Travelling with the designated chief

Travelling with the designated chief

Tour with Petr Popelka through Germany and the Netherlands

12. April 2024

Petr Popelka dirigiert im Musikverein

For the first time, the Wiener Symphoniker are going on tour with Petr Popelka as its designated chief conductor. After three concerts at the Musikverein Wien, the orchestra will travel from 14 April from Frankfurt (Alte Oper) via Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Düsseldorf (Tonhalle) to Berlin (Philharmonie) and on to Eindhoven (Muziekgebouw), Antwerp (Queen Elizabeth Hall) and Munich (Isarphilharmonie).

For Petr Popelka, the Wiener Symphoniker are "the musical embodiment of Vienna, an orchestra that captures and reflects the spirit of the city, an ensemble with a great tradition, but above all an orchestra that has always embodied a modern pioneering spirit - both in terms of repertoire and the tasks of an orchestra within society."

On his concert tour, the designated chief conductor will present the tone poems Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks by Richard Strauss and - from his native Czech Republic - Antonín Dvořák's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, performed by Gautier Capuçon.

Popelka, who was born in Prague in 1986, played as principal bass with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and was influenced by Peter Eötvös, Alan Gilbert and Jaap van Zweden. The chief conductor of the Prague Radio Orchestra is also a composer himself. "When I conduct the Wiener Symphoniker, I always sense the great passion of the musicians," says Popelka, "the possibility of dissolving into the music together in the moment - a blazing and burning for the cause: for the music!"

The Wiener Symphoniker and Petr Popelka already received promising reviews after the concerts in Vienna:

"Something marvellous could be created here. On the one hand, this promise is reflected in the sound of the orchestra: in top form [...] On the other hand, in the positive energy emanating from the Czech Popelka. You could just feel his warmth and joy in what he does in the packed hall."
Die Presse 12.4.2024

"In Richard Strauss' tone poems Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, the Dream Team captivated the audience with their exuberant enthusiasm and a cornucopia of sound - and always performed with precision, nuance and transparency. Enchanting changes of mood and tempo, magical moments of calm, poetry and light-footed mischief: it was all there. It is gratifying to know that Popelka will conduct 34 concerts as the orchestra's new chief conductor in the anniversary season."
Der Standard 12.4.2024