The Czech Philharmonic is enjoying a renewed reputation as one
of the most exciting ensembles on the world stage. The orchestra regularly performs with
artists who include Hélène Grimaud, Lang Lang, Janine Jansen, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. In
addition, Garrick Ohlsson, Frank Peter Zimmermann, and Alisa Weilerstein recorded Dvořák's
complete symphonies and his three concertos with the Czech Philharmonic under Music
Director andChief ConductorJiří Bělohlávek,
released in June 2014 by Decca Classics.
Dvořák himself conducted the orchestra in its debut performance in 1896 at the Rudolfinum
in Prague, which is still home to its Prague concerts and is the center for the Orchestral
Academy of the Czech Philharmonic. The academy is just one of many education projects
through which the Czech Philharmonic engages with new audiences.
In 2015, the Czech Philharmonic will perform in the world's most prestigious concert
halls, including thePhilharmonie in Berlin and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, as well
as the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing and Vienna's Musikverein.Festival appearances in 2014 include the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International
Festival. With Mr.Bělohlávek as its music director and chief
conductor, the orchestra has undertaken successful tours in Australia, Germany, Japan,
Luxembourg, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK.
The Czech Philharmonic welcomes many distinguished guest conductors, including Herbert
Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Jurowski, and
The Czech Philharmonic has made nine television programs, each of which features one of
Dvořák's nine symphonies, and has produced a Czech television documentary about Dvořák,
Bělohlávek, and the current work of the orchestra. The documentary, titled Sketches of
Dvořák, had its premiere in September 2014.
Jiří Bělohlávek was born in Prague in 1946. He began studying cello
and conducting at a young age and was invited to become assistant conductor to Sergiu
Celibidache in 1968.
In 1977, Mr. Bělohlávek took the post of chief conductor for the Prague Symphony
Orchestra, a position he held until 1990, when he was appointed chief conductor of the
Czech Philharmonic. After serving as principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony
Orchestra between 1995 and 2000, Mr. Bělohlávek was appointed its chief conductor in 2006.
Since 2012, he has again held the post of chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.
Mr. Bělohlávek has also regularly conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony
Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony,
among others. He was recently appointed principal guest conductor of the Rotterdam
He has also worked in the world of opera throughout his career. Recent and forthcoming
highlights include new productions of Dvořák's Rusalka at the Vienna State Opera
(2014) and Janáček's Jenůfa at the San Francisco Opera (2016).
Mr. Bělohlávek has an extensive discography, including a complete Dvořák symphony cycle
recently released by Decca Classics, and he is the first conductor since Herbert von
Karajan to receive the Gramophone Award for Orchestral Recording two years
running. In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Mr. Bělohlávek an honorary Commander of the
Order of the British Empire for his services to music.