The PKF — Prague Philharmonia’s new concert season offers a balanced combination from the classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire

Press conference for the 29th season, photo by Petra Hajská

In its 29th season, the orchestra of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia will perform over 35 concerts in five subscription series.

Music lovers can look forward to nine concerts in the Orchestral Cycle A, filled with the music of Johannes Brahms, who will be a central figure in the forthcoming season’s programme. But you will also hear the orchestra play works by composers whose music is at the heart of the ensemble’s repertoire, including Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Four of the concerts will be led by the chief conductor and music director Emmanuel Villaume, though the baton will also be passed on to the French conductor Marc Minkowski and the Venezuelan chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Domingo Hindoyan.

There is no shortage of star names amongst the soloists either: the opening concert will feature the soloist from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Ailyn Pérez, conducted by the music director and chief conductor Emmanuel Villaume. The orchestra opens the season on 7 September at the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum. “I can’t believe that this will be my eighth season at the head of this outstanding orchestra. I am particularly pleased that we will open this impressive season with the star soprano singer Ailyn Pérez and a concert focusing on the theme of “orientalism” from Mozart to Massenet. It is a great honour for me to grow as an artist and as a person surrounded by all of you – the musicians on stage and the audience in the hall,” said the chief conductor Emmanuel Villaume.

Kateřina Kalistová a Emmanuel Villaume, foto Petra Hajská
Director of PKF — Prague Philharmonia Kateřina Kalistová and Chief Conductor Emmanuel Villaume

Amongst the other special guests at the April concert include the Grammy-winning pianist Garrick Ohlsson, the mezzo soprano Olesya Petrova, and after four years the pianist Simon Trpčeski returns to the orchestra.

The Chamber Cycle, the dramaturge of which is Martina Sermain, offers ten concerts on the theme of “duos” at the Baroque Refectory of the Profesní dům.

The sixth Lobkowicz subscription series, headed by the series director Dana Syrová,  will feature four subscription evenings in the magical atmosphere of Lobkowicz Palace.

The Contemporary Music Cycle, with the subtitle “Cycle S – world class!”, is led by the dramaturge Hana Dohnálková and offers a series of six concerts.

There will also be concerts for children at the Rudolfinum organized by Jiří Adámek, whose previous productions for children have won awards both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

The December concert’s programme focuses on works by Czech composers and will feature the PKF — Prague Philharmonia’s concert master Lukáš Pospíšil in Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra No. 2, immediately followed by January’s concert in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Viktor Kalabis, featuring his composition Symphonic Variations for Large Orchestra, Op. 24.

In the previous season the orchestra attempted to break the silence following the difficult time of the pandemic, something which it succeeded in doing. “We are delighted that our audiences still enjoy coming to our concerts, creating an almost family-like community of supporters around our orchestra. So I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of those who have stood by our orchestra during these difficult times, in particular the Czech Ministry of Culture and the City of Prague, as well as our partners from the private sector and our benevolent patrons,” added the director of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia Kateřina Kalistová.

Tisková konference k 29. sezoně, foto Petra Hajská

In addition to the subscription concerts, the PKF — Prague Philharmonia will also be giving educational concerts for children from the ages of 4 to 8, which will take place in the more intimate atmosphere of the KD Ládví in Prague 8. As part of the Children’s Club Notička, the orchestra has organized five weekend meetings during which even the youngest children will be able to experience the beauty of different cultures.

The new season’s programme also contains a substitute date for the concert by the Slovak conductor and composer Marián Lejava which was postponed in 2021. Together with the Slovak violinist Milan Pal'a they will perform at the Experimentální Prostor NoD on 22 November 2022. Audiences can also look forward to a benefit concert which is also the world premiere of the music suite The Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart, inspired by the work of John Amos Comenius. The orchestra of the PKF — Prague Philharmonia will perform it together with its creator, Tomáš Kačo, on 28 June 2023 at the Rudolfinum in Prague.

The PKF — Prague Philharmonia will open the Czech Republic’s presidency of the EU Commission at the Rudolfinum on 8 July 2022 under the baton of conductor Jan Kučera with soloist Tomáš Kačo, whose composition “Stronger than Yesterday” was written specially for the Czech presidency and will have its world premiere here. As part of the presidency the orchestra will also appear in Brussels in September this year, where it will be joined by the pianist Lukáš Vondráček.

The orchestra’s general partner for the forthcoming season will continue to be the Komerční banka, its main partner is Hyundai and the orchestra patron is the RSBC investment group. The partner for the Orchestral Cycle A is Ad-Ventures Invest. The orchestra’s general media partner is Czech Television and its main partner is Hospodářské noviny. In 2022 the City of Prague contributed 10.5 million crowns to the PKF — Prague Philharmonia.