Supraphon is the most significant Czech record label, and has a distinguished
history. The Supraphon name, (originally used for an electric record player, a
technical marvel of its day), was first registered as a trademark in 1932. In the
post-war years it was the label for domestic albums produced for export, playing
an important role in helping to spread Czech classical music recordings during
the 1930s and 40s. The artistic direction of the firm gave rise to a broad catalog
of titles, which ultimately mapped out the works of Bedřich Smetana, Antonín
Dvořák, and Leoš Janáček, as well as other giants of both the Czech and the
international music worlds. Significant domestic and foreign soloists, chamber
ensembles, orchestras and conductors all contributed to Supraphon’s
remarkable collection of recordings.
In the years that followed, Supraphon became an export firm (1949), a
manufacturing company (Supraphon Record Manufacturing, 1961), an
independent publisher (Supraphon n. p., 1969) and, thanks to its continually
increasing influence, a synonym for the Czech recording industry. Its carefully
planned presentation of Czech music and the renown of Czech artists have
earned Supraphon its place among the respected recording companies of
Europe, and indeed, of the world. It is currently a joint stock company whose
assets include a recording archive which is the subject of great interest, and
which is so rich and unique that it has been declared a national cultural
In spite of the political and cultural trends of the years before the Velvet
Revolution, the Supraphon archive contains not only countless music recordings,
but also spoken-word recordings which constitute an irreplaceable
documentation of the development of Czech dramatic art and acting skill.
Recording technology and recording media have also undergone remarkable
development. Although in the days of Czechoslovakia the available recording
technology was relatively primitive, the quality of Supraphon albums was
comparable to the production of major Western European firms. Supraphon
released its first compact disc of classical music (Smetana´s My Country) in 1987,
becoming one of the first producers in the world to offer this revolutionary new
sound medium, and in the following year it became the first European publisher
to release a classical music DVD (Dreams and Journeys).
Today, Supraphon continues to build on the best of the company´s tradition. Its
publishing activities center on the classical music which made it famous, as
evidenced by the major prizes and awards of recent years, including the Grand
Prix du Disque de L´Europe de L´Académie du Disque, the Golden Disc Prize of
Nippon Columbia, Wiener Flötenuhr Preis der Mozartgemeinde Wien, Cannes
Classical Awards, BBC Music Magazine Awards, Gramophone Awards and
nominations for Grammy awards, among others.
The Supraphon catalogue is continually expanding, adding new recordings by the
best Czech artists as well as digitally remastered re-editions of historic
recordings, primarily in the popular Supraphon Archive series. The Ančerl Gold
series (42 CDs) has been extraordinarily well received worldwide as well as the
Talich Special Edition (17 CDs).
Today, Supraphon is the only former Eastern Bloc music publisher which has
maintained its number one position in its domestic market as well as measured
up successfully to the ever more competitive international environment.
Supraphon currently makes use of an extensive network of distributors
worldwide, with classical music remaining its almost exclusive export article.
The company collaborates with 20 major foreign distributors on five continents.
Supraphon’s recordings are also available in digital form on Supraphonline, as
well as on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer and from other digital shops and