škrdlík Jan Škrdlík Jan Škrdlík Jan Škrdlík
Jan Škrdlík

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