The Prague Philharmonia (Pražská komorní filharmonie, abbreviation: PKF; literal translation, "Prague Chamber Philharmonia") is an orchestra based in Prague, the Czech Republic. The orchestra gives concerts in several venues in Prague, including the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, the Church of St. Simon and Juda, the Švanda Theatre (Smíchov) and the Salon Philharmonia. The orchestra receives government and civic sponsorship from the Czech Ministry of Culture, the City of Prague and the Prague 1 Municipal Authority. The orchestra contains 53 musicians, as of the 2014-2015 season.
Jiří Bělohlávek founded the orchestra in 1993, after his resignation as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic the previous year. The Czech Ministry of Defence had offered funding for training 40 young musicians to act as their own music ensemble, to replace the Prague Symphony Orchestra in that capacity. Bělohlávek decided to form a new chamber orchestra instead with the funds, and had auditioned musicians for the orchestra. However, the ministry withdrew its funding the next year. Bělohlávek subsequently secured private funding for the orchestra, which made its public debut in 1994. Bělohlávek served as the orchestra's first music director and chief conductor, from 1994 to 2005. He led the orchestra in its debut at The Proms in London in July 2004. Since 2005, Bělohlávek has held the title of conductor laureate of the orchestra.
The Swiss conductor Kaspar Zehnder became the orchestra's second chief conductor in 2005, and Jakub Hrůša simultaneously became principal guest conductor. Zehnder stepped down from the chief conductorshp in June 2008 at the expiration of his contract. In March 2008, the orchestra announced the appointment of Hrůša as their third chief conductor, effective in September 2008.
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- Prague Philharmonia official homepage, Czech-language version
- Prague Philharmonia official homepage, English-language version