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Petr Popelka

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

  • Praised for his scintillating, authentic and inclusive approach to conducting, and driven entirely by the music, Petr Popelka has been appointed as the new Chief Conductor of Wiener Symphoniker from the 2024/2025 season. He is also Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and former Chief Conductor of Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo.

  • Für seinen fesselnden, authentischen und inklusiven Zugang zum Dirigieren gefeiert, wurde Petr Popelka zum neuen Chefdirigenten der Wiener Symphoniker ab der Saison 2024/25 ernannt. Der Tscheche ist außerdem Chefdirigent und Künstlerischer Leiter des Radio-Symphonieorchesters Prag und war zuvor Chefdirigent des Norwegischen Rundfunkorchesters in Oslo.


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    Beginning already from 2023/2024 season, Popelka will lead Wiener Symphoniker as its Chief Conductor Designate on a new production of Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper at the Theater an der Wien followed by concerts in Vienna and two tours in Europe throughout the season. He also makes several debuts this season including the Zurich Opera House conducting Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Gewandhausorchester, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as well as Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. In addition, Popelka returns to the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

    Previous debuts have taken him to 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 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 Semperoper and Strauss's Elektra at the Oslo Opera were acclaimed by press and audience alike.

    In the 2019/2020 season, Petr Popelka became NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s very first Conductor Fellow. He received his music 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. Aside from conducting, composition plays an important role within his artistic range.

    2023/24 season / 295 words. Not to be altered without permission.
  • In der Saison 2023/2024 wird Popelka als designierter Chefdirigent die Wiener Symphoniker in einer Neuproduktion von Weinbergers "Schwanda der Dudelsackpfeiffer" am MusikTheater an der Wien leiten und das Orchester bei mehreren Konzerten in Wien und auf zwei Europatourneen begleiten. Er debütiert zudem mit Mozarts „Don Giovanni“ am Opernhaus Zürich und wird erstmals mit dem Gewandhausorchester, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, sowie Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse zusammenarbeiten. Außerdem kehrt er u. a. zum Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Danish National Symphony Orchestra und Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra zurück.

    Frühere Debüts führten ihn u.a. zur Tschechischen Philharmonie, Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden, Bamberger Symphoniker, SWR Symphonieorchester, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Deutschen Radio Philharmonie, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Orchestra sinfonica nazionale della RAI und Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Er leitete außerdem die traditionellen TV-Konzerte „Frühling in Wien“ des ORF und das ZDF-Adventskonzert in Dresden. Seine Neuproduktionen von Schostakowitschs „Nase“ an der Semperoper und Strauss‘ „Elektra“ an der Osloer Oper wurden von Presse und Publikum gefeiert.

    Petr Popelka erhielt seine musikalische Ausbildung in seiner Heimatstadt Prag und in Freiburg. 2010 bis 2019 war er stellvertretender Solo-Kontrabassist der Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden. Neben dem Dirigieren ist Petr Popelka auch als Komponist tätig.


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'This success begins in the pit: The Vienna Symphony Orchestra and 37-year-old Petr Popelka are on fire for the score. [...] In the acoustic conditions of the Museumsquartier, which are by no means easy, Popelka proves to be an animator who never loses control.'

Die Presse, November 2023

'Popelka is completely immersed in his world, but knows how to balance his passion to effectively shape climaxes. In full orchestration...the RSB can display the full range of its qualities. A triumph!'

Der Tagesspiegel, January 2023

'How he coordinated the shimmering interplay of the groups of instruments, Shostakovich's intricate rhythms, the togetherness on stage and digging in at times insane tempi including numerous contrasts and breaks - and in doing so obviously had a great deal of joy, which was transmitted to the orchestra and the audience - , that deserves the utmost respect.'

Neue Musikzeitung, July 2022


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Intermusica represents Petr Popelka worldwide.

Dennis Gerlach
Senior Artist Manager, Munich
+44 20 7608 9919

Hazel Park
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9948

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