Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
The Czech Philharmonic’s very first concert took place on 4 January 1896 in the Rudolfinum and was conducted by Antonín Dvořák. Before the Chief Conductor’s baton was taken up by the first internationally known conductor, Václav Talich, in 1919, the orchestra was directed by Ludvík Čelanský and Vilém Zemánek, as well as, briefly, by Oskar Nedbal. Talich’s great personality was succeeded by other outstanding conductors such as Rafael Kubelík (1942‐1948), Karel Ančerl (1950‐1968) and Václav Neumann (1968‐1990). During the 1990s, the position of Chief Conductor was passed in succession to Jiří Bělohlávek, Gerd Albrecht and Vladimir Ashkenazy, who directed the orchestra until the end of the 2002/2003 season. From the beginning of the 2003/2004 season until 8 September 2007 Zdeněk Mácal held a position as the tenth Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. In the 113th season there was no Chief Conductor; some of his powers and duties were exercised by the Principal Guest Conductor Manfred Honeck. The post of the Chief Conductor from the concert season 2009/2010 has been accepted by Eliahu Inbal.
Ever since the time of Ančerl’s leadership, the Czech Philharmonic has typically been faced with an extensive travel itinerary that has taken in all the continents. This was also hold true during the 112th concert season, when in addition to concerts in Europe the orchestra traveled to the USA and Japan. In the 2009/10 season the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra undertook concert tours of Ireland and the United Kingdom with the conductor Jakub Hrůša; Japan with Herbert Blomstedt, and Spain with Eliahu Inbal; the orchestra will also perform in Germany with Nikolas Znaider and Manfred Honeck, and at the prestigious BBC Proms in London with Sir John Eliot Gardiner. The Czech Philharmonic will also appear at a number of festivals in the Czech Republic (Česká Lípa, Chrudim, Brno, Ostrava, Litomyšl and Klatovy).