The Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra Embraces the 96th Season with a New Chief Conductor, Petr Popelka
In September 2022, the members of the Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra (SOČR) will start a new season newly headed by Petr Popelka. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, two seasons were enough for the former second double-bass player from Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden to prove himself as one of the most inspiring young conductors.
The role of the principal guest conductor will newly be performed by Robert Jindra, who is famous for his performance in the opera world and who is noteworthy for his interpretation of the symphonic repertoire.
“Personally, I really look forward to the new chief conductor and the new guest conductor,” says Czech Radio Director General, René Zavoral. “I am also very glad that despite the many obstacles and restrictions, the Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra managed to prepare an action-packed season that will certainly be appreciated by devoted listeners listening in concert halls or on the radio. It is our strong wish that it attracts also the younger generations to classical music.”
What you can expect
The 96th season of the radio symphonic orchestra will be launched by inaugural concert (P1) by chief conductor Petr Popelka. The Brahms’ Concerto in D major will feature violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. Other projects will see famous names among guests, too, such as violoncellist Jean-Guihen Queyras in Dvořák’s ingenious Concerto in B minor (R1), pianist Nicolas Hodges, who will play in a world premiere of a new composition by Martin Smolka (R4), or violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who will interpret the music of György Ligeti, whose centenary will be marked throughout the whole R8 evening.
You can look forward to excellent singers performing the first act of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde (R12). This evening will be part of a daring project. The chief conductor has actually decided to perform throughout his first three seasons with SOČR all three acts of the Wagner’s grand work, which is frequently seen as a major milestone in the development of Western music. Connoisseurs will appreciate the guest performance of violoncellist Daniel Müller-Schott not only during the final concert of the season (R13), but also in a chamber project (S6) held the day before, when we will hear also Petr Popelka as double-bass player and pianist.
“For me it is a great honour to be part of the long history of the Prague Radio Symphonic Orchestra, an orchestra that belongs to the best of Czech culture. The European tradition of radio music ensembles is something to be proud of and it deserves to be constantly developed and maintained as an important cultural heritage! SOČR is an ensemble full of wonderful musicians. It is a world-class orchestra and I am looking forward to all our joint concerts and the concerts of all guest artists, when we will share our musical experiences with our audience,” says Petr Popelka, the new chief conductor of the orchestra.
The principal guest conductor of SOČR, Robert Jindra, together with mezzosoprano Jana Kurucová, will bring us to the atmosphere of Central Europe at the turn of the centuries (R7) and, together with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, to musical France (R9). In a chamber cycle, he will accompany Markéta Cukrová in Wanger’s songs (K3).
Sale of season and individual tickets started on Monday 30 May. From this date, it is possible to buy season tickets for series R – Classics (in Rudolfinum) and chamber cycle K (in the convent of Saint Agnes) as well as individual tickets for concerts from the P, N and newly also the S cycle. Sale of individual tickets for concerts of the R and K series and for public general rehearsals was launched on 6 June.
A complete programme of the new season can be found at socr.rozhlas.cz.