The Prague Philharmonia (Praská komorní filharmonie; literal translation, "Prague Chamber Philharmonia") is an orchestra based in Prague, the Czech Republic. The orchestra gives concerts in several venues in Prague, including the Dvoák Hall of the Rudolfinum, the Church of St. Simon and Juda, the vanda Theatre (Smíchov) and the Salon Philharmonia. The orchestra receives government and civic sponsorship from the Czech Ministry of Culture, the City of Prague and the Prague 1 Municipal Authority. As of the 2010-2011 season, the orchestra's director is Radim Otépka, and their general director is Peter Zedníek. The orchestra contains 49 musicians, as of the 2010-2011 season.
Jií Blohlávek founded the orchestra in 1993, after his resignation as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic the previous year. The Czech Ministry of Defence had offered funding for training 40 young musicians to act as their own music ensemble, to replace the Prague Symphony Orchestra in that capacity. Blohlávek decided to form a new chamber orchestra instead with the funds, and had auditioned musicians for the orchestra. However, the ministry withdrew its funding the next year. Blohlávek subsequently secured private funding for the orchestra, which made its public debut in 1994. Blohlávek served as the orchestra's first music director and chief conductor, from 1994 to 2005. He led the orchestra in its debut at The Proms in London in July 2004. Since 2005, Blohlávek has held the title of conductor laureate of the orchestra.
The Swiss conductor Kaspar Zehnder became the orchestra's second chief conductor in 2005, and Jakub Hra simultaneously became principal guest conductor. Zehnder stepped down from the chief conductorshp in June 2008 at the expiration of his contract. In March 2008, the orchestra announced the appointment of Hra as their third chief conductor, effective in September 2008.
The orchestra has made recordings for a number of labels, including Supraphon, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI and Harmonia Mundi.
- Jií Blohlávek (1994-2005)
- Kaspar Zehnder (2005-2008)
- Jakub Hra (2008present)
- Tim Ashley, The sound of freedom, The Guardian, 2001-03-01. URL accessed on 2009-04-25.
- Erica Jeal, Prague Philharmonia (review of Prom 4, 2004), The Guardian, 2004-07-24. URL accessed on 2008-08-09.
- Andrew Clements, Dvorak: The Stubborn Lovers: Kloubova/ Brezina/ Sykorova/ Belacek/ Janal/ Prague Philharmonia/ Belohlavek, The Guardian, 2004-04-02. URL accessed on 2008-08-09.
- Andrew Clements, Smetana: Ma Vlast review, The Guardian, 2010-10-14. URL accessed on 2011-01-05.
- Andrew Clements, Mozart: Symphonies Nos 35 & 36, Prague Philharmonia/ Belohlavek, The Guardian, 2005-08-19. URL accessed on 2008-08-09.
- Prague Philharmonia official homepage, Czech-language version
- English-language version of orchestra homepage
|Orchestras based in Prague|