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During the celebrations of the Czech National Day, the former president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel became honorary president of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra of the Velvet Revolution in a gala concert under Christian Benda at the Czech National House in New York City. After having collaborated with conductors such as Václav Neumann, Gerd Albrecht, Charles Mackerras, Trevor Pinnock and, for over ten years with Christian Benda, its chief conductor and artistic director, the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra of the Velvet Revolution was established for the symphonic repertoire during Prague Chamber Orchestra’s sixteenth tour of North America. The orchestra has toured widely throughout the world, and is a regular participant of Czech musical life, with concert series in Prague and participation in festivals such as Salzburg, Bregenz, Berlin, Dresden, Lucerne, Montreux, Cheltenham, Besançon, and Biarritz. Solo artists performing with the orchestra have included Maxim Vengerov, Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli, Friedrich Gulda, Emil Gilels, Henryk Szeryng, Mischa Maisky, and Christoph Eschenbach. Recordings for companies including RCA, EMI, Decca, Sony Classics, Naxos, Polydor, Nippon Columbia, Denon, BMG, Telarc, Ariola, Eurodisc, and Supraphon have won a number of prestigious prizes, including the Wiener Flötenuhr, the Grand Prix du Disque Académie Charles Cros twice, and, after having sold one million records, the Golden Disc Award.

Prague Sinfonia
Photo courtesy of Silvio Mason

Role: Orchestra 
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