Harmonia Mozartiana Pragensis is a group whose activity is devoted principally to performances of the works of Mozart and his Czech contemporaries. These were the subjects of ten concerts in their 2000-2001 concert season ”Bohemia - Austria”, which was supported in principle by the Czech Commission for UNESCO. The HMP ensemble is made up of members of the foremost orchestras in Prague.
In June 2001, Richard Hein, conductor-in-chief of the State Opera in Prague, became artistic director of HMP. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ensemble’s existence in 2004, the HMP organized the first year of a session called Honey Afternoon which has since then taken place every year in the small town of Zadní Tøebaò near Prague. These afternoons concentrate on promotion of non-conform culture, bee-keeping with its products and rare cultural activities.
Alongside concert series which the ensemble organises itself, HMP has also participated in various activities organised by a Czech travel organisation, Visit Czech 2000, for example, at the celebrations to bid farewell to participants before their departure for the Sydney Olympics, att he festival ”Toujours Mozart” in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague, (organised by a Munich international foundation for the support of culture and civilisation in Salzburg, Prague and Vienna), at an international Festival of Chamber Music in Český Krumlov, and at the inauguration of the academic year at the European Comenius Foundation in Cheb.
In 2006, the ensemble was invited to give a concert of Mozart’s compositions at the villa Bertramka (where Mozart used to stay when in Prague) at the Prague Spring festival. In July 2007 the HMP will take part in the 16th International Music Festival in Český Krumlov organized by the Auviex agency.
Harmonia Mozartiana Pragensis devotes constant attention to performing contemporary music. Every season since 2005, the ensemble gives a concert to close the season based on the works of contemporary Czech composers whose compositions are included frequently in the ensemble’s programmes. The ensemble itself initiated a number of new musical works.
The genre of wind music to which HMP is dedicated lies predominantly in the classical period of music and is written for changeable pairs of wind instruments - mainly oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons. It gained great popularity in many aristocratic homes and even at the Imperial Court. This music is unusually effective and has an appeal which communicates itself to the contemporary audience, too.
Reviews of HMP’s activities are published in both specialist publications and daily papers in the Czech Republic.
The ensemble’s work has been supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Prague, the French Cultural Institute in Prague, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, the Czech Music Fund, the foundation Life of the Artist, the foundation for the Protection of Authors’ Rights, etc.
HMP’s repertoire is very extensive and can suit both concerts and a variety of dramatic works:
Symphonic - contemporary arrangements: Beethoven’s 1st Symphony and Haydn’s Oxford Symphony
Romantic - serenades of DvoÍák, Brahms and Richard Strauss
Opera - contemporary arrangements of Mozart’s operas Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan tutte from the Schwarzenberg Archive in Český Krumlov. As a comparison, we have now prepared arrangements of operas by Mozart’s contemporaries, who were in their day important composers - A. Salieri and Martin y Soler
Christmas - pastorales by Czech masters and Christmas carols, or also a sequence of Christmas carols with children’s choir
Sacred - Haydn’s Creation in a contemporary arrangements by J. Družecký (music in preparation)
Hunting music - compositions on hunting themes by Czech masters
Classical - from the rich heritage of Czech and European masters, principally from the classical period
Contemporary - HMP regularly includes one contemporary work in its programmes