Semyon Bychkov pictured at the Rudolfinum on 19 September conducting Rusalka

© Petra Hajská & Dvořák Prague International Music Festival

Last night prior to the opening of the Czech Philharmonic 127th season, Chief Executive David Mareček announced that Semyon BychkovChief Conductor and Music Director since 2018 had signed a new contract with the Orchestra, extending his contract until 2028. The concert, which was live broadcast on Czech TV, opened with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major performed by Lisa Batiashvili, and Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. Tonight’s performance will be streamed internationally on Mezzo Live HD.

Semyon Bychkov’s tenure with the Czech Philharmonic began with a concert In Prague and tour to celebrate 100 years of Czechoslovak Independence. The following year, The Tchaikovsky Project, marking the culmination of Bychkov’s and the Orchestra’s 4-year focus on Tchaikovsky’s symphonic works, was released by Decca Classics. This April, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, the first of a new Mahler symphonic cycle was released by PENTATONE. A couple of months later, the Czech Philharmonic was nominated for Gramophone’s 2022 ‘Orchestra of the Year’.

Recorded by Czech Phil Media, the Orchestra’s own state-of-the-art producing house, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony is followed on 14 October by the release of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. During the season, Mahler’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies will be performed on tour in Paris, Brussels, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Milan and the Gewandhaus Mahler Festival in Leipzig, and recorded in Prague.

At the beginning of September, Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic celebrated the Czech Republic’s EU Council Presidency with a special concert held on a stage floating on the Vltava River. The concert was streamed internationally on ARTE and watched at home on Czech TV by record numbers. A few weeks later, Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic presented their first opera together: Dvořák’s Rusalka with Asmik Grigorian in the title role. Describing the first of three concert performances broadcast live and presented as part of the 2022 Dvořák Prague International Music Festival, Czech Radio said “Semyon Bychkov literally worked magic”.