Prague Chamber Orchestra
Prague Chamber Orchestra (PKO) is one of the four oldest chamber orchestras in Europe, it was founded in 1951 by members of the then Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. It stands out as an orchestra of the so-called Mozart cast, which is able to perform without a conductor. The date of the foundation Prague Chamber Orchestra is considered to be October 22, 1951, when the first recording was made – Stamitz’s Orchestral Quartet in F major.
The first concert took place on 14th June 1952 as part of the Prague Spring Festival in Rudolfinum. From the 1953/54 season, the Prague Chamber Orchestra began to organize a cycle of seasonal concerts. On 1st January 1965, the orchestra was nationalized and after the fall of the communist regime, a private PKO-Agency was established (1991) to run the orchestra. PKO continues to complete cycles of seasonal concerts and extraordinary concerts, they take place in Dvořák’s Rudolfinum Hall, the Simon and Jude Concert Hall and the Prague Conservatory Concert Hall.
During almost seventy years of its existence, the orchestra has always strived for a top level of interpretation, for which it has received many domestic and foreign awards, such as the Wiener Flötenuhr or the Supraphon Gold Record for 1 million sold records. In today’s modern age, PKO has an irreplaceable position on the music server of Spotify Ltd., where it is one of the 5 most listened orchestras in the world and is has over 340.000 listeners every month.
The orchestra has cooperated with a number of artistic personalities with renowned names. The conductors include, for instance, Sir Charles Mackerras, Václav Neumann, Gerd Albrecht and Trevor Pinnock. The list of the soloists has among others Emil Gilels, Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli, Rudolf Buchbinder, Henryk Szeryng, Maxim Vengerov, Jessye Norman, Barbara Hendricks or Mischa Maisky,Josef Špaček, Jiří Bárta or Alice Sara Ott.