Popular maestro is hurt in Czech car smash

Popular maestro is hurt in Czech car smash


norman lebrecht

July 28, 2016

The doyen Czech conductor Libor Pesek has cancelled a UK tour ‘because of injuries sustained in a car accident’.

Libor, who is 83, was to have conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra on the closing night of the Kings Lynn Festival this weekend, followed by a concert at Harrogate.

But he told organisers that a fractured breastbone sustained in a recent road accident will prevent him from conducting for several weeks.

libor pesek

Libor, always a law unto himself, was music director in Liverpool from 1987 to 1998 and remains hugely popular with British audiences. We wish him a speedy recovery.


  • Walkuere says:

    With that first name he could easily diversify into investment banking.

  • Bruce says:

    Fractured sternum = sounds like he was wearing his seat belt, and the force would have been enough to sent him through the windshield without it. Good for him.

    I wish him a quick recovery.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Pesek’s period at Liverpool was a very strong injection of Middle-European musicality into the orchestra. I was present at a recording session of Mahler IX in the Liverpool concert hall, and that was thrilling.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      I was there for the performance. Unforgettable.

      • John Borstlap says:

        That must have been wonderful…. a great man, really – within the musical field.

        At the time, he wanted to play my music with the Liverpool Phil but was stopped by the management, which he did not dare to contradict.

  • Peter Phillips says:

    He effectively introduced Suk’s Asrael symphony to the UK. I heard it in Cardiff and it made a huge impression, a studio performance happily being preserved on cd. Just the month before that concert he had conducted at the installation of his friend Vaclav Havel as president of Czechoslovakia, as it then was. He is a pleasant, unassuming man who did great things with the RLPO. I hope he is able to return to the UK soon.

  • Ondrey Danek says:

    Heiko Mathias Förster, a German conductor frequently engaged by some of the top Czech orchestras, is stepping in.