Conductor Jakub Hrůša wins another ICMA award
The Bamberg Symphony, led by Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, has received the International Classical Music Award for best symphonic music for their 2022 CD featuring compositions by Austrians Hans Rott, Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner. The album has already collected the German Record Critics’ Award.
Hans Rott, an Austrian composer and organist born in 1857, wrote only one symphony during his short life and was nearly forgotten after his death in 1884.
While his symphony in E major has since been rediscovered and recorded several times, the one performed by the Bamberg Symphony is truly exceptional, according to the International Classical Music Awards.
The Bamberg Symphony’s interpretation is so convincing that we can say that no one else has advocated Rott’s music as profoundly as the performers on this recording, the jury stated on its website.
The album was initiated by Jakub Hrůša himself and was born out of his admiration for the music of Hans Rott, which he discovered somewhat by accident, as he told Czech Radio:
“When I was studying Anton Bruckner’s music, which we performed with the Bamberg Symphony, I wanted to hear music composed by some of his pupils.
“So I searched the internet and came across Hans Rott, who was completely unknown to me until then. Bruckner described him as someone who would have a great future and defended him against criticism from conservative-minded contemporaries.”
Hans Rott, who approached the genre in a very novel way, did not receive recognition during his lifetime. After hearing his symphony, Johannes Brahms even told Rott that he had no talent whatsoever and that he should give up music.
However, his teacher Anton Bruckner and contemporary Gustav Mahler, both of whose music is also featured on the award-winning album, recognized his exceptional talent, says Mr Hrůša:
“When you listen to Hans Rott’s music, you feel that it was copied from Mahler, whose music is really familiar. Until you realize that it’s the other way round, since it was actually written long before Mahler even started to compose symphonies.
“So Hans Rott created a composition that paved the way for further development of symphonic music, and especially for Mahler. His place in music history is absolutely irreplaceable and unique.”
It is already the second International Classical Music Award for the Czech composer, who has led the Bamberg Symphony since 2016. Last year, he was awarded for his recording of Symphony No. 4 by Anton Bruckner. In 2025, Jakub Hrůša is set to take over as music director at the Royal Opera House.