The Prague Philharmonic Choir presents the jubilee 90th season 

The Prague Philharmonic Choir is organising four concerts under its direction for the 2024/2025 season. An invitation to the opening concert to take place on 28 September has been accepted by the Dresden Philharmonic, which will be conducted by Michael Sanderling. Immediately on the following day, 29 September, the Prague Philharmonic Choir with Czech choirs and the Czech Philharmonic will celebrate the Year of Czech Music with the concert “Let Us Rejoice, Let’s Be Merry”.

On 28 and 29 November it plans to perform two a cappella concerts of “Treasures of the Czech Choruses”, the first performance in co-production with the Bohuslav Martinů Days music festival. 

The December Advent Concert at the Žofín Palace will be held on 19 and 20 December to the accompaniment of the Prague Philharmonia.

In addition, the choir is set to stage four performances abroad in the first half of the season. The first is the London BBC Proms music festival where the choir will perform for the very first time in its ninety year history accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic and conducted by Jakub Hrůša. This will be followed by two October concerts again with the Dresden Philharmonic and Michael Sanderling, this time in Dresden.

In November the choir will appear in Hong Kong with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The imaginary highlight of the season will be the New York tour in December during which the choir will perform the Glagolitic Mass with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov followed by its own concert as part of the programme series at Carnegie Hall. 

“I am proud that the choir is entering its 90th season in such form – it is stable, established, artistically unwavering. And what is more, it keeps moving forwards. I am glad to be a part of this,” says the Prague Philharmonic Choir’s principal choirmaster Lukáš Vasilek.
The Prague Philharmonic Choir’s own concert series offers an exclusively Czech repertoire for the 2024/2025 season with one exception. It will perform Antonín Dvořák’s Requiem during its Opening Concert, which the choir is organising in collaboration with the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival. 

The dramaturgy of the “Let Us Rejoice, Let’s Be Merry” concert will offer a separate programme of Czech amateur choirs (Severáček [Liberec Children’s Choir], Česká píseň Plzeň [Czech Song Pilsen] and Bohemiachor [Bohemia Choir]) in its first part. The second part of the concert will include the Prague Philharmonic Choir and Czech Philharmonic conducted by Lukáš Vasilek with a joint performance of Dvořák’s Te Deum, and end on a high note with all the choirs together performing “Let Us Rejoice, Let’s Be Merry” from Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.

The “Treasures of the Czech Chorus” will bring out the excellence of Czech vocal works. There will be a performance of Petr Eben’s Prague Te Deum 1989, Leoš Janáček’s Our Father, Antonín Dvořák’s In Nature’s Realm, Bohuslav Martinů’s Four Songs About Mary and Jan Novák’s Testamentum. The solos will be performed by tenor Pavel Černoch.“We wanted to present the very best of Czech work, as well as perform compositions not that well known. Therefore apart from top compositions of Dvořák, Janáček and Martinů, the brilliant compositions of Petr Eben and Jan Novák will be performed, is how Lukáš Vasilek describes the concert’s dramaturgy. 

This time the now traditional Žofín Advent Concerts will offer Francis Poulenc’s Gloria and Jan Ryant Dřízal’s Christmas Cantata commissioned by the Prague Philharmonic Choir and performed for the first time last year. Just as in previous years, the orchestral partner will be the Prague Philharmonia.
Among other works as part of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, the Prague Philharmonic Choir will stage a concert performance of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera The Dead City with the FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tomáš Brauner, and the choir will present Verdi’s Requiem with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Petr Popelka.

A major event of the second half of the Prague Philharmonic Choir’s jubilee season will be a performance of French born Swiss composer Arthur Honegger’s dramatic oratorio Joan of Arc at the Stake. Audrey Bonnet will perform the role of Joan of Arc and the role of Brother Dominique will be played by Sébastien Dutrieux. The Czech Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonic Choir and Kühn Children’s Choir will be conducted by Lukáš Vasilek. “Joan of Arc is one of the most important vocal-instrumental compositions of the 20th century. Of course, to conduct it was a dream which I always thought was quite unrealistic. I appreciate that I will be able to present this awe-inspiring drama with the Prague Philharmonic Choir and Czech Philharmonic. I also look forward to how we will master this ‘musical pinnacle’ together, and I am certain that we will be able to provide the audience with an extraordinary artistic experience,” says the principal choirmaster.

