Orchestra profile

The Ostrava orchestra is a successful and sought-after ensemble with which world-class conductors such as Andrey Boreyko, Domingo Hindoyan and Tomáš Netopil regularly collaborate. In the recent past, the orchestra has hosted – whether in Ostrava or on tour – prominent soloists such as cellists Gautier Capuçon and Steven Isserlis, violinists Lisa Batiashvili and Vadim Gluzman, singers Elīna Garanča and Jonas Kaufmann, pianists Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Boris Giltburg and Simon Trpčeski, and many others. From 2020 to 2024, Vassily Sinaisky served as the Chief conductor and Artistic director. Starting in 2026, this position will be held by Daniel Raiskin, who will take on the role of Principal guest conductor from 2024.

The reputation of the JPO is guaranteed mainly by its hundreds of first-class musicians not only from the Czech Republic but also from abroad. It plays over fifty concerts a year for its home audience. It is regularly invited to perform at both national and international festivals and tours – in recent years it has performed in Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, Berlin and Tallinn, to name a few. The Orchestra has made guest performances in China, Korea, the Baltics, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Poland.

The JPO’s repertoire includes, of course, Leoš Janáček, whose name the orchestra proudly carries, Antonín Dvořák and other Czech composers. The JPO’s recordings have been released on many prestigious record labels, and a recent recording of Phidylé for Supraphon even won a BBC Music Magazine Award. The orchestra has composed music for several films and has collaborated with popular Czech musicians such as Aneta Langerova and Vojtech Dyk. The orchestra also focuses on educational cycles for younger audiences and seniors, and on nurturing talented soloists and conductors, who are even given the opportunity to perform with the orchestra in a separate concert series. Since 2020, the JPO has been contributing to the alternative education and professional development of young talented musicians from all over the world with the International Orchestral Academy project.

The Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava continues the tradition of the Ostrava Radio Orchestra, which was founded at a time when the city was visited by such personalities as Paul Hindemith, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky. The Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1954. It quickly established a strong position on the Czech scene and began giving concerts abroad. Some of its collaborators included Václav Neumann, Karel Ančerl, Charles Mackerras, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Diana Ross.

Since the summer of 2022, the former Vesmír cinema has become the home stage of the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava. Consequently, the JPO temporarily left its long-standing venue at the House of Culture in Ostrava, which was closed last year for several years of extensive renovations. This renovation includes the addition of a concert hall with world-class acoustic parameters designed by Steven Holl Architects from New York in cooperation with Architecture Acts from Prague. More than 150 years after the first idea and exactly 70 years after the JPO was founded, the orchestra has a new concert hall almost within its grasp. The fully renovated House of Culture, along with the new concert hall addition, is set to become a cultural complex of international significance, offering the greatest potential yet for the future development of the orchestra.