2020 saw the creation of the Dvořák Prague Youth Philharmonic at the impetus of the director of the Academy of Classical Music and of the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival Jan Simon. The project’s focus is a musical ensemble for the education and development of talented young musicians. Its basis was the programming concept for the activities of the Academy of Classical Music. By developing educational programmes, the Academy of Classical Music is fulfilling an important part of the legacy of Antonín Dvořák, a great figure in Czech music history. Dvořák left behind a vast musical oeuvre, but he also supported many talented musicians and assisted their development as a composition teacher and as the director of conservatoires in Prague and New York.

The project’s mission is to offer young musicians qualified leadership and active experience with the professional rehearsing and public performing of a selected symphonic work. For the students, appearing at the Dvořák Prague Festival means presenting the results of their hard work, ability, and acquired skills.

For this project, the Academy of Classical Music first approached the Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž (LHAK) and its founder Tomáš Netopil, the chief conductor of the Essen Philharmonic and the principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. The project involved the founding of an orchestra consisting of students from conservatoires and academies of the arts, and students at the Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž led by Tomáš Netopil were to represent the core of the orchestra’s members.

Unfortunately, public health measures during the pandemic had a major impact on organisation of the Orchestral Academy in 2020. Ultimately, the rehearsals took place in Prague, and students at the Prague Conservatoire made a major contribution to the personnel for the successful preparation of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for an appearance at the Dvořák Prague Festival. Then the next year, 2021, it turned out that the number of students at the Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž made it possible to put together only a string orchestra instead of a large symphony orchestra. Nonetheless, the concert on 14 September with Narek Hakhnazaryan as the soloist in Haydn’s First Cello Concerto was very successful, and the concert also included the world premiere of Dvořák Airlines, a work composed especially for the Dvořák Prague Festival by Lukáš Sommer.

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To restore the original idea of the project for cooperation with a youth ensemble that fully qualifies as a symphony orchestra in terms of its size and instrumentation, in 2022 the Academy of Classical Music established cooperation with the Prague Conservatoire and its symphony orchestra, which consists of the school’s current students and recent graduates. The experienced conductor Petr Altrichter will prepare the repertoire for the concert on 13 September 2022, and Daniel Matejča, a finalist in the 2020 Concertino Praga competition, will play the solo part in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.


As part of the Dvořák Prague Youth Philharmonic project, on 13 September 2022 the Symphony Orchestra of the Prague Conservatoire will appear at the Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall. Leading the orchestra will be one of this country’s most distinguished conductors, Petr Altrichter, who is among other things a regular guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. Details about the concert are available HERE.