During its 90th season the Prague Philharmonic Choir will also participate in the major Czech music festivals Prague Spring and Smetana’s Litomyšl. Then in 2025 it will traditionally travel to Austria for the Bregenz Festival where, among other, they will be performing Weber’s Die Freischütz on the floating stage.
In the 90th season the Prague Philharmonic Choir will build on its educational activities, which it will extend to include new projects. “Singing is probably the most natural way of how to experience music ‘for yourself’. Therefore, we would like to make this experience available to a broad spectrum of the audience through concerts and workshops, by inviting teachers and artists from various spheres to make this possible,” is how the choir’s general manager, Anna Moravcová describes the educational projects. 

The dramaturgy of the individual workshops is targeted at audiences of various age groups: from several month-old children (Spinkej, zazpívám ti do ouška [Sleep, I will sing into your ear]), pre-school children (Ententýna, mandolína! [Sing, sing Mandolin]) to the Spring Picnic Concert at the Magical Well for primary school children and their parents. The Prague Philharmonic Choir will present the Goin’ Home | Antonín Dvořák and the American Spiritual Project for students and adults also as part of its Hong Kong tour. The Hlasotaj (Find Your Voice) workshop will focus on discovering what your own voice can do and in Hudba staletí a věčnosti (Music of Centuries and Eternity) the choir is preparing an extraordinary musical experience in the magical setting of the Convent of Saint Agnes.

Part of the professional education is also the singing academy whose partner is now the Soňa Červená Endowment Fund. Thus, the project now has the new name – the Academy of the Prague Philharmonic Choir in Honour of Soňa Červená. “The Academy is our biggest and longest running educational project, thanks to which students of singing schools have been able to learn about the work of a professional choir. In this time many graduates have become permanent members of the Prague Philharmonic Choir as well as of other ensembles. We are so pleased that thanks to the support of the Soňa Červená Endowment Fund we can expand the study programme at the Academy to include other activities, adds Anna Moravcová.

In the context of the history and political structure of Europe in the 20th century, the choir did not have many opportunities to travel to the British Isles. One of two rare tours of Scotland and Wales took place in 1972 with the then principal choirmaster Josef Veselka. The second visit did not come until 2002, when the male part of the choir travelled to the Edinburgh Festival where it performed Wagner’s Parsifal conducted by the famous conductor Claudio Abbado.
The third performance of the Prague Philharmonic Choir in Albion will take place at this year’s BBC Proms music festival in London. The choir will perform Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass to the accompaniment of the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jakub Hrůša. 

This cantata will also be performed by the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonic Choir in New York to mark the climax of the Year of Czech Music, during the Czech Week in Carnegie Hall. The two ensembles conducted by Semyon Bychkov will perform here at the start of December. The Prague Philharmonic Choir will then present its “Treasures of the Czech Chorus” concert. In its ninety year history, this is the choir’s first ever own concert at this world famous New York cultural centre.

In the second half of the season the choir will make a guest appearance at the Dvořák festival in the Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne, Switzerland with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Michael Sanderling. The choir will also present its own a capella programme.

A novelty for the jubilee 90th season is the opportunity of being able to buy subscription tickets to the concerts organised by the Prague Philharmonic Choir. So a 30% discount as compared with the full price of individual tickets is being offered to audiences and patrons of the choir, and this ticket will be transferable. In addition, subscribers will get a 20% discount when buying individual tickets to concerts organised by the Prague Philharmonic Choir, Czech Philharmonic or the Czech Chamber Music Society.

Since 2023 the Prague Philharmonic Choir has been cooperating with ČEZ Group. As the general partner, it supports the choir’s home and foreign concert activities and also focuses on supporting young talent and educational activities. The principal partner is Citroën, which provides the choir with its vehicles particularly when on tour of European countries, as well as in the Czech Republic. The gentlemen of the Prague Philharmonic Choir have been wearing the Men’s Clothing fashion brand BANDI since spring 2024. 


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