This year the festival will celebrate the 336th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach, the 180th anniversary of the birth of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla, the 100th anniversary of the death of Camille Saint-Saëns and Make Music Day.
Cello events will be held both online and live. Waltham Forest Cello Fest will be hosting concerts, underground lunchtime recitals, the cello weekend, and cello academy.
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Czech cellist František Brikcius was born in Prague, into a family with a distinguished cultural background. He has been playing the cello since early childhood. Following his cello studies at the Prague Conservatoire, he completed his Master's degree at the Janáček Academy of Music (JAMU) in the Czech republic. He furthered his cello skills at the Toho Gakuen Academy in Japan and later under the guidance of legendary cellist Prof. Anna Shuttleworth (student of Pablo Casals) in the United Kingdom (Eton Cello Master Classes and the University of Leeds).
He won the 2nd prizes at the Anglo-Czech Competition in London (1999), the International String Competition London (2000) and the International String Competition Jihlava (2003). He has been awarded many scholarships and fellowships, including the Czech Music Foundation (CHF), the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Music Foundation OSA, the Socrates-Erasmus, and the Gideon Klein Foundation for the propagation of works written by Jewish Holocaust Composers.
František chose to dedicate his life to the interpretation of cello compositions written by composers of the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, giving special consideration to compositions for solo cello. His favourites are cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach, Max Reger, Ernest Bloch and Benjamin Britten.
Irena Kosíková - Organ, Composition
Czech organist and composer Irena Kosíková was born in Prague into the intellectual family of prohibited philosopher Karel Kosík and literary scientist Růžena Grebeníčková, the Herder prize laureate.
She began her organ studies with Prof. Jan Hora, together with piano lessons given by Prof. Eliška Kleinová and Prof. Arnoštka Grünfeldová. Irena Kosíková studied organ performance (Prof. Jaroslava Potměšilová) and conducting (Prof. Karel Fiala) at Ježek's Conservatory. For political reasons she was refused to further her studies. She took private composition lessons with Prof. Miroslav Raichl.
Finally after the Velvet Revolution she was accepted at the Janáček Academy of Music (JAMU) in Brno into the organ class of Prof. Alena Veselá and Prof. Kamila Klugarová. She graduated at the Academy of Music (HAMU) in Prague, under the guidance of Prof. Josef Popelka.