Petr Popelka | Photography by Khalil Baalbaki
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Conductor & Composer:

  • Chief Conductor Designate, Wiener Symphoniker
  • Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Petr Popelka has established himself as one of the most beloved and in demand conductors of his generation. He will become Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker with the 2024/2025 season and is currently Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the position as Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo.

From the 2023/2024 season, Popelka will, as Chief Conductor Designate, lead the Wiener Symphoniker in a new production of Weinberger’s Schwanda the Bagpiper at the MusikTheater an der Wien, in addition to joining the orchestra for multiple concerts in Vienna and on two European tours. Debuts in 2023/2024 include a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Zurich Opera House, Gewandhausorchester, Munich Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. He also returns to the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, among many other reinvitations.

Previous highlights include engagements with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, SWR Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Frankfurt Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. He has also led the annual ORF TV concert “Spring in Vienna” and the ZDF Advent concert in Dresden. His new productions of Shostakovich’s opera The Nose at the Dresden Semperoper and Strauss’s Elektra at the Oslo Opera were received to critical acclaim.

Petr Popelka received his musical education both in his hometown of Prague as well as in Freiburg. Between 2010 and 2019, he was deputy principal double bass of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Alongside his conducting, he is an avid composer.