The Minister of Culture Bestows an Artis Bohemiae Amicis Prize on Ondrej Lenárd
The minister of culture Ilja Šmíd honored the Chief Conductor of the PRSO, who is about to end his term, with an Artis Bohemiae Amicis prize for his contribution to spreading the good name of Czech culture at home and abroad.
On Monday, June 4th, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra played under the baton of Ondrej Lenárd for the last time, at least during his term as chief conductor. The orchestra topped off seven extraordinary seasons with a concert of Verdi´s Requiem. The soloists were Celine Byrne, Jana Hrochová, Georgij Vasiljev and Štefan Kocán who sang alongside the Prague Philharmonic Choir, led by its principle choral master Lukáš Vasilek.
The evening did not end with the last notes of the Requiem. To great applause and in the presence of honored guests, the Director General of the Czech Radio, René Zavoral, thanked the chief conductor in the sold-out Dvořák Concert Hall. He stated that, during his seven concert seasons, Lenárd elevated PRSO to a European level and he presented him with a silver gramophone record and a baton of rosewood as a souvenir of the years spent with the PRSO. He also added that “the door to the Czech Radio, as well as the rehearsal rooms and concert halls of PRSO, are always open to Ondrej Lenárd.”
The Minister of Culture, Ilja Šmíd, then remembered their years working together, when Šmíd was the dramaturg of PRSO during Ondrej Lenárd´s management. He pointed out the contribution of this conductor to Czech culture and presented him with a medal and diploma. Ondrej Lenárd thus became one of the important figures presented with the Medal of the Friends of Czech Art, alongside such greats as Jiří Bělohlávek, Jiří Menzel, and Ennio Morricone.
At the Monday morning rehearsal in Studio 1, the orchestra also said its goodbye to Ondrej Lenárd, giving him presents in the form of a photo album and a large-format photo from the Graphic Studio of the Czech Radio. Representatives of the orchestra also gifted him with a basket of selected wines. The gift-giving ceremony was preceded by a brass fanfare.
Ondrej Lenárd and PRSO still have a three-week tour through Japan ahead of them between June and July, where they will play a total of 13 concerts. In the 2018/2019 season they will meet again on two season tickets concerts - one in October entitled Vivat Republica! which will present works of Czech and Slovak composers and then in April, where they will play Dvořák´s Stabat Mater.