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 the 2020/2021 season, Vassily Sinaisky is the JPO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Director.
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. The orchestra is distinguished by the unique softness of the strings and the sharp sound of the brass section. 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 Tomáš Klus 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.
The former Vesmír cinema became JPO’s home stage in the summer of 2022. The Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava will thus temporarily leave its long-standing venue in the House of Culture of the City of Ostrava, where extensive reconstruction will begin this year. It will also include 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. Together with the addition of the concert hall, the completely renovated house of culture is set to become a cultural complex of international relevance with the greatest potential for future development of the JPO so far.