The Performing Arts Center presents the Prague Symphony Orchestra Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. in Hodgson Hall. The orchestra will perform an all-Beethoven program, concluding with Beethoven’s monumental Fifth Symphony.
Today’s Prague Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1934 by the conductor Rudolf Pekárek. He defined the new ensemble’s fields of activity with the words Film-Opera-Koncert, which, as the abbreviation FOK, became part of the orchestra’s title. The FOK Orchestra recorded music for the majority of Czech films in the 1930s and performed regularly in live broadcasts on Czechoslovak Radio.
In 1952 the city of Prague followed the model of other European cities by establishing its own professional concert ensemble to represent the city. The traditional acronym FOK was retained, and the new title of the orchestra became Symphony Orchestra of the Capital City of Prague-FOK. In 1957 the orchestra embarked on its first international tour.
In 1998 Rastislav Stur was named permanent conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. He is also chief conductor of the Slovak National Theater, a position he has held since 1996.
Award-winning Czech pianist Martin Kasik will perform Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Prague Symphony on their Athens program. Kasik has performed in concert halls throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and he has won first prize in a number of international competitions, including the Davidoff Prix in 2000 as the best Czech performer under the age of 28.
A pre-concert lecture will be given by Michael Lanford, a graduate student in the School of Music. The lecture begins 45 minutes prior to the performance and is free and open to the public.