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Prague Symphony Orchestra

Prague Symphony Orchestra

The Prague Symphony Orchestra was founded in the autumn of 1934 by the conductor and music administrator Rudolf Pekárek, who defined the new ensemble’s fields of activity with the words Film-Opera-Koncert, which, as the abbreviation FOK, became part of the orchestra’s title. By recording music for the majority of Czech films in the 1930s and performing regularly in live broadcasts of Czechoslovak Radio the FOK Orchestra made a name for itself and its economic existence was assured. This allowed gradual development of concert activities, the main promoter of which, from the very beginning, was Václav Smetáček, who quickly managed to build the orchestra into a large symphonic ensemble fully capable of standing up to strong domestic competition. In 1942 he became the orchestra’s chief conductor, and directed it for a full thirty years. During the period of his leadership the orchestra achieved a high performance standard and international renown. He was followed in succession by Ladislav Slovák (1972–1976), Jindřich Rohan (1976–1977), Jiří Bělohlávek (1977–1989), Petr Altrichter (1990–1992), Martin Turnovský (1992–1995), and Gaetano Delogu (1995–1998). Other important Czech conductors who have worked with the orchestra over a long period have included especially Václav Neumann, Zdeněk Košler, and Vladimír Válek. There have been guest conductors and soloists of international eminence over the years. The Prague




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