The chief conductor Vassily Sinaisky, the principal guest conductor Petr Popelka, the residential soloist Lukáš Vondráček – these are the core personalities that the JPO’s 2021/2022 season will rely on. The Ostrava orchestra is a requested and successful ensemble, collaborating with conductors such as Christian Arming or Daniel Raiskin. In recent past, Anna Netrebko or Jonas Kaufmann also sang on a joined performance with JPO, the baton was held by Antoni Wit or Michail Jurowski.
The reputation of JPO is ensured mainly by a hundred “domestic” first-class musicians. The orchestra stands out with its unique softness of the strings and the sharp sound of the brass section. The orchestra plays over fifty concerts in Ostrava annually. The orchestra is regularly invited to perform at both domestic and foreign festivals and tours (in recent years it was, for example, New York, Seoul, Paris, Beijing, Munich, China, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Poland).
Leoš Janáček, whose name the orchestra proudly bears, of course cannot be excluded from its repertoire, which also includes Antonín Dvořák and other Czech composers. Recordings of the JPO have been released on various audio storages at many prestigious recording companies, the orchestra has created music for several films, and it collaborates with popular Czech musicians like Tomáš Klus or Vojtěch Dyk. Attention is also being paid to educational cycles for young people or seniors or the education of talented soloists and conductors, who are given the opportunity to perform with the orchestra in a separate concert series.
JPO continues the tradition of the Ostrava Radio Orchestra, which was founded at a time when the city used to be visited by giants such as Paul Hindemith, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky. The symphony orchestra was established in 1954. Very soon it has built a strong position on the domestic stage and began to perform abroad. It has collaborated, for example, with Václav Neumann, Karel Ančerl, Charles Mackerras, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Diana Ross, Rudolf Firkušný and Svjatoslav Richter.
The home stage of the JPO is Dům kultury města Ostravy (the House of Culture of the City of Ostrava). The local spaces built at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s were never meant to hold cultural events and besides, they are not sufficient for the demands of today’s audience. The city of Ostrava therefore decided to build a new concert hall; the construction will begin in 2023. The author of the design, which will combine the existing building and a modern concert space, is the architectural studio Steven Holl Architects from New York in cooperation with the Prague studio Architecture Acts. The new acoustics of the concert hall designed by Nagata Acoustics will present a drastic change for both the orchestra and the audience.