Slovak Philharmonic Choir

Slovak Philharmonic
Slovenský filharmonický zbor (SFZ)
Contact: Blanka Juhaňáková (f) Main Choirmaster
Contact: Mariana Kušková (f) Manager
Telephone: 421 (0) 2 2047 5232
Slovenská filharmónia, Medená 3, 816 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
421 (0)2 2047 5218
421 (0)2 2047 5256

Slovak PhilharmonicThe Slovak Philharmonic Choir is a prominent representative of the art of Slovak professional choir-singing. It originated in 1946 as the Mixed Choir of the Bratislava Radio and was led in its initial years by its founder, the conductor Ladislav Slovák. In 1955 Jan Maria Dobrodinský took over leadership and in this capacity, which he filled for more than twenty years, was actively involved in the development of the ensemble, incorporated in 1957 (under its present name) into the Slovak Philharmonic body. In 1976 Valentin Iljin accepted the function of Choirmaster and was later succeeded by an expert in choir-singing, Lubomír Mátl, followed by Štefan Klimo, Pavel Baxa, Pavol Procházka and Marián Vach. Blanka Juhaňáková (1991-2001) and Jan Rozehnal (1991-2003) continued in the tradition of growth and development of the choir´s interpretation level. In the

2003/2004 season the post of Artistic Leader and Main Choirmaster of the Slovak Philharmonic Choir was filled by Marián Vach. Since January 2005 the position of Main Choirmaster has been taken up by Blanka Juhaňáková and since April 2006 the function of Assistent to the main Choirmaster by Jozef Chabroň.

During half a century of intense artistic activity, the Slovak Philharmonic Choir has developer into a body exceptional quality and today belongs to one of the foremost European ensembles of its kind. Its unique technical ablities, refined expression, perfectly balanced voices, interpretational skills, reliability and artistic discipline all add up to supreme performances filled with creative energy and strength, whose co-operation has been praised by many renowned conductors like Claudio Abbado, Serge Baudo, Bertrand de Billy, Jean Claude Casadesus, James Conlon, Dean Dixon, Christoph von

Dohnányi, Vladimír Fedosejev, János Ferencsik, Daniele Gatti, Pedro Halffter, Riccardo Chailly, Dimitrij Kitajenko, Zdeněk Košler, Ondrej Lenárd, Alain Lombard, Fabio Luisi, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pedrotti, Libor Pešek, Ľudovít Rajter, Helmuth Rilling, Karl Richter, Peter Schreier, Pinchas Steinberg, Hans Swarowsky, Václav Talich, Emmanuel Villaume, Ralf Weikert and Franz Welser-Möst.

Apart from regular performances at home, the choir undertakes frequent tours abroad, including most European countries, Morocco, Turkey and Japan. The choir has co-operated with numerous prestigious foreign orchestras e. g. the the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin. It has also contributed to the sparkle of prominent international festivals, like Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Perugia, Edinbourgh, Berlin, Athens, Madrid, Paris, Munich and Strassbourg.

Its rich discography contains recordings for Slovak and foreign television and radio stations and for renowned recording companies like Opus, Supraphon, Deutsche Grammophon, Hungaroton, Sony, Marco Polo, Naxos, Nuova Era, Decca, among others. In 2006, sixty years have passed since the founding of the Slovak Philharmonic Choir. This anniversary was celebrated on 27 April 2006 with the performance of Gioacchino Rossini´s Petite messe solennelle. To he most remarkable projects of the Slovak Philharmonic Choir belongs performing of Mussorgsky´s Boris Godunov in co-operation

with the Vienna State Opera, a tour with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra in Switzerland where they performed Carl Orff´s Carmina Burana and B. Martinu´s Field Mass and concerts with the Tonkünstler Orchestra Niederösterreich in Austria of L. van Beethoven´s Missa solemnis.

In 2008, apart from subscription concerts at home, the Slovak Philharmonic Choir took part in significant projects abroad (Wagner: Das Liebesmahl der Apostel with M. Minkowski in Spain, Beethoven´s 9th Symphony with A. Lombard in Switzerland and concert versions of Verdi´s opera I due Foscari with B. de Billy in Austria), 35 openair performances of the original version of Verdi´s opera La traviata in St. Margarethen in Austria.

In 2009, together with regular concert activities, the Slovak Philharmonic Choir also performed in three opera productions – in Mussorgsky´s Boris Godunov in the Vienna State opera with Daniele Gatti, in Lohengrin at the Richard Wagner Festival in Wels, Austria with Ralf Weikert and Tannhäuser, Las Palmas, Canary Islands with Pedro Halffter, with outstanding success.

In Autumn the choir performed Dvořák´s Stabat Mater in Austria and Beethoven´s 9th Symphony in Spain and the conductor Yaron Traub. In 2010 the choir performed with the conductor Sascha Goetzel in Beethoven`s 9th Symphony in Istanbul, the European City of Culture 2010. In March the choir cooperated in the Moses and Aaron production with the conductor Lothar Zagrosek at the Vienna State Opera. As a result of this successful performance in Vienna, the choir was invited to perform in the same opera at the Zurich Opera House in 2011.

The choir has performed at concerts in Vienna with the conductor B. de Billy in Mahler` s 8th symphony. In June at the Richard Wagner Festival in the opera Lohengrin with the conductor Ralf Weikert and in a new production of the opera Tannhauser at the Vienna State Opera with the conductor Franz Welser-Möst. Co-operation in the opera Tannhauser continues in the autumn of 2010 and in 2011.

See also Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Bohdan Warchal Slovak Chamber Orchestra and Reduta Concert Hall.