‘Czeching’ out the Czech Orchestra


Around the world, every country is different in its own way. Whether it be the different languages spoken, different beliefs, or different ethnicity; everywhere is different. However, one thing that’s the same in all these countries is that they all have music.

Based in Prague, the traveling Czech National Symphony Orchestra toured in many countries before the recent pandemic; now they’re back on tour and have recently visited the city of Danville, Virginia. The orchestra itself had originated in the year 1993 by trumpet player Jan Hasenöfrl and renowned conductor Zdenĕk Košler. In 1996 , however, the American Paul Freeman took over the position as Chief Conductor for ten years. Then in the beginning of 2007, Maestro Libor Pešek was named the Chief Conductor and has been in the position since then. 

The last concert they performed in the United States, before going to perform in India, was at George Washington High School at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 13. They performed the following pieces in order: Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39 Finale (Furiant), by Antonín Dvořák; Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, by Johannes Brahms; and Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”) by Ludwig van Beethoven.

During ‘Violin Concerto in D Major’, a violin solo takes over half of this piece. The extended violin solo occurs in the second movement, and after the violin soloist is over, they step over to allow the spotlight for an oboe solo. The violin solo sings a beautiful and melodic melody for minutes on end which eventually switches over to a darker version of the originally peaceful entrance to this piece. Some people who had listened to the piece when it first appeared were skeptical of whether or not this concerto could go beyond the abilities of most violinists. However, they were proven wrong, and to this day, this piece is still played and well-liked for the emotion evoked by the piece.

The orchestra has been recognized as one of Europe’s first-rank symphonic ensembles and is known for its versatility because of their broad range of styles they play; from classical music concerts to jazz and musicals, they’re flexible with what they play and present to the public. 

Even though the orchestra is only celebrating their 30 year anniversary, there are still more years to come with this talented orchestra. With the variety of pieces they have performed, more extravagant performances are to come.