Janáček philharmonic OstravaPrincipal conductor

Principal conductor

Vassily Sinaisky
Chief condutor and musical director

Vassily Sinaisky has been the chief conductor and artistic director of the Janáček Philharmonic since the 2020/2021 season and has played over a dozen programmes with the orchestra since then. Among the highlights of the partnership so far is the New Year’s concert in 2022 in Viennese style, which was broadcast live on ČT art and watched by 75,000 viewers, and the New Year’s concert in January 2023 at the Gong, when the cantata Carmina Burana was on the programme. In March 2023, he performed with the JFO at the almost sold-out headquarters of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Katowice, performing Suk’s Fairy Tale and Mahler’s First Symphony “Titan”. Sinaisky will conclude his tenure as the JFO’s chief conductor with the orchestra’s 70th anniversary concert season.

“The Janáček Philharmonic under the baton of chief conductor Sinaisky played magnificently. It is impossible to single out a particular person because the synergy of the whole orchestra worked perfectly this time. The Russian chief conductor conducts in a rather distinctive way. He does not look at the unconditional timing and setting of the tempo and entrances, but rather at the overall sound. Behind this benevolence, there is clearly the drill of rehearsals and honest preparation, because the interplay and confidence of the Philharmonics in all the solos, changes and deviations from the natural meter were simply outstanding. I have perhaps never heard so many tempo agogic changes in Carmina. Rhythm in Sinaisky’s conception was constantly a significant factor in the dramatic axis of the narrative”, wrote Milan Bátor in his review of the JFO’s New Year’s concert.

Vassily Sinaisky was born in 1947 in Inta, Komi Republic, Russia. From a young age he has been a pianist and conductor, and today he is recognized as one of Russia’s most important conductors. He has lived in Amsterdam for many years. He is well known for his interpretations of mainly Russian, German and English repertoire. Between 2010 and 2013 he was chief conductor and music director of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. From 1996 to 2012 he was the Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Today he is conductor emeritus there – as well as at the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted symphony orchestras in London, Vienna, Berlin, Houston, São Paulo, Seoul and St Petersburg. He has performed all over the world.

“I play the piano since my childhood, my mother wanted it that way. But when I was fourteen, I decided to pursue conducting after watching many concerts. I entered a conservatory and attended conducting classes since I was sixteen. When I was young, I especially liked live performances. A concert, that’s the peak of conductor’s career, the highest honour. Of course, even today I’m curious what that particular evening will be like, how the orchestra will sound, but the preparation, the process of going through the sheet music and diving deeper and deeper into the music. When you’re working with an orchestra, you’re looking for different details for the given group and the given instrument – for me, now that’s the beautiful and crucial process.”

His predecessors were Heiko Mathias Förster, Theodore Kuchar, Petr Vronský, Christian Arming, Dennis Burkh, Leoš Svárovský, Tomas Koutník, Otakar Trhlík, Václav Jiráček, Josef Daniel, Jiří Waldhans and Otakar Pařík, who in 1954 was appointed the first-ever head of the then Ostrava Symphony Orchestra.