Petr Popelka | Photography by Khalil Baalbaki
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Conductor & Composer:

  • Chief Conductor Norwegian Radio Orchestra
  • Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Designate Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (from September 2022)
  • Principal Guest Conductor Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava

Within just two seasons, Petr Popelka established himself as one of the most inspiring young conductors. He has been Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) since August 2020 and will become Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, starting September 2022. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava.

The main highlights of the 2021/2022 Oslo concert season will be a festive concert celebrating the orchestra’s 75th anniversary together with Vilde Frang at the Oslo Opera House, a Schumann cycle with all symphonies and the oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri, Wagner’s Ring in Lorin Maazel’s version, and several world premieres.

As a guest conductor, in the 2021/2022 season, Petr Popelka will return to the Staatskapelle Dresden, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra, and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. He will make debuts with renowned orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Staatskapelle Weimar, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. Operatic engagements will take him to Semperoper Dresden for a new production of Shostakovich’s The Nose and to Prague National Theatre for a new production of Bizet’s Carmen as well as a series of performances of Mozart’s Figaro. In the summer of 2021, he made his acclaimed debut with the Wiener Symphoniker at the Wiener Konzerthaus.

In the 2019/2020 season, Petr Popelka was the first ever Conductor Fellow of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester. Having devoted himself increasingly to conducting since 2016, it was only a year later that Petr Popelka was awarded the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy’s Neeme Järvi Prize 2017. His new career path was particularly encouraged and nurtured by Vladimir Kiradjiev and Alan Gilbert, and master classes with Peter Eötvös, Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli also had a formative influence on his development as a conductor.

Petr Popelka acquired his music education both in his hometown of Prague as well as in Freiburg. Between 2010 and 2019 he held the position of deputy principal double bass of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Next to conducting, his work as a composer plays another important role within Petr Popelka’s artistic range.