|Prague Symphony Orchestra
Web site: http://www.fok.cz
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THE PRAGUE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
is a leading Czech music ensemble that has been enriching the concert life of the Czech capital and representing Czech culture at the highest level abroad. During this concert season, it celebrates the 78th anniversary of its founding.
It was founded in the autumn of 1934 by the composer and music organiser Rudolf Pekárek. From the beginning the orchestra’s home podium was the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House. Originally, its activities were not limited to concerts; in Czech it has always been known as the FOK orchestra, an acronym symbolising its triple orientation in the first years of its life (Film – Opera – Concert). In 1952 the orchestra became the representative concert orchestra of the City of Prague and was therefore renamed the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestra’s traditions and development have been strongly influenced by key periods under high-profile chief conductors: Václav Smetáček (who headed the orchestra 1942 – 1972), Jiří Bělohlávek (1977 – 1989) and Serge Baudo (2001 – 2006). Its quality and direction have also been moulded by chief conductors Ladislav Slovák, Petr Altrichter, Martin Turnovský, Gaetano Delogu and other conductors who have worked with the orchestra on a long term basis, especially Václav Neumann, Zdeněk Košler and Vladimír Válek. Since the 2006/2007 concert season the orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic director has been Jiří Kout.