Robert Pacourek: Musical appreciation I have from my grandpa.

He was born in Strakonice in 1967, came from an engineer family. When he was nine years old he started to play the clarinet at a music school. His teacher was the professor Bedřich Zákostelecký. He studied at the Grammar school in Strakonice, finished the State conservatoire in Prague in 1993 (the professor Jiří Starka). During his studies he worked as a teacher and also cooperated with Bohemia -The Symphony Orchestra from Podebrady. He established the chamber trio Musici Bohemiense in 1994 (piano, clarinet and violoncello). It realized a lot of concerts and recorded for the Czech broadcasting company. During 1995 and 1996 he actively took part in music courses of the German Mozart Company in Bavarian Augsburg. From 1999 to 2004 he set up lots of concerts with Karel Prokop (a Prague Conservatoire piano player professor) all around our republic. The CD Clarinet’s recital is the result of their cooperation including basic pieces of the clarinet literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Robert Pacourek has been cooperating with a piano player Daniel Wiesner since May 2004 and together with a soprano Klára Novotná they were at the birth of their ensemble Trio con Canto. They realized a tour around the south Bohemian castles in summer 2004. I spoke with the clarinet player Robert Pacourek at Advent shortly after finishing his second frequency of his second album.

What is the present relation to the classical music according to you?

People don’t have time for classical music now. They have got a lot of reasons for working hard. But I believe things will change and people will be again interested in operas and concerts. For players it’s a bad situation to play in front of an empty auditorium.

How can we avoid it?

Enlightenment is very important and so I’m very satisfied with musical schools. I know everybody doesn’t go there but graduates can influence e.g. their families and friends. As a teacher I know that the main function of musical schools is to create a positive relation to music not to educate a virtuoso.

What about our Czech folk?

Education at music schools is mainly unwound from country songs. It is about to the individuality of teachers who tutor and how ambitious and attractive they are.

But on the other hand all classical music comes from country music. It’s the advantage of Europe if we compare it with America and we have to make the best of it and not to waste it.

You were at the birth of the project which has carried classical music to the Bohemia castles during summer time. Who had the idea?

I come from the south of Bohemia and I love this country. I went though the local music programmer and made that without the main season there is an inactive time. I told myself what about to prepare some cycles of concerts? There are a lot of wonderful historical places in the South of Bohemia. I have known a soprano Klára Novotná from Ustí nad Labem since my childhood and have performed with a piano player Daniel Wiesner. We started our work with the manager Štěpánka Plachká and the first concerts were realiyed in 2004. It was called Around the Bohemia Castles. The public acceptance was nice and we were included into the Project the Czech Music 2004. The first year had got eight concerts. The visit rate was various because of goodwill of owners to co-operate or not to co-operate. For example a castellan from an unnamed castle didn’t put our poster on the door and the result of the situation was that only our invited friends were there. The second year we missed this place. The second and the third year we had got five concerts. This year we played in Třeboň, Jindřichův Hradec, Lnáře, Bechyně, and Hluboká. Concerts were performed with a soprano, a piano and a clarinet. Our name is The Trio con Canto. During all our years we were protected by the commissioner of our region Jan Zahradnik. The senator Josef Kalbáč has taken a patronage over our performance in Lnáře this year. We are also successful in Prague, we play in Bertramka. We performed in the Czech broadcasting company last November. It was on the program Vltava live. We are going to invite more players next year due to change the dramaturgy of our repertory. We are also going to complete our programs because there are lots of possibilities dealing with historical atmosphere of castles for example historical dances or musicians playing old historical music.

Which of the town halls and castles were the best?

Both of the magistrates from Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec took a patronage over our concerts. We would like to come back there. We’d like to play again in Strakonice, Hluboká.We are also going to address Blatná. Because there are places appropriate for baroque music. Lnáře was the best of them concerned to tons, acoustics of rooms and interiors. Hluboká has also its glamour and the new rebuilt Schwarzenberg hall is a very nice place for a performance.

What’s your musician philosophy?

I would like to educate good musicians and as an interpreter to do my best and to perceive a feedback of our audience.

Musical appreciation I have from my grandpa. His name was Jan Havlíček and he came from a little village Dolni Radechová three kilometers from Náchod. My grandad was an amateur painter, actor, musician and a real folk artist. His seriousness, empathy for people and arts remain a model for me.

PhDr. Jiří Chum, translation PhDr. Alena Krásová