Prague Symphony Orchestra at a concert tour in Japan, January 2008.
The Prague Symphony Orchestra (Prague, Czech Republic, Czech: Symfonický orchestr hlavního města Prahy FOK) is a Czech orchestra based in Prague. The orchestra has traditionally been known by the acronym 'FOK', standing for 'Film-Opera-Koncert', reflecting the orchestra's fields of activity as envisioned by its founder. When the city of Prague made the orchestra its official concert ensemble in 1952, it retained the acronym, giving it the official title 'Symphony Orchestra of the Capital City of Prague – FOK'.
Rudolf Pekárek founded the orchestra in 1934. In the 1930s the orchestra performed the scores for many Czech films, and also appeared regularly on Czech radio. An early promoter of the orchestra was Václav Smetáček, who became the orchestra's chief conductor in 1942, and held the post for the next 30 years. Jiří Kout, chief conductor from 2006 to 2013, has the title of Čestný šéfdirigent (Honorary chief conductor) with the orchestra. Muhai Tang served as principal conductor in the 2013-2014 season, following the sudden resignation of Kout for health reasons. In parallel, Jac van Steen became the orchestra's principal guest conductor.
In 2007, Pietari Inkinen guest-conducted the orchestra for the first time. In October 2014, the orchestra announced the appointment of Inkinen as its next chief conductor, as of September 2015.
The orchestra has travelled extensively in Europe, Japan, and the United States, and has recorded for many different labels.