Slovak Philarmonica Orchestra
Was founded in 1949. Two remarkable internationally acclaimed personalities, Václav Talich (Principal Conductor 1949-1952) and Ľudovít Rajter (1949-1976, until 1961 its Artistic Director) asisted at its birth. Other principal conductors that have played their part in the musical evolution of the orchestra include Tibor Frešo, Ladislav Slovák, Libor Pešek, Vladimir Verbickij, Bystrík Režucha and Aldo Ceccato. From 1991 to 2001 Ondrej Lenárd was Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 2003/2004 season Jiří Bělohlávek acted as Artistic Director. In 2004 Vladimír Válek became Principal Conductor. From 2007-2009 he was replaced by Peter Feranec and in 2009 the French conductor Emmanuel Villaume became the Chief Conductor. Simultaneously the conductor Leoš Svárovský has been Permanent Guest Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007 and from the 2011/2012 season also Rastislav Štúr.
Among the many guest conductors it is necessary to mention world-famous artists like Claudio Abbado, Hermann Abendroth, Petr Altrichter, Karel Ančerl, Serge Baudo, Roberto Benzi, Miltiades Caridis, Sergiu Celibidache, James Conlon, Oskar Danon, Christoph von Dohnányi, Vladimir Fedosejev, János Ferencsik, Mariss Jansons, Neeme Järvi, James Judd, Peter Keuschnig, Dmitry Kitajenko, Ken Ichiro Kobayashi, Kiril Kondrashin, Franz Konwitschny, Alain Lombard, Fabio Luisi, Jean Martinon, Kurt Masur, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Riccardo Muti, Václav Neumann, Antonio Pedrotti, Alexander Rahbari, Karl Richter, Mario Rossi, Witold Rowicki, Kurt Sanderling, Sir Malcom Sargent, Peter Schreier, Václav Smetáček, Pinchas Steinberg, Otmar Suitner, Jevgenij Svetlanov, Ralf Weikert, Carlo Zecchi and others. Zdeněk Košler was awarded the title of honour of Honorary Principal Conductor in memorium. Numerous famous composers have also conducted their own compositions with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, among others Krzysztof Penderecki and Aram Khachaturian.
The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra regularly appears at music festivals all over Europe (Prague Spring, Prague Autumn, Bratislava Music Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Brucknerfest Linz, Carinthisher Sommer, Berliner Festtage, Festival de Strasbourg, Warszawska jesień, Athens Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Sagra Musicale Umbra). During its numerous international tours, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra has performed in most European countries, Cyprus, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and the United States of America. The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra has made a great many recordings for radio broadcasts, television and record companies, including Opus, Supraphon, Panton, Hungaroton, JVC Victor, RCA, Pacific Music, Naxos and Marco Polo. The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra is a regular guest on important European stages and at foremost European festivals. As part of its numerous international concert tours the orchestra has performed in most European countries, Cyprus, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and the USA. The Slovak Philharmonic has made a great many recordings for radio, television and for the record companies OPUS, Supraphon, Panton, Hungaroton, JVC Victor, RCA, Pacific Music, Naxos and Marco Polo.
During the 2012/2013 concert season, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra performed a large number of dramaturgically and interpretationally interesting concerts at home and abroad e.g. in Zürich with Edita Gruberova and Rastislav Štúr, at the Swiss festival Murten Classics with the conductors Kaspar Zehnder and Leoš Svárovský and the soloists Dmitry Machtin and Giovanni Bellucci. Under the leadership of Ralf Weikert they rehearsed the opera Tannhäuser by R. Wagner and performed it at the festival in Wels, Austria. Together with the Chief Conductor Emmanuel Villaume the orchestra performed at the Prague Spring Festival and the Janáček May Festival. The season was closed in the Slovak towns Nitra and Terchová, where the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra paid tribute to the memory of the Saints Cyril and Methodius at the 1150th anniversary of their arrival to our country. In 2013 the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra undertook its historically first concert tour of Oman and has been invited back in 2014.