Über uns

Prague Chamber Choir

The Prague Chamber Choir was founded in 1991 as an ensemble of prominent Prague chorus singers who wanted to sing chamber music. Soon followed invitations to performances on prestigious European festivals (Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, Wiener Festwochen, Prague Spring, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Hamburger Musikfest, Stuttgarter Musikfest, Wiener Frühlingsfestival, Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival de Musique de Strasbourg, Perth International Arts Festival, Wratislavia Cantans International Festival, Festival de Música de Canarias etc.). Since 1992 it has been a permanent guest choir at Rossini Opera Festival in Italian Pesaro and since 1995 also at Wexford Opera Festival in Ireland; the choir has been continually invited to Festival Mozart de La Coruña (since 2004) and to Al Bustan Festival in Beirut (since 2002) as well.

Prague Chamber Choir realized about 300 concert tours around Europe (most often to Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands), the first tour outside Europe was to Australia in 1995 (again 1997 and 1999), in the same year the choir performed with Helmuth Rilling in Japan, then followed appearances in Israel (1996, cond. Mehta; 1997, cond. Conde; 1998, a cappella; 1999, cond. Schirmer; 2000, 2002 cond. Bertini) and in Lebanon (2002, 2006, 2008). Recently the choir launched performances around Brazil (2005), went to South Korea (Daegu, 2006) and to Macau (2007).

As one of the most important choir performances we must mention Mozart Messe c-moll at Salzburger Festspiele (1998, cond. P. Schreier), Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson and Dalila with Plácido Domingo in Hamburg (1996); the choir sang to pope Jan Pavel II (1997), it took part in European tour with Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Andrea Bocelli (2006, 2007). It was a guest at the World Exhibition in Sevilla, opera houses in Geneva, Florence, Antwerp, Hamburg, Monte Carlo, Lutych, La Coruña; it has been cooperating with the National Theatre and State Opera House in Prague.

Choir performances were recorded and broadcasted by Czech and foreign companies (ARD, Bayerische Rundfunk, BBC, Czech Radio, Czech Television, NDR, ORF, RAI, RTE, Südfunk,  SWR, WDR).

Prague Chamber Choir collaborated with principal foreign (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Bamberger Symphoniker, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, SDR Orchester, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestre National De Lyon, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Orchestra della Toscana di Firenze, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento) and Czech orchestras (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Prague Chamber Philharmony, Czech Chamber Orchestra, Virtuosi di Praga, Musica Bohemica, Musica Florea etc.) and met with prominent conductors (Y. Abel, G. Albrecht, V. Ashkenazy, J. Bělohlávek, G. Bertini, H. Blomstedt, S. Bychkov, G. Deloghu, Ch. Eschenbach, G. Ferro, R. Frizza, D. Gatti, G. Gelmetti, W. Gonnenwein, M. Honeck, M. H. Chung, L. Jia, V. Jurowski, D. Jurowski, J. Kout, G. Kuhn, J. López-Cobos, N. Marriner, Z. Mehta, K. Nagano, J. Nelson, T. Netopil, V. Neumann, R. Norrington, P. Olmi, E. Oue, R. Palumbo, A. Parrot, Z. Peskó, G. Prêtre, A. Rasilainen, D. Renzetti, H. Rilling, C. Rizzi, G. N. Rožděstvenskij, J. P. Saraste, U. Schirmer, P. Schreier, G. Sinopoli, L. Slatkin, H. Stein, P. Steinberg, T. Strugala, L. Vordoni, M. Zanetti, A. Zedda, D. Zinmann etc.). We have to mention also conductors of chamber orchestras and choirmasters as R. Beck, F. Bernius, E. Ericson and R. Gandolfi.

Prague Chamber Choir’s discography covers after 20 years around 100 CD’s and DVD’s for Czech and outland broadcasting corporations (ECM, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Discover International, Chandos, Naxos, NDR, Orfeo, Panton, Pony Canon, Popron, Ricordi, Hänssler Classic, Supraphon). Some recordings were created with famous choirs such as Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, WDR Rundfunkchor Köln etc. The most significant project has been complete edition of Antonín Dvořák’s operas under G. Albrecht for Orfeo (opera King and Coalman won prestigious award MIDEM 2008).

The choir has co-starred with front soloists (Daniela Barcelona, Andrea Bocelli, Mariola Cantarero, Patrizia Ciofi, Carlo Colombara, Plácido Domingo, Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Flórez, Bernarda Fink, Maria Guleghina, Vesselina Kasarova, Gregory Kunde, Michele Pertusi, Ewa Podles, Katia Ricciarelli, Ramón Vargas etc.).

The chief choirmaster was Josef Pančík (till 2006), who is also the chorusmaster in Janáček’s Opera House in Brno, nowadays the choir cooperates with other Czech leader choirmasters – Jaroslav Brych, Robert Hugo, Lubomír Mátl, Adolf Melichar, Pavel Vaněk and Roman Válek.

One of the last big successes was the production of Rossini’s opera Maometto II in Otsu and Tokio in November 2008. The Pen Music Club Japan, the association numbered more than 200 musical critics, awarded the Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro (involving Prague Chamber Choir) as the best opera performance in Japan in cathegory foreign artists (competed e. g. with Salzburger Festspiele, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lausanne, Mariinsky Opera of St. Petersburg).