About the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is among the most important, and most long-established, of Czech orchestras. Its creative dramaturgy and ever improving artistic level has helped it win a significant role in the country’s concert life. It is also warmly welcomed at concert halls beyond the Czech Republic. Its tradition dates back to 1926 and is linked to the creation of the station Radiojournal.
After 1945, it was transformed into a large symphony orchestra, with principal conductors such as Karel Ančerl, Alois Klíma, Jaroslav Krombholc and František Vajnar. Its guests have included Václav Talich, Václav Neumann, Libor Pešek, Charles Munch, Franz Konwitschny, Hermann Scherchen, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Charles Mackerras. Among the composers who have performed their own works with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra are Sergei Prokofiev, Ottorino Respighi, Arthur Honegger, Aram Khachaturian, Ernst Křenek and Krzysztof Penderecki. Contemporary music has had, and still has, an important place here.
Vladimír Válek was principal conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in the period 1985-2011. Under his systematic leadership, the orchestra succeeded in attaining a high professional level. From the 2011-12 season, Ondrej Lenárd will take over the artistic leadership of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, while Ronald Zollman will be its main guest conductor.
The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra currently performs concerts for season-ticket holders at the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall. It is a frequent guest at a number of important cultural events (the Prague Spring, Smetana’s Litomyšl, Český Krumlov, the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Moravian Autumn, etc.). Its reputation is confirmed by the positive reaction it receives at foreign concert halls, both from audiences and critics. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra frequently appears in virtually all corners of Europe, as well as Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and the USA. It has worked with many renowned soloists (Gabriela Beňačková, Renée Fleming, Elina Garanča, Denice Graves, Edita Gruberová, Eva Urbanová, Pierre Amoyal, Stanislav Bunin, Gautier Capuçon, José Cura, Plácido Domingo, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Jonathan Gilad, Sergey Khachatryan, Mischa Maisky, Shlomo Mintz, Raphaël Oleg, Alexander Rudin, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Josef Suk, Bryn Terfel, Viktor Tretjakov, Ramón Vargas).
Rich recording activities of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra are also noteworthy. It has been recorded at leading domestic institutions and has seen releases on pre-eminent labels (Supraphon, Radioservis, Pony Canyon, Clarton, etc.). Over the years, and under the baton of Vladimír Válek, it made significant recordings for Supraphon: the complete symphonies of Schulhoffov and Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Martinů’s symphonies, a project taking in Smetana’s orchestral works, and, in a world premiere, the complete piano concertos of Erwin Schulhoff and Václav Jan Tomášek with soloist Jan Simon. Recordings of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra have reached listeners throughout Europe and further afield via the EBU’s international musical exchanges.
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