Our support for young talents culminated in a gala event at the Rudolfinum in Prague




27. 06. 2024


5 min


The educational project of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, of which we were a proud partner, reached its culmination on 26 June with a gala concert at the Rudolfinum in Prague under the baton of conductor Petr Altrichter. Talented pupils from primary art schools from all over the Czech Republic played alongside the Philharmonic Orchestra, who were their mentors throughout the year. The young talents, together with the players of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, prepared works by Carl Maria von Weber, Antonín Dvořák and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

"Why are we here at all? What brought you here? Why do you make music?" These questions were asked by conductor Petr Altrichter in a friendly debate at the beginning of the joint rehearsal. "Because of your mum, dad, friend or cantor? Because I'm bored, because I want to do something or because someone else wants me to do something? These are all important reasons, but one more thing should be more important. Music should be something you love to do. Because only if you love doing it, you will stay with it all your life, even if you might not do it professionally. If you do it for some other reason, a year will go by, it will all fade away and you'll forget everything. Music is a world that only those who love music can enter. It's a world that is very deep, free and beautiful."

Joining the Joint Orchestra of primary art school pupils and musicians of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is a great challenge for both the new generation of artists and professionals. Each of the young participants in this project must have great determination and willingness to work on themselves, a desire to develop their talent and be excited about creating together. For the pupils of primary art schools, the cooperation with the Philharmonic allows them to experience the life of a large orchestra directly in the Rudolfinum, to soak up the experience of professional players and to work under the baton of excellent conductors.

"Life is like a bench at a crossroads. One can sit quietly and watch the passers-by... Sitting on a bench brings with it no risks, but few experiences. However, when one decides to get up and go on a journey, one runs the risk of getting lost if one does not trust one's feet, but one is also sure to be in for many surprises... I consider this orchestra to be one of the most beautiful journeys I have had the privilege of walking. Especially the accompanying comments of the conductor and the philharmonic musicians helped me several times to emotionally enjoy everything to the smallest detail. This helped me to orient myself in the notes, but also in life. Being part of something big is the thing that gives one perspective and opens one's heart to life," confessed one of this year's participants.

The joint orchestra has been formed in cooperation between the Czech Philharmonic and the Association of Primary Art Schools since 2014. In the first two years, the orchestra was intensively led by chief conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, who was followed by conductor Petr Altrichter in 2016. Each year, thirty philharmonic musicians and sixty pupils from primary art schools, selected from different regions of the Czech Republic, participate in the project. From January to June, they all meet for preparatory rehearsals and rehearse their joint performance for the large audience of the Dvořák Hall. The selection of the participants is entirely up to the cooperating primary art schools, which are best informed about the abilities and motivation of their pupils. Some of the participants of the project will later on lead their way to the Czech Student Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestral Academy, and even directly to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

"One is not always lucky for one's talents to fall on fertile ground, because one does not have that fertile ground around one. We in the Joint Orchestra are trying to create it: the pupils of the primary art schools put their curiosity and enthusiasm into it, the members of the Czech Philharmonic give experience and understanding, and the teachers from the art schools give long-term care and interest in 'their sheep'. All of them together give their love for music and, of course, a lot of work. Believe me, it is clear that this land is not arid... And it fertilizes the world for the rest of us," says Petr Kadlec, head of the Czech Philharmonic's educational programmes department.

"We always try to support projects that make sense, that we see the benefits of and that are truly targeted. And the project of the Joint Orchestra at the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra fulfils all this. It involves sixty talented musicians, mostly between the ages of 12 and 18, who have been practicing honestly with their teachers at the Elementary School since they were very young and music has become their hobby and for some of them a professional path in life," says Lukáš Zrůst, co-owner of Progresus , adding, " Unfortunately, even the most talented students leave playing musical instruments at this age, and therefore we need to work with them in a very targeted way and motivate them. And what could be a greater motivation than to have the opportunity to sit next to an experienced philharmonic, learn from him, and finally perform their art in the Czech cultural sanctuary alongside them in front of a packed hall."

The result of the year-long work of the students and their mentors from the Czech Philharmonic musicians was literally breathtaking. The young talents received several minutes of applause from the full Rudolfinum, whose premises were permeated with sincere joy and emotion. We are pleased to have been able to follow the joint work of the young musicians and the Philharmonic throughout the year and to support the realisation of this beautiful project. Because investing in young talent always pays off.