NEW DATE Fri 10.9.2021
- Léa Trommenschlager soprano
- Marianne Crebassa mezzo soprano
- Prager Philharmonischer Chor
- Mahler Chamber Orchestra
- Maxime Pascal conductor
The Prague Philharmonic Choir (PPC) is a leading European vocal ensemble, and as one of the Czech Republic´s foremost artistic institutions operates under the trusteeship of the Czech Ministry of Culture. In the course of the choir´s long history since its foundation in 1935, it has been directed by a succession of some of the most distinguished Czech choirmasters (including among others Jan Kühn, Josef Veselka). Since 2007 its principal conductor has been Lukáš Vasilek.
The PPC´s repertoire is centered primarily around oratorio and cantata works. In their presentation, the choir has worked with eminent international orchestras (e.g. the Czech Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden or Wiener Symphoniker, among others), and conductors (including Daniel Barenboim, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Manfred Honeck, Jakub Hrůša, Philippe Jordan, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Tomáš Netopil, Gianandrea Noseda, sir Simon Rattle). As the choir in residence at the opera festival of Bregenz, Austria, the PPC is likewise active in the domain of opera.
Apart from these commitments, the PPC engages in a number of its own projects. Since 2011 it has organized its own concert series in Prague, with a programme focused notably on presentations of technically demanding and/or less well known choral works, either a cappella or with chamber-scale instrumental accompaniment. The PPC has taken some of these choral projects abroad (including among other occasions its tours in the USA and Mexico – 2014, in Russia – 2018, and in Hong Kong – 2020). The choir regards as an inseparable part of its activity educational endeavours targeting the young generations. In this context, it has been involved in organizing a Choral Academy for students of singing, a project aimed at enabling young artists to acquire practical skills through work with a professional vocal ensemble; and with focus on young children, running a series of educational concerts and a programme of singing workshops in schools.
The PPC has to its credit an extensive discography, with many titles released by major international labels (e.g., Decca Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical and Supraphon). In recent years the choir has taken part in several unique recording projects, two of them in association with the Czech Philharmonic. The first of these, a recording of Antonín Dvořák´s Stabat Mater (Decca, 2017), with Jiří Bělohlávek conducting, received the prestigious Diapason d´Or de l´Annèe award for the year´s best album in the sacred music category. The second, a recording of Bohuslav Martinů´s The Epic of Gilgamesh (Supraphon, 2017), under the baton of Manfred Honeck, won several awards in the United Kingdom in 2017, plus another Diapason d´Or. Its album featuring chamber cantatas of Bohuslav Martinů (Supraphon, 2016), received top accolades of the prestigious British magazines, Gramophone (Editor´s Choice), and BBC Music Magazine (Choral and Song Choice). In the latter magazine, it was also nominated for its annual award in the choral music category. In the year 2020, Decca Classic will bring out three new recordings of music by Antonín Dvořák (Te Deum; Requiem) and Gustav Mahler (Symphony No. 2 in C minor), all made with the participation of the Prague Philharmonic Choir.
The PPC´s many commitments in the 2019/2020 season include among others concert appearances at the Dvořák Prague and Prague Spring festivals, a tour in Hong Kong, a performance in Moscow´s new concert hall, Zaryadye, as well as debut appearances at the Salzburg Easter Festival, with Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann, or at the Elbphilharmonie hall, with the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jakub Hrůša, and with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert. The PPC will bring its 85th season to a close by appearances at several festivals, including Smetana Litomyšl, St. Gallen Festival in Switzerland, and the opera festival in Bregenz, Austria.
The Prague Philharmonic Choir is the recipient of the 2018 Classic Prague Award for Best Vocal Concert, and Czech Television´s Classical Music of the Year Award.
NEW DATE Fri 10.9.2021