About the Orchestra

Chief conductor Ondrej Lenárd - Foto: František Renza

Chief conductor Ondrej LenárdFoto: František Renza

One of the longest established Czech orchestras, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (PRSO) is a creative and versatile ensemble at the forefront of Czech music making, and a popular guest ensemble at concert venues across the world.

The orchestra’s chief conductor is Ondrej Lenárd, and its principal guest conductor is Tomáš Brauner

The PRSO was established in 1926, three years after the foundation of the Czechoslovak Radio.  

Over the years, the orchestra has gone from strength to strength, guided by its outstanding chief conductors, such as Karel Ančerl, Alois Klíma, Jaroslav Krombholc, František Vajnar and Vladimír Válek. Notable guest conductors have included Franz Konwitschny, Charles Mackerras, Charles Munch, Václav Talich, Václav Neumann, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Hermann Scherchen, Petr Altrichter, Tomáš Hanus, Jakub Hrůša, Zdeněk Mácal, Tomáš Netopil, Libor Pešek and Christian Vásquez. 

Contemporary music has always held an important place in the orchestra’s programmes, and Arthur Honegger, Aram Khachaturian, Ernst Krenek, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sergei Prokofiev and Ottorino Respighi are among the many great musicians who have performed their own compositions with the PRSO. 

The PRSO was established in 1926, three years after the foundation of the Czechoslovak Radio - Foto: Archiv Českého rozhlasu

The PRSO was established in 1926, three years after the foundation of the Czechoslovak RadioFoto: Archiv Českého rozhlasu

On concert platforms at home and abroad, the PRSO has collaborated with numerous internationally renowned soloists, such as: 

Gabriela Beňačková, Stanislav Bunin, Gautier Capuçon, José Cura, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Elīna Garanča, Jonathan Gilad, Denice Graves, Edita Gruberová, Václav Hudeček, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sumi Jo, Sergey Khachatryan, Jonas Kaufmann, Mischa Maisky, Shlomo Mintz, Raphaël Oleg, Alexander Rudin, Josef Suk, Bryn Terfel, Viktor Tretiakov, Ramón Vargas. 

The PRSO organises regular concert cycles in Prague at the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall and at the Smetana Hall within the city’s Municipal House, and is a regular guest at major Czech festivals, including the Prague Spring, Smetana’s Litomyšl, Český Krumlov International Music Festival, the Dvořák Prague festival and the Moravian Autumn. Further afield, the ensemble frequently appears throughout Europe and in cultural hubs in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and the United States. 

Apart from performing live, one of the PRSO's main missions is to record and broadcast. Since its foundation, the orchestra has recorded thousands of musical works, including several musical rarities that are not a common part of performing repertoire. Many of these recordings have been released on LPs and CDs.  

Its most recent releases have included a critically acclaimed series of Janáček albums for Suprahon with conductor Tomáš Netopil (Sinfonietta and Taras Bulba, Gramophone Editor’s Choice of the Month; Glagolithic Mass and Eternal Gospel, MusicWeb International Recording of the Month), the first ever recording of Dvořák’s first opera Alfred (recorded live at the 2014 Dvořák Prague festival) and an album profiling Vienna State Opera bass-baritone Adam Plachetka.  

Further notable recordings include the complete symphonies of Schulhoff, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Martinů under the baton of Vladimír Válek; a CD of Smetana’s orchestral works; and the world’s first complete recording of piano concertos by Erwin Schulhoff and Václav Jan Tomášek with pianist Jan Simon. 

As a Radio orchestra, the PRSO is proud to broadcast its performances and thus to share its music making through the European Broadcasting Union, with hundreds of thousands of listeners across Europe and beyond. 

Video

Grand Finale: Mahler – Lenárd

The 90th concert season of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra reached a climax at the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall...

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