Alexander Liebreich to be new Chief Conductor of PRSO and Marek Šedivý new Principal Guest Conductor
This official announcement was made at press conference organised by the management of the PRSO at Studio 1 at the Czech Radio building at Vinohradská 12. Alongside the conductors themselves, the Director General of Czech Radio, René Zavoral, and Jakub Čížek, the Director of PRSO, spoke to the assembled journalists.
“I regard Alexander Liebreich as an excellent conductor who knows precisely what sound and expression he wants to achieve when he conducts an orchestra. At the same time, he has sufficient experience, including with radio orchestras, to be able to lead the PRSO as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Our joint concert at the end of October convinced me that Alexander Liebreich is the right choice for the orchestra. Under his leadership, the PRSO can genuinely become one of Europe’s top radio orchestras,” René Zavoral told journalists.
Jakub Čížek added to his words: “The PRSO is obligated to the public not only to do concerts but also studio recordings. As a radio orchestra it has to be versatile while at the same time always offering the highest level of interpretation. Alexander Liebreich is a conductor with a very broad-ranging repertoire, from Baroque to premieres of contemporary compositions. The presentation of Czech and world premieres in combination with the classical repertoire fulfils precisely the new conception of the orchestra that we presented ahead of the 90th season.”
Alexander Liebreich earned major ovations when he performed with the PRSO at the Rudolfinum at the end of October.
Reviews in Opera Plus and Harmonie appeared under the headlines “You want to exclaim, That’s the way to do it. The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra had just completed the programme of an extraordinary concert. They played as if reborn. In front of them on the rostrum, for the first time, was the conductor Alexander Liebreich” and “Alexander Liebrich and the PRSO perform like well-drilled tandem in extraordinary Sunday concert.”
Alexander Liebreich (1968) has been a Guest Conductor at leading European orchestras. 2018 will bring him not only a new role at the head of the PRSO but also the responsibility of serving as Artistic Director at the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The great conductor will in addition remain Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Katowice Kultura Natura festival. He had this to say about his future collaboration with the PRSO:
“The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra has a leading position in one of the most important capitals of classical music. To become Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of this orchestra is an outstanding honour, but moreover a clear challenge for me and for the musicians to seek highest quality of music making in the legendary Rudolfinum and on international stages. The Czech tradition in arts and culture is strongly connected with the history of my own family, which offers us a wonderful and authentic basis to create exciting musical encounters. I am thankful to the Czech Radio putting the trust and the effort in this future collaboration!”
Marek Šedivý (1987), who has been Chief Conductor at the Silesian Theatre in Opava since last year, has performed three times with the PRSO, at season-ticket holders’ concerts and at the Prague Spring festival. He shared his impressions:
“For me it has always been a great pleasure and a hugely enriching experience. I’m very honoured that the management and members of the orchestra have placed their confidence in us cooperating far more frequently and intensively. Alongside concert matters, I’m very much looking forward to recording, which should account for a major part of our collaboration. I would like in particular to focus on the Czech orchestral repertoire of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, though I would like to discover alongside the orchestra’s dramaturg less well-known high-quality works that merit being recorded again or even for the first time.”
Jakub Čížek made this comment on his appointment as Principal Guest Conductor of the PRSO: “I regard Marek Šedivý as one of the most gifted young Czech conductors. Our cooperation with him has repeatedly gone well, so we have decided to deepen it. As a Czech conductor Marek Šedivý will certainly be a fitting counterpart to Alexander Liebreich and I believe that together they will create an inspirational tandem for the orchestra’s musicians as well as for listeners.”
The new Chief Conductor will perform five season-ticket holders’ concerts at the Rudolfinum during the following season. We can now reveal that the programme will include works by Richard Strauss, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Anton Bruckner, as well as Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček. Marek Šedivý will conduct pieces by Richard Wagner, Arnold Schönberg and Bohuslav Martinů at the Rudolfinum. He will also take the baton at two PRSO concerts at Studio 1.