zamek-z-dalkyThe Litomyšl International String Master Class was founded in 1996 by Prof. Milan Vitek in collaboration Ms. Anna Rychnovská and Mr. Radomil Kašpar, who were enthusiastic about adding this cultural event to the already renowned Smetana’s Litomyšl Opera Festival, founded in 1949, which takes place just prior to the string master class.

Very quickly, it became apparent that Litomyšl presented a perfect venue for a string master class, with first-class facilities and numerous opportunities for concerts and student recreation within the setting of a small, historical town. Prof. Vitek became the Artistic Director of the master class, while Mr. Radomil Kašpar became its Executive Director. The master class was realized through the financial support of the Danish Augustinus Fonden foundation as well as the prominent Danish foundations Beckett-Fonden and Jacob Gades Legat.

Student interaction with fellow violinists from other countries was one of Prof. Vitek’s prime objectives for founding the master class. In Prof. Vitek’s own words:

“As a young violinist in communist Czechoslovakia, I and my fellow students had almost no opportunity to travel so we could interact with string players and teachers from other countries. Whenever one of our fellow students returned from a competition or concert abroad, we would eagerly “interrogate” them about how various pieces were performed in other countries and the latest trends in string music playing. This experience convinced me of the importance of creating an environment, where students from all over the world can meet for intensive studies with an outstanding international faculty, develop friendships and exchange ideas among themselves.”

During its existence, the master class has hosted students from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway,Spain, Sweden and the United States.

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