Jakub Hrůša was named the inaugural winner of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize on 7 November at the Janáček Theatre in Brno. The award, endowed by a bequest from the late conductor and bestowed by the Leoš Janáček Foundation once per decade, honours an outstanding young artist dedicated to celebrating and promoting the composer’s work abroad.
Eva Drlíková, the foundation’s director, said that Mr Hrůša was awarded the prize for his significant artistic contribution and his symphonic and operatic interpretations of Janáček’s work on some of the world’s greatest stages.
Mr Hrůša said, “I’m honoured that I’m receiving this beautiful prize. It’s also a big inspiration for me, especially in the context of my current work on a new production of The Makropulos Affair at the Vienna State Opera. Janáček is right in the centre of my musical life and I have loved him since my childhood.”
Mr Hrůša is Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In September, he was announced as the next Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, a position he will assume from the 2016/17 season.
Born in Brno and described by Gramophone as “on the verge of greatness”, his recent highlights include two major series with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Bohemian Legends and The Mighty Five, and debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, DSO Berlin and the Russian National Orchestra.
In addition to the new production of The Makropulos Affair, 2015/16 highlights include highly anticipated debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and Frankfurt Opera. He will also conduct Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival.