Quarter Tone by Karel Ančerl

Quarter Tone by Karel Ančerl

Concert Dedicated to the Memory of the Terezín Prisoners‘ String Orchestra

Karel Ančerl - world premiere

Georg Friedrich Händel - Concerto Grosso in F Major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - A Little Night Music
Johann Sebastian Bach - Violin Concer to in E Major
Josef Suk - Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale
Pavel Haas - Study for Strings
Karel Ančerl - Composition for String Orchestra in Quar ter Tones
Antonín Dvořák - Serenade for Strings in E Major

Projection of archive materials

String Orchestra AUKSO TYCHY with Soloist and Concertmaster
of the Czech Philharmonic Jiří Vodička and Harpsichordist Edita Keglerová

The memorial evening will be presented by Ester Janečková

organised by the production company FREESAM - www.freesam.org

In October, 2024, it will have been 80 years since the members of the String Orchestra that performed in the Terezín ghetto under the direction of Conductor Karel Ančerl were sent to their deaths. After the transport to the Auschwitz extermination camp, not only almost all the musicians, but also Ančerl's entire family were murdered. They were also deported from the Terezín fortress. Karel Ančerl's wife and his young son were murdered. On the occasion of this tragic anniversary, a concert will be held in memory of the Terezín Prisoners' Orchestra.


Ančerl founded an orchestra in Terezín composed of ghetto prisoners. He staged two concert programmes with it. One composed of works by the "Aryan" composers J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel and W. A. Mozart and the other, boldly consisting exclusively of Czech composers A. Dvořák, P. Haas and J. Suk. Both of these parts will be performed in their reprise in the Dvořák Hall of Prague's Rudolfinum, the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, of which Ančerl served as chief conductor for many years. The concert will be expanded with Karel Ančerl's original music - Composition for String Orchestra in Quarter Tones. Its original score was found in the conductor's estate and will now be performed in a world premiere. The interpretation will be performed by Polish Conductor Marek Moś and the AUKSO TYCHY String Orchestra, symbolically based near Auschwitz. The Violin Concerto in E major by J. S. Bach will be performed by Soloist and Concertmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Jiří Vodička. He will be accompanied by the leading Czech Harpsichordist Edita Keglerová. 


The public premiere of a composition by one of the world's greatest conductors of the twentieth century, together with a commemoration of the horrors of the Holocaust, will be an extraordinary musical and social event. The presence of the soloist of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra will be reminiscent of a concert played in front of the Gestapo. The programme will be accompanied by a projection of the orchestra's footage from Terezín and the only surviving interview with Karel Ančerl, in which he comments on the murder of his family. The memorial evening will be introduced by the moderator Ester Janečková.


The legacy of Karel Ančerl has long been the focus of the musician Ivan Bierhanzl together with Ančerl's granddaughter Maximiliane. They have not only contributed to the discovery of the unknown works of the world-famous conductor, but are also the initiators of the upcoming concert. It will be simultaneously recorded as part of the filming of a documentary about the life of Karel Ančerl, produced by FREESAM and co-produced by Czech Television.