Pilsner Philharmoniker 

The Pilsen Philharmonic

The Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, formerly the Pilsen Radio Orchestra, is an ensemble with a solid tradition and reputation and is requested on stages in the Czech Republic and abroad. The orchestra has embarked on numerous foreign tours and performed at prestigious venues in Europe and the United States, including the Gasteig in Munich, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Brucknerhaus Linz, Vienna’s municipal hall, the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Tonhalle Zurich and the Rudolfinum and O2 Arena in Prague. In August 2017, the Pilsen Philharmonic performed at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.

In recent seasons the Pilsen Philharmonic performed with artists such as Tai Murray, Pascal Rogé, Lilya Zilberstein, Juliane Banse, Sergej Nakarjakov, Anne Queffélec, Jeremy Menuhin, Gautier Capuçon, Ivan Ženatý and Igor Ardašev. Recent vocal soloists included Michaela Fukačová, Julian Pflugmann, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, and Gabriela Demeterová. In the past, the orchestra performed with Ramon Vargas, Montserrat Caballé and a number of outstanding conductors such as Sir Charles Mackerras, Václav Talich, Jiří Bělohlávek, and Libor Pešek.

The Pilsen Philharmonic collaborates regularly with Czech Radio, hence following the tradition of its former incarnation as the Pilsen Radio Orchestra from 1946 until 1993. The orchestra recently recorded Bohuslav Martinů’s opera The Day of Kindness, which won several prestigious awards; Antonín Dvořák’s Rhapsody and the complete works for violoncello and orchestra by Bohuslav Martinů (Petr Nouzovský & Tomáš Brauner). This recording was released on the Dabringhaus und Grimm label and was awarded the Classic Prague Award 2017 in the ‚Recording of the Year‘ category. The Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra also holds the City of Pilsen Arts Award for the years of 2014 and 2015. In 2017, the conductor of the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra, Tomáš Brauner, was awarded the City of Pilsen Arts Award for outstanding artistic achievement. Ronald Zollman took over as the orchestra’s principal conductor in September 2018; in September 2021, Chuhei Iwasaki was named as the principal conductor of the Pilsen Philharmonic.

The Pilsen Philharmonic participated significantly in the realization of the project Pilsen, European Capital of Culture in 2015. Since 2013, it has organized the international Smetana Days, and Circle of Music Friends chamber concert series since 2020. The project A Chance for Young Musicians has been aimed at talented youth since the 2019/2020 season and the Philharmonic Children’s Club for the youngest audience opened that same year.

Chuhei Iwasaki, the new principal conductor of the Pilsen Philharmonic

Chuhei Iwasaki is a Czech conductor from Japan—he was born 1987 in Tokyo. Chuhei studied violin from 2003 until 2006 at the Toho Gakuen Conservatory in Tokyo and later at the Conservatory in Prague, where he majored in composition and conducting. He perfected his conducting skills at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and has been active as a conductor since 2012. He has been teaching at the Prague Conservatory since 2014 and has been the chief conductor of the film music orchestra ‘Filmharmonie’ since its establishment that same year.

Chuhei Iwasaki collaborates regularly with leading orchestras in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He is also currently conducting at the Karlín Music Theatre in Prague. Since 2019 he has been the condcutor of the Silesian Theatre in Opava. Chuhei Iwasaki made his debut at the Prague Spring Music Festival in May 2018 with the Hradec Králové Philharmonic. He has been a permanent gues conductor of the Pilsen Philharmonic since the 2019/20 season, and was named its chief conductor at the beginning of the 2021/22 season.