The Prague Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 7:30 PM
The Prague Symphony Orchestra is the official orchestra of the capital city Prague. The orchestra is a leading Czech musical ensemble with an established and renowned international reputation. It contributes significantly to the concert scene in the Czech capital and at the same time promotes Czech culture abroad. The orchestra was founded in 1934 and was originally named FOK, Film Opera Koncert, which were the ensemble's original focuses. By recording music for the majority of Czech films in the 1930s and performing regularly in live broadcasts on the Czechoslovak Radio, the FOK Orchestra made a name for itself and its economic existence was assured. This allowed the gradual development of regular concerts, whose main promoter from the very beginning was Dr. Václav Smetáček.
Within a very short time Dr. Smetáček managed to build the orchestra into a large symphonic ensemble, challenging the standards of its strong domestic competition. In 1942 he became the orchestra’s chief conductor and he stood as its head for a full thirty years. During the period of his leadership the orchestra achieved a high performance standard and international renown.
In 1952, the City of Prague granted the FOK Orchestra status as the representative orchestra of the city. The traditional acronym “FOK” was retained, and the new title of the orchestra became Symphony Orchestra of the Capital City of Prague – FOK. In 1957 the orchestra departed on its first foreign tour – to Poland, Italy, Austria, and Germany – and thus inaugurated its regular and intensive engagement on the international scene.
The Orchestra is currently under the direction of Chief Conductor Tomas Brauner. Brauner has performed many works with the Prague Symphony Orchestra including Dvorak's Symphony No. 7, Stabat mater, Slavonic Dances, Rusalka - fantasy, Smetana's My Country, Suk' Asrae, and other works. In 2018 Brauner toured with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in Munich (Rachmaninoff: Piano Concert No. 2 and No. 3) and in Poznan (Smetana: My Country).
Tomáš Brauner is Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, focusing mainly on Czech repertoire both in homeland and all over the world. Tomáš Brauner has performed with the Prague Symphony Orchestra e.g. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, Stabat mater, Slavonic Dances, Rusalka – fantasy, Smetana’s My Country, Suk’ Asrael, and other works. In 2018 Tomáš Brauner has toured with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in Munich (Rachmaninoff: Piano Concert No. 2 & No. 3) and in Poznań (Smetana: My Country).
From 2013–2018 he was Chief Conductor of the Plzeň Philharmonic, and since 2014 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra in Prague. From 2018 he has been Chief Conductor of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic.
Tomáš Brauner regularly conducts symphony orchestras and opera houses such as the Czech Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Münchner Symphoniker, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Slovak Philharmonic, Philharmonie Sudwestfalen, National Radio Orchestra Romania, Moscow Radio State Orchestra, Athens Orchestra of Colours, PKF – Prague Philharmonia, and many more.
Tomáš Brauner began his opera conducting career at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň. He made his debut at the Prague State Opera in 2008 with a performance of Verdi’s Othello. In National Theater in Prague he conducts Verdi’s La Traviata. He has conducted Janáček’s Jenůfa at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
Tomáš Brauner was born in Prague in 1978. After graduating in conducting from the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in 2005 he undertook a study attachment at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. Five years later he was a prizewinner at the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens.
Piano virtuoso Marek Kozák will join the Orchestra as a soloist. Kozák was a semifinalist in the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, winning the title Talent of the Year at the fourth annual Classic Prague Awards. Critics have consistently praised his flawless technique, his sense of proportion and gradation, his wide range of expression, deep musicality and faithfulness to the musical notation. Kozák, a graduate of the piano class of Professor Ivan Klansky at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, has certainly made a splash in the Czech piano scene.
Orchestra Website: https://www.fok.cz/en/
Marek Kozák Website: http://www.marek-kozak.cz/en-biography.php
Ticket prices: Individual ticket prices $35, Early Bird series tickets purchased before 9/7/20: $95 which includes one ticket to each of the four concerts in the Wartmann Artist Series + 1 complimentary Chicago Brass Quintet Christmas ticket. Series tickets purchased after 9/7/20: $120 + 1 complimentary Chicago Brass Quintet Christmas ticket.
Online Tickets Tickets by phone 608-561-6093 Due to construction work and Covid-19 there will be no in-person ticket sales.
Funded partially by the William and Joyce Wartmann Endowment for the Performing Arts