Michael Beckerman is Carroll and Milton Petrie Chair and Collegiate Professor of Music at New York University. He is author of New Worlds of Dvořák (W.W. Norton, 2003), Dvořák and His World (Princeton University Press, 1993), Janáček and His World (Princeton, 2004), Janáček as Theorist (Pendragon Press, 1994), and Martinů's Mysterious Accident (Pendragon, 2007), as well as articles on Mozart, Brahms, film scoring, music of the Roma (Gypsies), exiled composers, music in the camps and Czech music. He has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times, was a regular guest on Live from Lincoln Center, and has appeared on other radio and television programs in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He is a Laureate of the Czech Music Council and has twice received the Deems Taylor Award. He served as a Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University (2011–2015) and was The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic (2016-17). In 2014. Beckerman received an honorary doctorate from Palacký and in 2021 he was awarded the Gratias Agit Award from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Harrison Medal from the Society of Musicology in Ireland. In 2022 he will receive an honorary doctorate from Masaryk University.
Prof. Jarmila Gabrielova is a prominent Czech musicologist. She studied piano at Prague Conservatory and Musicology and Nordic Studies at Charles University in Prague. Since 1976 she has worked at the Philosophical Faculty at Charles University. Beginning at the Music History Department, she later worked at the Departments of Music Theory and History, then Film and theatre, before ending up at the Institute of Musicology. She was appointed professor in 20020. She gives lectures and courses at universities and other institutions in the USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Since 2003, she has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Martinů Complete Critical Edition.
Tomáš Hanus was born in Brno in 1970; at the conservatoire there between 1984–90 he studied violin with Bohumil Kotmel and conducting with Alois Veselý. From 1990-95 he was a conducting student of Jiří Bělohlávek at the Janáček Academy in Brno. He has worked with most Czech orchestras, being a frequent guest with the Prague Philharmonic between 1995 and 2006, as well as with the Czech philharmonic and at Prague’s National Theatre. From 2007 to 2009 he conducted at the National Theatre in Brno, including performances of Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen and Martinů’s Julietta.
Hanus is now in great demand in opera houses internationally; since his debut appearance at the Vienna State Opera, conducting Rusalka in 2017, he has made guest appearances there every year. In 2016, he took up the post of Music Director of Welsh National Opera in Cardiff. His appearances there have been widely acclaimed – not least for his advocacy of the Czech operatic repertory. Highlights of his tenure so far have included a deeply moving presentation based around Hans Krása’s opera Brundibar and an ‘intense and thrilling’ new production of Janáček’s Věc Makropulos.
British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a uniquely varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster. He appears with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and gives recitals in major musical centres. He has organised chamber music series for many prestigious venues, including London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd St Y, and the Salzburg Festival. He also directs chamber orchestras from the cello in classical programmes. He has a strong interest in historical performance, working with many period-instrument orchestras and giving recitals with harpsichord and fortepiano. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has given many premieres of new works, including Sir John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, Thomas Adès’s Lieux retrouvés, three works for solo cello by György Kurtág, and pieces by Heinz Holliger and Jörg Widmann. His extensive discography includes two complete recordings of the Martinů cello sonatas with pianists Peter Evans and Olli Mustonen respectively. Since 1997, Steven has been Artistic Director of the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Cornwall. He has received many awards, including a CBE in recognition of his services to music, the Schumann Prize of the City of Zwickau, the Piatigorsky Prize and Maestro Foundation Genius Grant in the U.S, the Glashütte Award in Germany, the Gold Medal awarded by the Armenian Ministry of Culture, and the Wigmore Medal.
The pianist Giorgio Koukl was born in Prague in 1953. In 1968 he moved to Switzerland (where he still lives), completing his piano studies at the conservatories of Zurich and Milan. He first encountered the music of Martin ů at a masterclass given by the composer ’s close friend Rudolf Firkušný. He has recorded all of Martinů ’s concertante piano works and is the only pianist to record all Martinů’s works for solo piano. Many of the early pieces, unknown and unpublished, required a great deal of scholarly effort to track down and prepare for performance. Not content with this, Koukl went on to accomplish the equally Herculean task of recording all of Martin ů’s songs with soprano Jana Hrochová. Without doubt, his contribution to our present understanding of Martinů’s early career is second to none.
Olli Mustonen has a unique place on today’s music scene, active as pianist, conductor and composer. He began to take piano lessons at the age of five; twenty years later, he received the Gramophone magazine Instrumental award for 1992 with his debut recording of Shostakovich and Alkan preludes. He has performed with many of the world's great orchestras, the concertos of Beethoven, Prokofiev and Bartók being especially important to him. In 2021, he became principal conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Finland, where the promotion of his compatriots' music (both past and present) is a priority. He is equally in demand internationally in this role, appearing with Camerata Zurich, the Prague Philharmonia and the Vienna Radio Symphony and many other orchestras.
Mustonen began studying composition with the renowned Einojuhani Rautavaara in 1975. He has also acknowledged Martinů's influence on aspects of his compositional style. He has recorded the complete set of Martinů Cello Sonatas with Steven Isserlis, the set appropriately also containing Mustonen's own much-admired sonata for the instrument. In 2023, he released a recording of Martinů’s Third Piano concerto and welcomes any chance to promote Martinů's "endlessly fascinating" music.
Frank Peter Zimmermann is widely regarded as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. Born in 1965 in Duisburg, Germany, he started violin lessons with his mother when he was 5 years old. He later studied with Valery Gradov, Saschko Gawriloff and Herman Krebbers and is now regarded as one of the foremost violinists of his generation. He has performed with all the major orchestras of the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and all the big American orchestras. He is a regular guest at major music festivals, such as Salzburg, Edinburgh and Lucerne. Over the years, Frank Peter Zimmermann has built up an impressive discography and has recorded virtually all the major concerto repertoire. His recording of Martinů concertos on BIS was Recording of the Month for January 2021 in Gramphone magazine and appeared on its awards shortlist later that year.