Jakub Hrůša & Tomáš Netopil, Principal Guest Conductors

There are many ways to describe the Czech Philharmonic tradition. One of them must be a never ending search for truth in musical expression. This is both our credo and a mission. SEMYON BYCHKOV

The Czech Philharmonic's 123rd season opens on October 10th with Mahler's Symphony No. 2 Resurrection, conducted by Chief Conductor and Music Director, Semyon Bychkov. Bychkov will be joined on the platform by soloists Christiane Karg and Elisabeth Kulman, who will also be the soloists for performances in Bratislava, New York and Vienna. Marking his first season as Chief Conductor and Music Director, in addition to concerts in Prague, Bychkov and the Orchestra will undertake major international tours to the United States, Germany and Belgium, before returning to Prague in April to give three performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 9.

For his inaugural season, Bychkov will conduct five subscription weeks spanning a broad range of repertoire including works by Dvořák, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov and Schubert, as well as continuing The Tchaikovsky Project with performances and recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphony Nos. 1 and 2, and Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3. The Tchaikovsky Project launched in 2016 with Decca’s release of Symphony No. 6 coupled with the Romeo & Juliet Fantasy-Overture, and culminates in 2019 with residencies in Prague, Vienna and Paris and the release by Decca of all Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, the three piano concertos, Romeo & Juliet, Serenade for Strings and Francesca da Rimini.

Bychkov will also conduct the first performance in the Czech Republic for 20 years of Berio's Sinfonia for 8 Voices and Orchestra, and the Czech première of Glanert's Weites Land, both composers with whom Bychkov has enjoyed a long and close association. Glanert is one of fourteen composers that the Czech Philharmonic have commissioned for future seasons alongside Thomas Larcher (Austria); Bruce Dessner (US); Julian Anderson (UK); and Thierry Escaich (France); and nine Czech composers Jiří Teml; Jiří Gemrot; Pavel Zemek Novák; Martin Smolka; Adam Skoumal; Miloš Orsoň Stědroň; Miroslav Srnka; Petr Wajsar; and Slavomír Hořínka.

On 3rd October 2018, a week before the launch of the new season, the Czech Philharmonic will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovak independence in Prague. Conducted by Semyon Bychkov, the all-Czech programme features works by Smetana, Martinů and Dvořák, and is the first of four concerts given by the Czech Philharmonic and Bychkov to mark this auspicious anniversary. Subsequent anniversary concerts will be held in London (October 24); New York (October 27); and Washington (October 29).

Completing Decca's Dvořák cycle initiated by Jiří Bělohlávek, Principal Guest conductor Jakub Hrůša will conduct performances of Dvořák's Te Deum, Piano Concerto in G minor with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Carnival, alongside works by Martinů and Janáček. Meanwhile, fellow Principal Guest Conductor, Tomáš Netopil, will conduct the Orchestra in Bad Kissingen and in subscription concerts. This season's guest conductors include Simon Rattle, Franz Welser-Möst and, early music specialists, Giovanni Antonini and Reinhard Göbel.

The Czech Philharmonic – which in 1896 gave its first concert in its current form under Antonín Dvořák – has an extraordinary and proud history which both reflects its place in the centre of Europe and the country’s turbulent political history. Acknowledged for its definitive performances of the Czech repertoire – its première recording dates back to 1929 when Chief Conductor, Václav Talich conducted Smetana’s Má vlast for release on 10 discs – the Czech Philharmonic is also particularly recognised for its relationship to the music of Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Mahler.

A new Chief Conductor and a new friendship: the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov understand each other..., 1 March 2018


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