What is happening

Talich’s Beroun 2024

An evening full of music came to life at the KD Plzeňka as part of the Talich’s Beroun 2024 music festival and was the culmination of the third year of conducting courses. Maestros Václav Blahunek and Štěpán Med showed that the conductor’s baton is a musical magic wand in their hands, which they used to create a unique atmosphere full of emotions.

The stage was dominated by the technical brilliance of the clarinetist Ludmila Peterkova and the charming voice of the soprano singer Eliska Tomeňuková. Although the evening was devoted mainly to Czech composers such as Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů, the Clarinet Concerto by Philip Sparke, which had its Czech premiere here in Beroun, brought an international touch.

This piece was a great indicator that despite our czech musical icons, we are still open to new compositions from all over the world. The audience received Spark’s concert with open hearts and applause, which lasted long after the last note. And so the NDO concert at KD Plzeňka reminded us that music is the true universal language that connects us all.


read more

The Last concert of 2023

The Czech National Concet Band’s (NDO) Christmas concert was once again one of the highlights of the musical calendar this year. Under the baton of chief conductor Václav Blahunek, the concert opened with the Hussite chant “Who are God’s warriors”, which became a symbol of pride and courage during the Hussite wars and was used in the works of several important Czech composers, including Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. This was followed by “The Rise of the Quetzal” and “Divertimento for Brass and Percussion”, with which the orchestra is preparing to compete at next year’s Flicorno d’Oro international competition in Italy, a major opportunity for every wind ensemble from around the world. An energetic performance of Alexander Carlin’s “Epic Variants” with a solo by Petr Valášek on bass clarinet ended the first half of the evening.

The second half of the concert brought a change of conductor, with Ondřej Mejsnar taking the baton. This part of the evening was mainly dedicated to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Disney. There were pieces such as ‘Symphonic Highlights from Frozen’, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘A Home Alone Christmas’, each with its own unique atmosphere and charm.

The whole evening was a celebration of music that can not only evoke memories and emotions, but also connect the past to the present and show how deeply music can reach into our hearts.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to more musical encounters together.

read more

Czech National Concert Band on tour in Hungary

On the last weekend of August, the Czech National concert band under the direction of its chief conductor Václav Blahunek took part in the festival of wind orchestras in the Hungarian town of Makó. The band has a long-standing cooperation with the private music school in Makó and especially with its director Dr. Jozsef Csikota, and it returns to this beautiful spa town repeatedly.

Apart from our orchestra, ensembles from Hungary, Serbia and Estonia also took part in this year’s festival. the Czech National concert band performed on the main stage with its concert programme consisting mainly of Czech music. The soloist of the concert was xylophone player Klára Černá. The orchestra was led by conductor Václav Blahunek, who was replaced by young conductors Markéta Linhart, Michal Strejček and Lucie Rapčáková towards the end of the programme. These three conductors already lead their orchestras at primary art schools and the opportunity to conduct the National Wind Orchestra was another valuable experience for them.

New chamber ensembles are also being created within the National Wind Orchestra. One of them is a wind quintet led by flutist Markéta Linhart. This ensemble performed at the Hungarian festival in the accompanying programme. It gave a concert at the Hagymatikum Spa and accompanied the mass at the Church of St István.

The orchestra bid farewell to the Hungarian festival with a festive parade through the town and a joint concert of all participating orchestras.

The tour was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The orchestra would also like to thank the Primary Art School in Přelouč for the support during the rehearsals.


read more

Two concerts at Pardubice Music Spring 2023

The Czech National Concert Band recently performed two concerts as part of the prestigious Pardubice Music Spring 2023.

The first concert took place in the Suk Hall of the House of Music in Pardubice and the second took place in the historic St. Lawrence Church in Vysoké Mýto. Under the baton of the renowned chief conductor of the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic, Stanislav Vavřinek, an excellent repertoire from various musical genres was performed.
At the same time, the orchestra had the honour to collaborate with an excellent Austrian trumpet player, Selina Ott, whose solo performances added to the beautiful atmosphere in both halls.

The concert programme was designed to provide the audience with a breathtaking experience of listening to exceptional compositions. These included works by Václav Nelhýbel such as Ceremony, as well as Pavel Stanek’s Czech Dance Suite, Alexander Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto, Johan de Meije’s La Quintessenza and Joseph Horovitz’s Bacchus on Blue Ridge.

We are honored to have been able to perform with such important musical personalities as Selina Ott and Stanislav Vavřinek, and to do so within the framework of one of the most important music festivals in the Czech Republic.

In between the concerts there was also a master class with Selina for the orchestra’s trumpeters, which offered the participants valuable advice and the opportunity to play together with this outstanding artist.

In the future, the NDO has plans for other major events, such as the opening concert of the International Wind Orchestra Festival in Prague in June and a trip to Mako, Hungary in August.


read more

Concert at Talich’s Beroun 2023

Once again after a year, conducting courses were held in Beroun at the Plzeňka Cultural House under the direction of Václav Blahunek, chief conductor of the Prague Castle Guard Music and the Police of the Czech Republic. Beginner conductors from all over the country practiced conducting a wind quintet composed of players from the Czech National Concert Band.

The intensive courses culminated in an evening concert of the entire NDO, where two participants of the workshop, in addition to the chief conductor Václav Blahunk, performed as conductors. Lucie Rapčáková, hornist of the National Wind Orchestra, concluded the workshop by conducting two pieces – Slavonic Dance No. 2 by Antonín Dvořák and Deep Space Voyage by J.A. Stanley. She was followed by Markéta Linhart, who not only leads the wind quintet and is the first flutist of the NDO, but also conducted three movements of Pavel Stanek’s Czech Dance Suite. Both ladies succeeded in leading the orchestra. “It was great! With such an orchestra conducting feels almost too easy. It’s great to be able to trust in each player and know that they will play everything I show them with the baton. And sometimes even what I don’t show (laughs). They supported me, and the whole experience was amazing mostly because of them. Thank you.” said Markéta after the concert.

Barbora Ticháčková was the soloist of the evening. She has successfully participated in national and international competitions with her trumpet playing. She is a finalist of the Golden Peanut TV talent competition and a semifinalist of the international competition of the Czech Radio Concertino Praga, a multiple winner of the international performance competition Žestě Brno, the international competition Pro Bohemia in Ostrava and the absolute winner of the Pardubice Conservatory Competition 2022. In Beroun she performed the very difficult trumpet concert by armenian composer A.G. Arutiunian.

In addition to these compositions, Ceremony by the Czech-born composer Václav Nelhýbel, La Quintessenza for Wind Orchestra by the contemporary Dutch composer and conductor Johan de Meij were also performed and the end belonged to Joseph Horovitz and his three-movement composition with jazz elements Bacchus on Blue Ridge.

The successful concert was a great opening of the new musical season for the National Wind Orchestra, the highlight of which will be the Pardubice Spring, when they will perform under the baton of Stanislav Vavřínek with the Austrian trumpet player Selina Ott.


read more