Was born in Czechoslovakia in 1951. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Ostrava in French horn and conducting and continued his studies at JAMU under Richard Týnský, Otakar Trhlík, František Jílek, Josef Veselka a Lubomír Mátl. In 1976 he took second place and won the special award at the renowned conducting competition in Besançon. Since then, he started to build up his international career.
In 1977 he became assistant conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra. Then, he started to build his ongoing relationship with this musical body. From 1987, he worked with Prague Symphony Orchestra and in 1990 he was appointed its chief conductor.
Having made his U.K. debut with the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival in 1990, Petr Altrichter made his London debut with the English Chamber Orchestra 1993. He then conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994 to a great critical acclaim. He was subsequently appointed its Principal Conductor, a post he held from 1997 until 2001.
With this orchestra he appeared at the 2000 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and made several highly-praised recordings on the orchestra’s own label, RLPO live. In the U.K., Petr Altrichter has also worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 1993 he also worked as the artistic director of the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Konstanz. From 2002-2009 he worked as the chief conductor of the Brno Philharmonic.
Petr Altrichter has conducted orchestras all over the world and he has been a guest at great music festivals. In recent years he has asserted himself especially as a propagator of Czech music with leading British musical bodies.