The Czech Nonet, one of the oldest chamber ensembles in the world, is quite unique not only for its three-quarters of century long and successful work but also for its original combination of instruments. In 1924 when the students of Prague Conservatory had founded the ensemble being inspired by the Spohr’s Nonet, hardly anybody have realized that this particular group of musicians would so soon have gained such high reputation among music-loving people. The ensemble immediately attracted the enthusiastic attention of general public and music critics. Its rise created completely new phenomenon of wide and specialized repertoire composed exclusively for the interpretation by one ensemble. The existence of the Czech Nonet namely has given an impulse for the rise of many compositions (up to now 300 works) dedicated by both Czech and foreign outstanding authors like J. B. Foerster, A. Haba, B. Martinu, S. Prokofjev or W. Lutoslawski. The Czech Nonet has always been an enthusiastic and successful promoter of their music all over the world.
The instrumental composition featuring violin, viola, violoncello, contrabass and a wind quintet offers inexhaustible abundance of rich and colorful combinations thus its full sound resembles that of a chamber orchestra. However the concert programs can be drawn up and performed by the entire nonet or by the solo players accompanied by strings (quartets and quintets by W. A. Mozart, A. Rejcha etc.). The basic arrangement can also be extended with other instruments (e.g. second violin, harp, piano, harpsichord, percussion) that together with the excellent singers allow the presentation of the unusually high number of very interesting and rarely performed compositions. The members of the ensemble have been noted throughout its long history for outstanding musicians, masters of their instruments, well known as soloists from many concert halls as well as studio recordings. It is not surprising to discover that this group, which has continually been winning the highest critical praise, has traveled around the world and has appeared at the most prestigious international festivals.
Interpretation of art work of Czech Nonet has been recorded on the LP’s and CD’s released by the Supraphon and Panton recording companies and in the recent time in the Praga Digitals edition for the French Harmonia Mundi company, which is the exclusive partner of the ensemble. The CD with the B. Martinu chamber works was awarded the best prize of the prestigious journal Repertoire.
The Czech Nonet has always been an enthusiastic promoter of the ’classical’ as well as contemporary classic music. The Czech Nonet concerts by all means enrich the concert seasons and festival programmes.