newspress | Petr Popelka

FROM THE DOUBLE BASS TO THE PODIUM OF THE STAATSKAPELLE DRESDEN

In just two seasons, Petr Popelka has built up an impressive conducting career, the next highlight of which is the biggest German classical TV event: on 27 November, he will conduct the traditional ZDF Advent Concert from Dresden’s Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), featuring Lang Lang and Katharina Konradi as soloists. On this occasion, he will be at the helm of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, of which he was a member until two years ago. The concert will be broadcast on ZDF on 28 November at 18:00 CET, and will subsequently be exploited worldwide.

Petr Popelka’s path from the double bass stand in a traditional orchestra to the rostrum of leading orchestras has been extraordinarily rapid: as part of the so-called “kapelle 21,” he initially led musicians of the Staatskapelle before Alan Gilbert took notice of him and made him the first “Conductor Fellow” of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. This was immediately followed by his appointment as Principal Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo.

In September 2022, he will begin his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Early guest conducting engagements took him to Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Last summer he made a highly successful debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and this season will see further debuts with hr-Sinfonieorchester, Czech Philharmonic and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, among others. A new production of Shostakovich’s The Nose (directed by Peter Konwitschny) will bring him back to the pit of the Semperoper Dresden.