The Prague Philharmonic Choir, which is entering its 89th season, was founded in 1935 by choirmaster and teacher Jan Kühn. It is therefore the oldest Czech professional choir. However, the choir's name resonates at the top of the charts abroad as well.
Currently, it is mainly appreciated for its interpretation of oratorio and cantata repertoire. Since 2007, the choir has been led by its principal choirmaster and artistic director Lukáš Vasilek. Lukáš Kozubík completes the choirmaster duo.
Under the leadership of Lukáš Vasilek, the choir has established itself as a highly respected partner of major orchestras. On the domestic scene it has long been cooperating mainly with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and on its own choral concerts it is associated with the PKF - Prague Philharmonia.
Prague Philharmonic Choir
History of the Prague Philharmonic Choir
Its musical partners worldwide include the Berlin and Essen Philharmonics, the Vienna Symphony, the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Prague Philharmonic Chorus has gained valuable experience from its association with top conductors, such as Semyon Byčkov, Jakub Hrůša, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Zubin Mehta and Christoph Eschenbach. He also regularly participates in renowned music festivals such as Smetana Litomyšl, Prague Spring, Dvořák's Prague and Prague Sounds. Abroad, in recent years, they have been the resident choir of the Bregenzer Festspiele opera festival.
This season the choir will present four of its own concerts. Their dramaturgy is focused mainly on challenging and less known works of the choral repertoire a cappella or with instrumental accompaniment. Traditionally, they perform at concerts organized by Prague orchestras, but they will also travel to Ostrava. International trips will take them to Dresden, Baden-Baden, Hamburg and Bregenz.
In addition to its regular concert activities, the Prague Philharmonic Choir is dedicated to educational projects. It is preparing a series of educational concerts for young listeners, both in school versions and for families with children. Their programme emphasises entertainment and active involvement of children. For vocal students, it organises the Prague Philharmonic Choir Academy, thanks to which young singers can try out practice in a professional ensemble, participate in major musical projects and gain experience of working with leading artists.
The choir's vocal qualities are evidenced, among other things, by a rich archive of recordings that grows each season. The discography includes albums released by Pentatone, Decca Classics, Sony Classical and Supraphon. The Prague Philharmonic Choir has also received several awards for its recording activities, notably from the British Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine and the prestigious Diapasond'Or de l'Annèe award. The first gramophone recording was made in 1952 with conductor Václav Talich and carried Dvořák's oratorio Stabat Mater, while the last CD released so far is Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Byčkov from 2023.
The Prague Philharmonic Choir is the recipient of the 2018 Classic Prague Award for Best Vocal Concerto, the Czech Television Classical Choir of the Year Award, and in 2022 was the recipient of the Antonín Dvořák Award for outstanding artistic merit, promotion and popularisation of Czech music.