Ondřej Kukal

Ondřej Kukal - Foto: Materiály SOČR

Ondřej KukalFoto: Materiály SOČR

Conductor

Is one of the most prominent musicians of the young generation. He is unusually versatile - appears variously as violinist, conductor and composer. He was born in Prague in 1964 where he studied at the Conservatoire. He studied the violin and graduated from Prague's Academy of Performing Arts under professor Josef Vlach. His composition studies (Jindřich Feld) culminated in a performance of his own violin concerto, and he completed his conducting studies by conducting his own work Danse symphonique for large orchestra. While he was still a student, Kukal conducted the Prague Youth Orchestra, and in the years 1985-1995 he was a member of the New Vlach Quartet. The concerts and recordings made by this ensemble inspired him to write his String Quartet No. 1 Op. 9, awarded in 1989 at the "Generace" composition competition. The majority of his compositions have been recorded by Czech Radio, a number of works are available on CD, and most of them, while repeatedly performed at home and abroad, have also appeared in printed editions. 

In the years 1991-1996 Ondřej Kukal was Chief Conductor of the South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic, in 1993 he became conductor of the Czech Chamber Orchestra, and during 1996-99 he worked as a Permanent Conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1996 he accepted the position of concertmaster in the Prague Chamber Orchestra (till 2003) with whom he had made numerous recordings and conducted concerts at the Lincoln Center in New York, Teatro Colón in Argentina, and the Viennese Musikverein. As a conductor he is frequently invited to work with leading Czech orchestras (Prague Symphony Orchestra, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Janáček´s Philharmonic Ostrava). Since 1998 he has been regularly invited to cooperate with Czech Philharmonic. In 1998 he was Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, in 2006 he opened together with Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra the Prague Spring Music Festival with a performance of My Country. 

The combination of composer, conductor and violinist is typical for Kukal and exceptional in today's musical environment. Performers appreciate Kukal's expertise in issues related to specific instruments, whether from the point of view of conductor or violinist. His musical career to date has pointed to a particular interest in Czech music, from Classicism to the 20th century. Ondřej Kukal's broad musical focus has shown that versatility and professional mastery of each chosen field are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, these qualities promote the all-round development of the artist himself. 

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