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Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček to replace André Watts at SPAC due to ongoing health concerns

August 5, 2016

Saratoga Springs, NY – With great regret, pianist André Watts must withdraw from his performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with The Philadelphia Orchestra on Wednesday, August 17 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center due to ongoing treatments for prostate cancer.  In his place, Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Orchestra.

“We are saddened that these circumstances prevent André, who has been a friend to SPAC since 1973, from returning to our stage,” said Marcia J. White, SPAC’s President and Executive Director.  “Given this situation, we are very pleased that Lukáš Vondráček will step in to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. This performance will constitute Lukáš’s SPAC and Philadelphia Orchestra debuts—an event we await with eager anticipation.”

About Lukáš Vondráček:
The recent winner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in January 2016, Lukáš Vondráček made his first public appearance at the age of four. His natural and assured musicality, plus a remarkable technical ability, marks him out as a gifted and mature musician who has long laid the cornerstone for a major career. A regular performer in both concerto and recital appearances, Vondráček has performed in Cité de la Musique, in Paris, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, and Carnegie Hall in New York, amongst many others. He gave his UK recital debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the International Piano Series, becoming the youngest pianist to have been featured in this series.

Additional international awards include first prize at the Hilton Head and San Marino International Piano Competitions and Unisa International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, as well as the Raymond E. Buck Jury Discretionary Award at the 2009 International Van Cliburn Piano Competition. His first commercial recording, a solo album for Octavia records featuring works by Mendelssohn, Liszt, Janáček and Dohnányi, was released in 2004, followed by a second recording in 2012 for TwoPianists Records, featuring works by Haydn, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev.

Also on the Wednesday, August 17 program, The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform Grieg’s Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5.  Tickets and more information are available online at spac.org.

SPAC Press Contact:
Carolyn Krupski
phone: 518.584.9330 x218
email: ckrupski@spac.org

Philadelphia Orchestra Press Contact:
Alyssa Porambo
phone: 215.893.3136
email: aporambo@philorch.org

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