The PKF - Prague Philharmonia (originally named Prague Philharmonia) is an orchestra based in Prague, the Czech Republic. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia was founded in 1994 upon the initiative of the conductor Jiří Bělohlávek with the aim to bring into the Czech, as well as global musical milieu a breath of fresh air in the form of contagious élan and a desire for superlative performance of every single detail of the score. 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 conductorship 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.
The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is cherished for its characteristic sound, which is determined in large part by its key repertoire focus: Viennese Classicism, pieces by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. This sphere is the ensemble’s major domain, the one in which it primarily excels. The spirit of the art dating from this historical era perfectly reflects in the PKF – Prague Philharmonia’s credo: playing with crystal clear purity and straightforward, sparkling passion so as to make sure that every listener, whatever the age or profession, understands every detail of the music performed and returns home from its concerts full of joie de vivre. The art presented by the PKF – Prague Philharmonia is both exceptional and accessible to everyone.
The repertoire also includes Romantic compositions, as well as modern and contemporary music, performed within a special concert series unique among the menus of Czech orchestras. The orchestra was to hold an Asia premier at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on Oct. 22-23,2011.
- Tim Ashley (2001-03-01). "The sound of freedom". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- Erica Jeal (2004-07-24). "Prague Philharmonia (review of Prom 4, 2004)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Andrew Clements (2004-04-02). "Dvorak: The Stubborn Lovers: Kloubova/ Brezina/ Sykorova/ Belacek/ Janal/ Prague Philharmonia/ Belohlavek". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Andrew Clements (2010-10-14). "Smetana: Ma Vlast – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- Andrew Clements (2005-08-19). "Mozart: Symphonies Nos 35 & 36, Prague Philharmonia/ Belohlavek". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Do Je-hae (2011-10-09). "Finest Czech classical music ensembles in Seoul this month". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2011-10-09.