Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Celebrating its 25th birthday in 2018 , the CNSO has gained a position among both Czech and Europe's top symphonic ensembles. Renowned for its versatility, the orchestra presents annually a broad program ranging from classical music concerts through contemporary genre, film scores, jazz, or musicals. In its new era, The Czech National Symphony Orchestra is also organizing summer Prague Proms Festival which annually attracts the audience for presenting greatest international performers.
Such composers, conductors, and performers as Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schifrin, James Morrison, Branford & Wynton Marsalis, Pino Donnagio, Giuliano Taviani, José Carreras, Danny Elfman, Vince Mendoza, Giuseppe Tornatore, Carl Davis, Steven Mercurio, Marcello Rota, Vladimir Cosma repeatedly come back to Prague to either record with the orchestra or perform in the beautiful Smetana Hall of Prague´s Municipal House, the home concert stage of the orchestra. The highlights of recent concert seasons included European tour with the legendary Ennio Morricone, and Prague concert with Anna Netrebko. In the studio the orchestra worked on recording of the new album of Plácido Domingo, and also recorded with Ennio Morricone his score of a new western film "The Hateful Eight" by director Quentin Tarantino. For this score Ennio Morricone won an Oscar after 500 movie credits! The soundtrack was recorded live and launched by Tarantino, Morricone, and the CNSO at Abbey Road Studios in December 2015. As a result of collaboration with Columbia Artists Management Inc., the orchestra toured the USA in February and March 2016. In 2017, the orchestra toured extensively with Ennio Morricone and James Newton Howard.
The CNSO has also renewed its long-time cooperation with Andrea Bocelli, and accompanied Rolando Villazon and Jonas Kaufmann. The orchestra has collaborated with some of the most important pop artists, as Sting, George Michael, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Angélique Kidjo, Denise Donatelli, Ute Lemper, and great instrumentalists, as James Morrison, Branford & Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Shew, and many more.
Successful tours have taken place over the British Isles, USA, Canada, France, Spain, Dubai, Japan, Mexico, China, Korea, Oman, Australia, New Zealand. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra's recordings are on sale worldwide, and the orchestra takes pride in several Gold CDs (for more than 30 000 copies sold) which it has produced. Other accolades include Gustav Mahler Prize, awarded for the interpretation of Mahler's works, and the prestigious agreement that the orchestra signed with IMG Artists London for worldwide representation. The achievements also include the long-standing recording project in association with Tokyo media company Victor Entertainment.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra was established in 1993 by trumpet player Jan Hasenöhrl. A spiritual father at the birth of the CNSO was the legendary conductor Zdeněk Košler. In the year 1996, the American Paul Freeman took over as Chief Conductor, and remained in this position for fantastic ten years. At the beginning of the year 2007, Maestro Libor Pešek was named the Chief Conductor and he still remains at this position today.
Photo: Jan Malý