Gospel choirs from all around the world began making appearances in Prague twenty years ago already.
Local audiences have since audiences given a warm welcome to another ensemble – the Jeremy Winston Chorale three years ago. Back then they were still a young formation with a total of twenty singers.
This year’s “opening” concert will see the pioneering choirmaster and conductor Jeremy Winston arrive with forty fantastic musicians, including several soloists, all headed by Merkel Williams. Joined by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra we all are in for a treat of an unconventional festival launch.
The orchestra has gained a position among both Czech and Europe’s top symphonic ensembles. Renowned for its versatility, the orchestra presents annually a broad program ranging from classical music concerts through contemporary genre, film scores, jazz, or musicals.
In its new era, The Czech National Symphony Orchestra is also organizing summer Prague Proms Festival which annually attracts the audience for presenting greatest international performers.
Such composers, conductors, and performers as Ennio Morricone, Lalo Schifrin, James Morrison, Branford & Wynton Marsalis, Pino Donnagio, Giuliano Taviani, José Carreras, Danny Elfman, Vince Mendoza, Giuseppe Tornatore, Carl Davis repeatedly come back to Prague to either record with the orchestra or perform in the beautiful Smetana Hall of Prague´s Municipal House, the home concert stage of the orchestra.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra was established in 1993 by trumpet player Jan Hasenöhrl. A spiritual father at the birth of the CNSO was the legendary conductor Zdeněk Košler. In the year 1996, the American Paul Freeman took over as Chief Conductor, and remained in this position for fantastic ten years. At the beginning of the year 2007, Maestro Libor Pešek was named the Chief Conductor. In 2019, Pešek stepped down from his role. The sceptre was taken by an American conductor Steven Mercurio, former pupil of Leonard Bernstein.