Petr Popelka Design. Chief Conductor

Petr Popelka

Petr Popelka is Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker from the 24-25 season.

Renowned for his engaging, genuine, and inclusive conducting style, Petr Popelka has been named Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker starting from the 2024/25 season. Simultaneously, he will maintain his position as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, a role he has held since the 22-23 season.

To inaugurate his tenure in Vienna, he will lead a performance of Arnold Schönberg's monumental "Gurre-Lieder" at the Vienna Musikverein, commemorating the composer's 150th anniversary, the very venue where its world premiere took place. Subsequently, the season will unfold with tours across Europe and Asia, along with numerous engagements at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein. 

Further highlights of the season include his debuts with the Tonhalleorchester Zürich, Orchestre de Paris and NHK Symphony Orchestra, as well as several returns to the Staatskapelle Berlin, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester, Czech Philharmonic on their special Velvet Revolution TV concert, Bamberg Symphony, Danish National Symphony and the symphony orchestras of hr, SWR and WDR.

Renowned as an opera conductor, he is set to wrap up his extensive three-season project with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he will lead the performance of the third act of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde." Following this, he will take the helm for the complete rendition of the masterpiece at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Previous debuts have taken him to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra sinfonica nazionale della RAI, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin among others. He has also made guest appearances at the Zurich Opera House (Mozart's "Don Giovanni"), the Semperoper Dresden (Shostakovich's "Nose"), the Theater an der Wien (Weinberger's "Schwanda") and the Oslo Opera (Strauss' "Elektra").

During the 19-20 season, Popelka embarked on his conducting career by securing the inaugural Conductor Fellowship with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. He swiftly assumed the role of Chief Conductor for the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo from 2020 to 2023. Popelka, who received his musical training in his hometown Prague and in Freiburg, is not only a conductor but also an active composer. He also served as the deputy principal double bassist of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden from 2010 to 2019.