The Czech Philharmonic will welcome capacity audiences for their forthcoming 125th season


The Czech Philharmonic’s 125th season launches to capacity audiences on 23 September 2020. Conducted by Semyon Bychkov at the start of his third year as the Orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Music Director, the concert will open with Shostakovich’s First Piano Concerto with pianist Daniil Trifonov and trumpeter Selina Ott, and close with Mahler’s Symphony No.5. Earlier in the month on 4 and 5 September, Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic will open the 2020 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival with an all Dvořák programme featuring the Cello Concerto performed by the Czech Philharmonic’s Cello Principal Václav Petr and the New World Symphony.

For their new state-of-the-art audio-visual recording label – Czech Phil Media – and via their international distribution partnership with EuroArts, the Czech Philharmonic’s second opening concert on 24 September will be live broadcast and streamed internationally on Mezzo Live HD and A day later on 25 September, Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic travel to Vienna to present the same programme in the first of three concerts this season at the Wiener Konzerthaus.

The luxury of live music has not been a complete unknown for audiences in the Czech

Republic as the country’s handling of the coronavirus has allowed the Czech Philharmonic to present concerts since the beginning of lockdown. In addition to three benefit concerts streamed live internationally and raising funds for hospitals, the charity ŽIVOT 90 and the People in Need Foundation (Člověk v tísni), at the beginning of June, the Orchestra launched a summerlong series of chamber concerts in collaboration with the Czech Chamber Music Society. On 24 June, Semyon Bychkov returned to the Orchestra for the first time since January to conduct a special concert to an audience of more than 500 at Sychrov Castle outside Prague in honour of all the health professionals across the country and to celebrate the re-opening of culture in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Philharmonic announced their 125th season digitally in March with highlights led by Bychkov including the launch of a new annual concert on 17 November commemorating 1989’s Velvet Revolution; the continuing recording cycle of all of Mahler’s Symphonies; the world premières of works commissioned from Bryce Dessner, Detlev Glanert and Thomas Larcher; concerts in Slovakia and Spain, including two at Madrid’s Auditoro Nacional; and a major European capitals tour with concerts in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and London.

Complementing Bychkov’s concerts with the Czech Philharmonic are performances led by Principal Guest Conductors Jakub Hrůša and Tomáš Netopil. In addition to subscription concerts in Prague, Hrůša will conduct performances at the Dvořák Prague International Festival and Netopil at Smetana’s Litomyšl Festival. Continuing the Czech Philharmonic’s opera in concert series which launched in 2016 with Janáček’s Jenůfa conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, Sir John Eliot Gardiner will present Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in November and Netopil, Martinů’s Ariane in December. International guests of the Czech Philharmonic include conductor David Robertson who will conduct the première of the third of the nine newly commissioned works from Czech composers, Miloš Orsoň Štědroň’s Bimetal; and soloist Kirill Gerstein who will give the first performance of Thomas Larcher’s Piano Concerto.

Concerts filmed in 4K for Czech Phil Media from the last two years with Semyon Bychkov and Sir Simon Rattle are available via EuroArts and over the autumn will be the subject of a Czech Philharmonic focus broadcast on demand by Mezzo TV. More content will be added over the coming months with plans to film education projects and concerts throughout the 125th season.

Semyon Bychkov: ‘We are impatiently looking forward to welcoming you back to our Rudolfinum and every other venue in which we will perform. However devastating the crisis of the moment is, it is also an opportunity for all of us to assess how we live and how we can start living better. For us musicians, it means making even better music than ever before.’

4-5 September – Opening of 2020 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival
Semyon Bychkov, conductor; Václav Petr, cello
Broadcast live on Czech TV, Czech Radio & European Broadcasting Union
48 hour international catch-up stream available for free via Czech TV’s web player iVysilani

Dvořák – Cello Concerto, Op.104, B.191

Dvořák – Symphony No.9 in E minor From the New World

10 September – 2020 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival
Jakub Hrůša, conductor; Martin Kasík, piano

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, Op.58

Suk – Symphony No.1, Op.14

14 September – 2020 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival
Jakub Hrůša, conductor; Jan Mráček, violin

Beethoven – Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61

Suk – Asrael, Symphony in C minor, Op.27

17 September – 2020 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival
Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra; Josef Špaček, violin; Tomáš Jamník, cello; Lukáš Vondráček, piano

Suk – Serenade for String Orchestra in E-flat major, Op.6

Voříšek – Grand Rondeau for Piano Trio and Orchestra, Op.25

Dvořák – Serenade for String Orchestra in E major, Op.22, B.52

20 September – Closing of 2020 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival
Petr Altrichter, conductor; Lukáš Vondráček, piano; Kateřina Kněžíková, soprano; Svatopluk Sem, baritone; Prague Philharmonic Choir

Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor. Op.18

Dvořák – In Nature’s Realm, Op. 91, B. 168

Dvořák – Te Deum, Op.103, B.176

23-24 September 2020 – 125th Season Launch
Semyon Bychkov, conductor; Daniil Trifonov, piano; Selina Ott, trumpet
September concert broadcast live on Czech Radio
September broadcast and streamed live on Czech TV, Mezzo Live HD & tv

Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor, Op. 35 for piano, trumpet and strings

Mahler – Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor

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