Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

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The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symfonický orchestr Českého rozhlasu) is a broadcast orchestra based in Prague, the Czech Republic.


Regular radio broadcasting began in former Czechoslovakia in May, 1923. Live classical musical broadcasts became very popular. It was soon realized that a full-time dedicated orchestra was required and on October 1, 1926, the Radiojournal Orchestra was founded under conductor Jozka Charvát.

In 1952, the popularity and size of the Radiojournal Orchestra was such that a second orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, was split off from the Radiojournal Orchestra.

Over the years many orchestra members were involved in other groups and subgroups, some associated with the radio station and others not. By the 1960s there were actually two completely separate orchestras working for the station. These were the Prague Radio Orchestra and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. They later combined to form the present orchestra.

From the 2018–2019 season the role of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director was taken by German conductor Alexander Liebreich. Marek Šedivý occupies the post of Principal Guest Conductor.

For the upcoming season the PRSO has invited a number of excellent soloists from abroad f. e. the violinist Leila Josefowicz and Sergey Khachatryan, who is the PRSO season's soloist-in-residence. The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra will welcome, among others, violoncellist István Várdai, pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, conductors Olari Elts and Anu Tali, horn player Radek Baborák, but also jazzman Avishai Cohen.

In recent years the orchestra has worked with top Czech and foreign conductors, such as Petr Altrichter, Jiří Bělohlávek, Tomáš Hanuš, Jakub Hrůša, Tomáš Netopil, Stefan Asbury, John Axelrod, Ion Marin, and Michał Nesterowicz, or Wayne Marshall.

The PRSO has accompanied violist Pierre Amoyal, cellists Gautier Capucon, Alban Gerhardt, and Steven Isserlis, trombonist Christian Lindberg, pianist Krystian Zimerman, singers Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, José Cura, Juan Diego Flórez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Jonas Kaufmann; Czech musicians Jan Zdeněk Bartoš, Tomáš Jamník, Ivo Kahánek, Kateřina Kněžíková, Jan Mráček, Petr Nekořánec, Adam Plachetka, Simona Šaturová, Vilém Veverka, and Lukáš Vondráček. The orchestra commissions and performs pieces by Czech contemporary composers Jan Ryant Dřízal, Jiří Kadeřábek, Pavel Zemek Novák, and Miroslav Srnka.

The PRSO's recording work is also noteworthy. Its most recent output includes a Janáček trilogy conducted by Tomáš Netopil for Supraphon. Two of those albums were named Editor's Choice by the magazine Gramophone. The first complete recordings of Miloslav Kabeláč's eight symphonies (Supraphon, 2016) ranked as a singular achievement, as did the recording of all of Martinů's piano concertos (Radioservis, 2016).

The PRSO offers audiences concerts within season-ticket series at the Dvořák Hall in Rudolfinum, and Forum Karlín and Convent of Saint Agnes in Prague. The PRSO is often a guest at Prague Spring International Music Festival, Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, Smetana's Litomyšl, Janáček Music Festival, or International Music Festival Český Krumlov. The orchestra is a regular guest at international venues in Europe and Japan.


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