Petr Ries (1978), a double bass player, graduated from the Music Faculty of the Academy of Music, Drama and Fine Arts in Prague, where he studied under the guidance of Professor Jiří Hudec. He has been a musician since he was seven years old. At first he played the piano, then he attended the cello class of Rudolf Weiss, an eminent teacher at the Elementary School of Arts in České Budějovice. Later, Weiss stimulated his interest in playing the double bass. At the beginning, he studied with Václav Fuka, a professor at the Conservatory in Prague, who provided him with a firm grounding in playing this instrument. He further developed this basis by studying with Professor Vladimir Bondarenko (Ukraine). The year 1995 was a significant turning point in his career, as he was accepted into the renowned class of Professor Miloslav Gajdoš at the P.J. Vejvanovský Conservatory in Kroměříž.
In 1996 he came first in the Competition of Conservatories. He took part in masterclasses (Geneva, Dresden, Berlin, Lausanne, Michaelstein, Wells), his lectors were e.g. Klaus Trumpf, Božo Paradžik, Ovidiu Badila, Rainer Zepperitz, Lev Rakov. He has won prizes in international competitions, e.g. Internationale Musikwettbewerb Markneukirchen (1999), the Moravian Autumn International Competition (1998, 2003), Internationale J.M. Sperger Musikwettbewerb Michaelstein (2002). One of his notable successes was the third place in the Talent of the Year 2002 Competition, where he played Sergei Koussevitzky’s Concerto in F minor, together with the Symphony Orchestra of the Czech Radio conducted by Leoš Svárovský. It was broadcast live by the Czech Radio.
His studies at the Academy of Music, Drama and Fine Arts, which he started in 2000, were complemented by an educational stay at the prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris, in the class of Professor Jean-Paul Celea. He made good use of his experience gained during that educational stay in his Master’s thesis, devoted to the history and literature of double bass playing in France.
He completed his studies in 2005. At the graduation concert held in the Martinů Hall, he played the famous A major sonatas by César Franck and Ludwig van Beethoven.
He was a member of several chamber orchestras even during his studies. In 2003, he gained a post in the Symphony Orchestra of the Czech Radio in an open competition. Half a year later, he gained the post of second solo double bass player in the Czech Philharmonic in another open competition. He gained further experience as a visiting solo double bass player in the Staatskapelle Dresden in 2011. In the same year, he gave guest performances as the second solo double bass player in the NDR Symfonieorchester in Hamburg.
Since 2003, he has been a lecturer at the Interpretation Courses in Bechyně (held in Litomyšl since 2006). He has taught at the International Academy of Music in Prague since 2009.
Petr Ries also performs as a soloist. He has been accompanied by a number of orchestras, e.g. the Symphony Orchestra of the Czech Radio, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Chamber Soloists, Mecklenburgisches Kammerorchester or the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra. He gives solo recitals regularly.
As a chamber performer, he has cooperated with the Baborak Ensemble, the Octet of Czech Philharmonists, the Kocián Quartet, the Ensemble Mosaique, the Collegium of Czech Philharmonists, the Erasmus String Orchestra (Utrecht) and with other ensembles. Since 2006, he has been a member of the chamber orchestra called “Venti Diversi ensemble”, with which he plays regularly at various festivals (Lípa Musica, Stamic Festivities, St Wenceslas Music Festival etc.). The ensemble won a prize from The Prague Post’s critics in 2008.
Besides classical music, he also plays folk music (Ondráš Brno) and, since 2010, he has been a member of the Czech Philharmonic JazzBand.
He teaches at the Master Courses of Interpretation in Bechyně (2003 up to now) and Litomyšl (2006 up to now).
Since 2009 he is teaching at the International Conservatory in Prague.