21 February–7 March | Rusalka at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

On Tuesday 21 February, Semyon
Bychkov will conduct a new
production of Dvořák’s Rusalka at
London’s Royal Opera House. Chief
Conductor and Music Director of the
Czech Philharmonic since 2018,
Bychkov has become increasingly
recognised for his interpretations of
the Czech repertoire.

Last autumn, Bychkov conducted his
first concert performances of Rusalka
as part of the Dvořák Prague International Festival. His Rusalka was the soprano
Asmik Grigorian, who will be reprising the role at Covent Garden leading a stellar
cast including David Butt Philip, Aleksei Isaev, Emma Bell and Sarah Connolly. As
Opera Magazine observed of Bychkov’s performance: “few conductors are able to
hold the Wagnerian and Slavonic elements of this piece in such perfect balance… it is
an exciting preview of Covent Garden’s new Rusalka”.

Bychkov opened this season with the Czech Philharmonic by celebrating the Czech
Republic’s Presidency of the EU with an outdoor concert performed on a stage built
on the Vltava in Prague. In addition to programming the symphonic poem Vltava
from Smetana’s Má vlast and Dvořák’s Carnival, the concert featured a performance
of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass. 2023 began with a concert to celebrate 30 years of
Czech and Slovak independence performed at the Rudolfinum in Prague and
attended by the prime ministers of both countries.

While in London (Friday 27 January) Bychkov will also conduct The Academy
Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7. Bychkov is the
Academy’s Klemperer Chair of Conducting and, has conducted the Orchestra
annually since 2009; was made an Honorary Member of the Academy in 2016; and,
last summer was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. The repertoire that Bychkov has
conducted with The Academy Symphony Orchestra includes performances of
Mahler’s symphonies Nos. 2, 3 at the Royal Festival Hall.

In April, PENTATONE will release the third disc – Mahler Symphony No. 2
‘Resurrection’ – in its ongoing Mahler Cycle with the Czech Philharmonic conducted
by Bychkov. The cycle launched last spring with the release of Mahler’s Symphony
No. 4, described in Limelight as ‘one of the finest interpretations of the work I’ve
ever heard’ and, was followed in October with Mahler 5, chosen by the Sunday
Times as its ‘Best Classical Album 2022’. Following Rusalka, Bychkov’s tour with the
Czech Philharmonic to Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Italy and France will include performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in Vienna, Graz, Milan and Aix-en-

In September, Bychkov’s contract as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the
Czech Philharmonic was extended until 2028. In December, he was announced as
Musical America’s Conductor of the Year.

Dvořák Symphony No. 7 Royal Academy of Music January 27
Dvořák Rusalka Royal Opera House February 21, 24 & 27
March 2, 5 & 7
Mahler Symphony Cycle PENTATONE April 7