The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the most important contemporary Czech orchestras. From the 2022/2023 season, the Czech conductor Petr Popelka holds the position of the orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic director. Robert Jindra has been the principal guest conductor for the second year.
In the 2023/24 concert season, the PRSO will welcome a number of notable names, which include the outstanding violinists Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff and the rising star María Dueñas. The pianists Brad Mehldau, Eldar Djangirov and Marianna Shirinyan, the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, and the conductors Omer Meir Wellber, Ilan Volkov and Eva Ollikainen have also accepted the invitation. A unique project presents a concert performance of the second act of Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde, which was preceded by a performance of the first act last season. The lead roles will be played by Michael Weinius and Elisabeth Teige. Among the domestic performers, the PRSO will present for example the mezzo-soprano Štěpánka Pučálková and the conductors Petr Altrichter and Alena Jelínková.
Over the past few years, the orchestra has collaborated with leading Czech and international conductors such as Tomáš Netopil, Petr Altrichter, Jakub Hrůša, Cornelius Meister, Alexander Liebreich, Stephan Asbury, Ion Marin, Michał Nesterowicz, Anu Tali and Wayne Marshall.
The soloists accompanied by the PRSO included the pianist Krystian Zimerman, the violinists Pierre Amoyal, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the cellists Gautier Capuçon, Daniel Müller-Schott, István Várdai and Steven Isserlis, the trombonist Christian Lindberg, as well as the jazzman Avishai Cohen. The singers included Renée Fleming, Elīna Garanča, José Cura, Juan Diego Flórez, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Jonas Kaufmann. Among the local artists, one should certainly not omit Lukáš Vondráček, Ivo Kahánek, Jan Bartoš, Josef Špaček, Jan Mráček, Tomáš Jamník, Adam Plachetka, Simona Šaturová, Kateřina Kněžíková, Petr Nekoranec and Vilém Veverka. The orchestra commissions and regularly performs works by leading contemporary Czech composers such as Miroslav Srnka, Ondřej Adámek, Pavel Zemek Novák, Jan Ryant Dřízal, Šimon Voseček and Jana Vöröšová.
The recording activity of the PRSO is quite extensive as well. Let us recall the recording released by Hyperion with the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and the conductor Alexander Liebreich with music by Viktor Kalabis, Hans Krása and Bohuslav Martinů. The album was selected as Editor’s Choice by Gramophone magazine. The album The Mystery of Time with the music of Miloslav Kabeláč is a unique work, which complements the successful set of Kabeláč’s symphonies, released by Supraphon in 2016. The Mystery of Time received the Anděl 2022 Award, similarly as Štěpánka Balcarová’s album Happiness, which features six poems by the Polish author Julian Tuwim and is also a live recording of a joint concert with the PRSO.
The PRSO offers its audience concerts as part of subscription cycles in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum or the Betlehem Chapel as well as individually in DOX+ or in Studio 1 of Czech Radio. It is a regular guest at prominent festivals such as the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, Smetana’s Litomyšl, the Leoš Janáček International Music Festival and the International Music Festival Český Krumlov. The PRSO regularly performs on international stages in Europe and Japan.