Public performance of classical music has a long tradition in the Czech Lands. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1896 has a rich history and is the most significant symphony orchestra in Czech Republic. The ensemble started its activities with a concert at the Rudolfinum in Prague and continues to run to this day.
At the birth of the Philharmonic Orchestra stood the famous Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) who also led the ensemble until the beginning of the 20th century. Over the years the institution has managed to build a group of 120 musicians playing instruments from 16 musical families.
During the turbulent 20th century full of conflict, the Philharmonic Orchestra made effort to keep away from political issues and it somehow lived its own life in such politically difficult times. In an increasingly challenging competitive environment, the Czech ensemble made a lot of effort to build a name and reputation of a quality musical group.
From the very beginning of the orchestras existence, it has successfully managed to raise its reputation by hosting internationally-known personalities in the field of classical music and performing their work. Among the most prominent are the Norwegian composer Edvard H. Grieg (1843-1907), Sergey V. Rachmaninov (1873-1943) and others. The orchestra also collaborated with distinguished conductors from various countries.
Even before the First World War, the orchestra performed very strongly not only on the domestic scene but also abroad. It has built a great reputation in the United Kingdom already in the year 1902, and it has been regularly hosting in the country to this day. A big boost in popularity was also the spectacular tour of 1959, which was the largest ever performed by an orchestra. Other tours were headed to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, to China, India, and then to the USSR. The Orchestra did not perform in China until 2001. It did, however tour Japan almost every concert season, because that is where it has achieved unrivaled popularity. In 1965, the ensemble visited the USA and Canada, where it managed to keep up with other world orchestras and celebrated great success in 2004 in North America with compositions by Czech composers Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček (1854-1928).
In the Czech homeland the orchestra is especially active in the Prague Rudolfinum. There are Concerts several times a week and they are a show that fans of classical music definitely should not miss while staying in Prague. If you are interested in listening to authentic renditions of symphonies from famous Czech composer Antonín Dvořák in astonishing premises for which they were designed, or listen to the world renowned music of composer Bedrich Smetana, you are definitely at the right place. You can buy tickets to all shows online at ceskafilharmonie.cz.