One of the foremost cellists of his generation, JIŘÍ BÁRTA studied with Josef Chuchro in Prague and Boris Pergamenschikov in Cologne. He has performed as both chamber musician and concerto soloist with leading artists and orchestras at major halls and festivals throughout Europe, the Americas, Japan and Australia. He has been featured on national television in most European countries and broadcast on many radio stations. Mr. Bárta also has a long history of advocating new music, and has premiered works written for him by leading Czech composers such as Petr Eben or Marek Kopelent. His recordings for Supraphon include Dvořák’s two cello concertos, Bach’s Six Cello Suites, a live recording of cello concertos by Dmitri Shostakovich, conducted by Maxim Shostakovich, and the Kodaly Solosonata. His “Reflection” disc explores links between old and contemporary music in short works by composers such as Messiaen, Strauss, Pärt, Zemek, and Saint Saëns, and won the Harmonie Award for best classical CD in the Czech Republic.
Mr. Barta also appeared on a song-recital disc by Magdalena Kozvená on Deutsche Grammophon, which won a Gramophone Award in 2004. His first Hyperion CD of sonatas by Moscheles and Hummel received great critical acclaim, followed by a Hyperion disc of both cello sonatas by Anton Rubinstein with pianist Hamish Milne. A Supraphon disc of concertos by Martinů, Foerster and Novak with Prague Philharmonia/Jakub Hrůša released in 2009 was awarded by another Gramophone “Editor’s Choice.” In 2008 Mr. Bárta co-founded Kutna Hora International Chamber Music Festival, which quickly established itself as one of the major and unorthodox music events on Czech music scene. He is a winner of the Hammer-Rostropovich Award in Los Angeles and Europäische Förderpreis für Musik in Dresden. He lives in Prague with his wife Elif, daughter Ayla, a budding musician, and son Josef, a budding motorcyclist. The Newport Music Festival welcomes Mr. Bárta to his sixteenth inspirational season.