Jiri Behlolavek

Czech conductor Jiri Belohlavek, 71, chief conductor and artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic, died today, the Orchestra announced. With a weakening health, Belohlavek had to cancel concerts in May. He was chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic since 2012. In January 2017 he signed a new six-year contract.

From 1990 until 1992 he already was chief conductor of the orchestra. He was forced to leave due to problems of mutual trust with the musicians who then hired Gerd Albrecht as new music director. He subsequently founded the youth orchestra Prague Philharmonia in 1993. In 2005, he gave up his post and became the orchestra’s conductor laureate.

In 1997, Belohlavek became Professor at the Prague Academy of Music and became principal guest conductor of the Prague National Theatre the following year.

He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 2006 to 2012. In April 2012, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra announced the appointment of Belohlavek as its next principal guest conductor, effective with the 2012-2013 season.

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