Praised for his remarkable range of colours, his confident and concentrated stagepresence, his virtuosity and technical poise as well as the beauty of his tone, Josef Špaček has gradually emerged as one of the leading violinists of his generation. His performances of a wide range of repertoire demonstrate his 'astonishing articulation and athleticism' (The Scotsman) and 'a richness and piquancy of timbre' (The Telegraph).
Highlights in the 2023/24 season include debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, as well as residency at the Residentie Orchestra The Hague and return to WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln.
He appears with orchestras including the Bamberg Symphony, Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He collaborates with eminent conductors such as Thomas Adès, Jiří Bělohlávek, Anja Bihlmaier, Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Manfred Honeck, Jakub Hrůša, Eliahu Inbal, Cornelius Meister, Tomáš Netopil, Petr Popelka, Kristiina Poska, Michael Sanderling, Thomas Søndergård, Krzysztof Urbański, and David Zinman.
Josef Špaček equally enjoys giving recitals and playing chamber music, and is a regular guest at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe (among others at the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, the Kronberg Academy, the Verbier and Rosendal Festivals and at Schloss Elmau), Asia and the USA (among others at Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., 92Y in New York, La Jolla in San Diego, the ChamberFest Cleveland and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival).
Supraphon released a highly praised recording of Dvořák and Janáček Violin Concertos, and Fantasy of Suk, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek. The Sunday Times wrote 'The violinist’s individual, deeply considered and virtuosic account of Dvořák’s solo part is the highlight of this keenly conceived programme', adding that 'in this repertoire, Špaček is second to none today.' It was the Recording of the Week of The Sunday Times, Recording of the Month & of the Year of MusicWeb International, and received ★★★★★ in Diapason. Other recordings to date are a recital disc with works for violin and piano by Smetana, Janáček and Prokofiev with pianist Miroslav Sekera on Supraphon, works for violin solo and violin and piano by H.W. Ernst on Naxos, and an early CD with the complete Sonatas for Solo Violin by Eugène Ysaÿe.
Josef Špaček studied with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School in New York, Ida Kavafian and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and with Jaroslav Foltýn at the Prague Conservatory. He was laureate of the International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and won top prizes at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.
Josef Špaček performs on the ca. 1732 “LeBrun; Bouthillard” Guarneri del Gesù violin, generously on loan from Ingles & Hayday.