Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, defined by the music magazine Gramophone as one of the finest on the international music scene, has just been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. This three-year post will see him engaged in at least three productions per season, some special projects, and a national or international tour.
Chief conductor of the Bamberger Symphoniker and guest of such leading orchestras as Wiener and Berliner Philharmoniker, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Hrůša is among the conductors most acclaimed at the moment, well known to Roman audiences and to music critics for his superb interpretation – in his Orchestra dell’Accademia conducting debut – of Smetana’s symphonic poem Má Vlast (2016), as well as other highly successful concerts in 2018, 2019, and 5 June 2021, when he sold out Santa Cecilia Hall in Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica di Roma. Hrůša also rose to the Santa Cecilia podium this past 1 June on the occasion of the concert held in the Quirinal Gardens for the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the Italian Republic, with President Sergio Mattarella on hand.
The new Principal Guest Conductor’s first commitment will be the inauguration of the Symphonic Season: on 7, 8 and 9 October, Hrůša will conduct the Orchestra, the Chorus – under Chorus Master Piero Monti – and the solo voices Rachel Willis-Sørensen (soprano) and Wiebke Lehmkuhl (contralto) in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 2 in C minor (the “Resurrection Symphony”). His second major appointment will be in June (9, 10 and 11) for a concert with the Accademia Orchestra and Chorus and a programme dedicated to his homeland, featuring Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony no. 9 (“From the New World,” the Bohemian composer’s last and most renowned symphony) and Janáček’s rarely performed Glagolitic Mass, last performed in the Santa Cecilia symphonic season in 1996. The cast of singers will be composed of Kateřina Kněžíková, Jarmila Balážová, Richard Samek, and Jozef Benci.
Born in the Czech Republic, Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of Bamberger Symphoniker, Associate Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Working regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, his recent collaborations prominently featured brilliant debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de Paris, and NHK Symphony, which immediately invited him to return. He performs regularly with Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony. As opera director, he was guest at the Glyndebourne Festival, conducting Vanessa, The Cunning Little Vixen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, The Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni, and La Bohème, and spent three years as Music Director of Glyndebourne on Tour. He has also conducted several staged productions at the Royal Opera House-Covent Garden (Carmen), Wiener Staatsoper (The Makropulos Affair), the Zurich Opera (The Makropulos Affair) and Opéra National de Paris (Rusalka and The Merry Widow). In recent seasons, collaborations with top-tier soloists and singers have included appearances with Behzod Abduraimov, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Joshua Bell, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Renaud Capuçon, Isabelle Faust, Bernarda Fink, Martin Fröst, Julia Fischer, Vilde Frang, Sol Gabetta, Véronique Gens, Christian Gerhaher, Kirill Gerstein, Vadim Gluzman, Karen Gomyo, Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Barbara Hannigan, Alina Ibragimova, Janine Jansen, Karita Mattila, Leonidas Kavakos, Sergey Khachatryan, Denis Kozhukhin, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, Jan Lisiecki, Albrecht Mayer, Johannes Moser, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sofie Mutter, Kristine Opolais, Stephanie d’Oustrac, Emmanuel Pahud, Olga Peretyatko, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Josef Spacek, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Simon Trpčeski, Mitsuko Uchida, Klaus Florian Vogt, Yuja Wang, Frank Peter Zimmermann, and Nikolaj Znaider.
Some of his most important recordings include Smetana’s Má Vlast with Bamberger Symphoniker (Tudor) and Concertos for Orchestra by Bartók and Kodály with RSB Berlin (Pentatone). He has also recorded Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony and Suk’s Asrael Symphony with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Octavia Records), Violin Concertos by Tchaikovsky and Bruch with Nicola Benedetti and the Czech Philharmonic (Universal), as well as nine albums of Czech repertoire with PKF-Prague Philharmonia (Pentatone and Supraphon), where he was Music Director from 2009 to 2015. His most recent recordings include the Dvořák and Brahms symphonies with Bamberger Symphoniker (Tudor), Suk’s Asrael Symphony with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BR Klassik), and Dvořák’s Requiem and Te Deum with the Czech Philharmonic (Decca). In 2020, two of his recordings – Dvořák’s and Martinů’s Piano Concertos with Ivo Kahánek and Bamberger Symphoniker (Supraphon), and Samuel Barber’s opera Vanessa performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus (Opus Arte) – were honoured with the BBC Music Magazine Award.
Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, under the renowned Jiří Bĕlohlávek, among others. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle and of the Dvorak Society, and was the first winner of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize.