Petr Popelka

Chief Conductor and Artistic Director 

Within a few seasons, Petr Popelka established himself as one of the most inspiring young conductors. He will become Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, starting September 2022, and has been Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) since August 2020.

As a guest conductor, in the 2022/2023 season, Petr Popelka will make debuts with orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester, Staatskapelle Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, SWR Symphonieorchester, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestra sinfonica nazionale della RAI, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He will return to the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Wiener Symphoniker (TV concert „Spring in Vienna“), Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Operatic engagements will take him to Den Norske Opera, Oslo, for a new production of Strauss’s Elektra and to Semperoper Dresden for Shostakovich's The Nose. Together with his orchestras from Prague and Oslo, he will perform Schönberg’s monumental Gurre-Lieder. Previous debuts include the Czech Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Deutschen Radio Philharmonie and Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.

In the 2019/2020 season, Petr Popelka was the first ever Conductor Fellow of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester. Having devoted himself increasingly to conducting since 2016, his new career path was particularly encouraged and nurtured by Vladimir Kiradjiev and Alan Gilbert. He acquired his music education both in his hometown of Prague as well as in Freiburg. Between 2010 and 2019 he held the position of deputy principal double bass of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Next to conducting, his work as a composer plays another important role within Petr Popelka’s artistic range.