The illustrious tradition of the Brno Philharmonic dates its beginnings to the 1870s, when the young Leoš Janáček began his efforts to create a Czech symphony orchestra. The present-day orchestra was established in 1956 as the Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra. Its seat is the Besední dům designed by Theophil von Hansen, the architect of Vienna’s Musikverein.
The Philharmonic gives dozens of concerts a year in Brno. Its 59th season comprises twelve concert series (fifteen options), and the offer is very rich indeed: from classical music which has stood the test of time, to contemporary and baroque music, to concerts of the Kantiléna choir and special concerts.
New series include Jazz & World Music, informal concerts of the Young Blood series, and the Public Dress Rehearsals. The traditional encompass Symphonic, Concerto, Classical, and Family Series. The Artist of the Season is Benjamin Yusupov, and other distinguished performers of the season include Iva Bittová, Adam Plachetka, Anat Cohen, Alexander Kniazev, and Maxim Rysanov.
The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra also organises four international music festivals: the Easter Festival of Sacred Music, the Exposition of New Music, the Špilberk International Music Festival and the Moravian Autumn (biennial).
With its 112 members, the Orchestra is among the largest in Central Europe, and it performs at festivals and in concert halls throughout the world. It regularly appears at festivals both in the Czech Republic and abroad, and every second year it goes on a prestigious concert tour to Japan. The Brno Philharmonic performs with celebrated conductors such as Jiří Bělohlávek, Serge Baudo, and David Robertson; star soloists who have appeared with the orchestra include Sviatoslav Richter, Gidon Kremer, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Garrick Ohlsson, Olga Kern, Fazil Say, Sophia Jaffé and Elina Garanča.
The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra excels in recordings for television, radio, and on CD, and its discography reflects a repertoire emphasis on Leoš Janáček and twentieth-century music.
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