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Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

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Title: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  
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Subject: Princess Mononoke, Yngwie Malmsteen, Antonín Dvořák, Van Dyke Parks, Bohuslav Martinů, Symphony No. 7 (Mahler), Piano Concerto No. 2 (Brahms), Macross Plus, Rafael Kubelík, Charles Mackerras
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Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

The Česká filharmonie (Czech Philharmonic) is an internationally renowned Czech symphony orchestra based in Prague.[1] The orchestra's principal concert venue is the Rudolfinum.


The name "Czech Philharmonic Orchestra" appeared for the first time in 1894, as the title of the orchestra of the Prague National Theatre.[1] It played its first concert under its current name on January 4, 1896 when Antonín Dvořák conducted his own compositions, but it did not become fully independent from the opera until 1901. The first representative concert took place on October 15, 1901 conducted by Ludvík Čelanský, the first artistic director of the orchestra.[1] In 1908, Gustav Mahler led the orchestra in the world premiere of his Symphony No. 7. The orchestra first became internationally known during the principal conductorship of Václav Talich, who held the post from 1919 to 1931, and again from 1933 to 1941. In 1941, Talich and the orchestra made a controversial journey to Germany, where they performed Bedřich Smetana's My Country in a concert enforced by the German offices.[1]

Subsequent chief conductors included Rafael Kubelík (1942–1948), Karel Ančerl (1950–1968), Václav Neumann (1968–1989), Jiri Belohlavek (1990–1992), Gerd Albrecht (1993–1996), Vladimir Ashkenazy (1996–2003), Zdeněk Mácal (2003–2007),[2] and Eliahu Inbal (2009–2012). In the wake of the Velvet Revolution, the orchestra reorganised in 1991 and controversially voted to appoint Gerd Albrecht its new chief conductor and to dismiss Bělohlávek. Instead of remaining until Albrecht's accession, Bělohlávek resigned from the orchestra in 1992.[3] In December 2010, the orchestra announced the reappointment of Bělohlávek as chief conductor, beginning in 2012,[4] with an initial contract of 4 years.[5]

Past principal guest conductors of the orchestra have included Sir Charles Mackerras. Manfred Honeck is the orchestra's current principal guest conductor.

The Czech Philharmonic's first phonograph recording dates from 1929, when Václav Talich recorded My Country for His Master's Voice.

Honours and awards

The Czech Philharmonic has won many awards, ten Grand Prix du Disque de l'Académie Charles Cros, five Grand Prix du disgue de l'Académie française and several Cannes Classical Awards. The Czech Philharmonic was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2005, and also two Wiener Flötenuhr awards, with Pavel Štěpán, Zdeněk Mácal and Václav Neumann (1971 and 1982). It was voted 20th place of the top 20 best orchestras in the world in a 2008 survey by Gramophone magazine.[6]

Chief Conductors



  • (Czech)
  • (Czech)
  • (Czech)
  • (Czech)

External links

  • Česká filharmonie official site
  • Film of Czech Philharmonic in rehearsal
  • More about this recording
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