She acquired the fifth instrument earlier, during her lifetime. After the restoration, the instruments will be visible in the Philharmonic building. This was told to ČTK today by representatives of the FHK. According to them, Červená’s long-standing friendly relationship with Hradec Králové and the FHK will seal the name of the Hradec Philharmonic Hall. The concert hall will bear the name of the recently deceased artist from 2025, the centenary of her birth.
Soňa Červená died on May 7 in Prague, she was 97 years old and is buried in the family tomb at the Hradec Hradec Cemetery in the Pouchov district.
“Already in the past, the management of the Philharmonic, led by former director Václav Derner, considered naming the hall after Sona Červená. We agree with this proposal and therefore want to follow through on its idea. We are joining in honoring the memory of Mrs. Červená and we plan to open the 2025/26 season by renaming our hall, i.e. in the period when we will commemorate her 100th birthday,” said FHK director Vladimír Šrámek. According to him, the Soni Červené Hall will thus become a living memory of this musical legend and extraordinary personality.
In the premises of the FHK, there is a space for historical instruments from the Červený factory workshop, which the singer donated to the Hradec Králové orchestra. These include a tuba, a euphonium, a fanfare trumpet and two sousaphones. The instruments should be displayed in the foyer of the Philharmonic in the future.
“We appreciate it very much. These are instruments that have a high historical value. We expect to create a worthy exhibition space for them. Therefore, we cannot now say exactly when visitors to the Philharmonic will be able to admire these rare instruments,” Chairman of the Board of Directors of the FHK, Luboš Janhuba, told ČTK. He could not estimate how much the reconstruction of the instruments could cost. “We would also like to publish a publication about the Červený family and the tradition of making brass instruments in Hradec Králové,” added Šrámek.
According to FHK spokesman Alois Neruda, the philharmonic received in-kind donations and a significant financial sum from the estate of the opera singer in recent days. “Červená bequeathed a portrait of JUDr. to the Philharmonic Orchestra in her will. Jiří Červený and four historic wind instruments from the Červený family workshop. The fifth instrument was received by the Philharmonic earlier,” said Neruda.
The manufacturer Václav František Červený, who lived in the 19th century, was one of the most important Czech producers of musical instruments specializing in wind instruments, especially brass instruments. He was an innovator and holder of numerous patents, and he was constantly improving his tools. “Their sound was also able to be adapted to the requirements of music composers. For Richard Wagner, for example, he constructed a special tuba for his Ring of the Nibelung,” said Neruda.
In the last 20 years or so, Soňa Červená has been linked to the Hradec Philharmonic by artistic collaboration. Thanks to her contribution, a few years ago it was possible to build a master concert organ in the philharmonic hall. “She became the ambassador of the Endowment Fund for Organs and she herself also supported the construction of the instrument with a significant amount. Naming the hall after her is therefore also an expression of gratitude for her commitment to the implementation of this project and for the fact that the building of the organ gave the hall European parameters,” said Neruda.
Soňa Červená was associated with the Hradec Philharmonic in projects, among which were several concerts, the recording of the album V móci zuzel Erben and Dvořák, on which, together with the actor Jan Sklenář, she lent her voice to Erben’s characters, and the recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish, in which Červená performed, also stands out for its extraordinary quality in the role of a reciter, said representatives of the FHK.
According to Pavel J. Sršná, the fact that Červená bequeathed to the FHK a set of historical instruments from the workshop of her great-grandfather Václav František Červený, which she collected all her life, illustrates her deep relationship with Hradec Králové. “Patriotism towards Hradec was a completely natural thing for Sonia Červená. On the one hand, her father, the writer and cabaret artist Jiří Červený, was born in Hradec, who founded his Červená sedma cabaret there, which was later transferred to Prague, but also her great-grandfather, the factory worker Václav František Červený, lived there all his life,” said Sršeň, who he was a friend of Sonia Červená and in the past was the PR manager of the Hradec Philharmonic.
Soňa Červená was born on September 9, 1925 in Prague. She started in the theater, after her emigration she sang in important world opera houses.