New concertmaster at Czech Philharmonic

New concertmaster at Czech Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

June 18, 2020

Jan Fišer Prague Philharmonia has got promoted to the Czech Philharmonic from September.

He replaces Olga Šroubková who failed to win the orchestral vote after her probation year.

The other two CMs are Jan Mráček and Jiří Vodiček.

The Czechs are not bothered about having an international, or diverse, membership.



  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    ==The Czechs are not bothered about having an international, or diverse, membership.

    Maybe that’s good ? They might maintain a “Czech” sound, rather than be similar to the other big named orchestras

  • MacroV says:

    The Czech Philharmonic will take foreigners, and IIRC they have a Japanese principal flute. But salaries in the orchestra are still quite low, and while I’m sure the orchestra rehearses in English much of the time, you still need to be competent in Czech to function with some degree of comfort in Prague, which is probably a bit of a deterrent. They also seem to have no shortage of qualified native players from whom to choose.

  • Takao Kanayama says:

    Forgot Josef Špaček?

  • Doug says:

    Please explain to us what exactly is wrong about upholding a tradition? Do you honestly believe that Globalism will ultimately prevail in a world where classical music thrives? When Dvorak traveled to the United States, he did not abandon his musical heritage and begin writing jazz. Funny how those who were only a generation ago under the oppressive thumb of the Soviet communists (Poland, Czech, Hungary, Ukraine) are now the ones who cherish freedom the most.

  • Axl says:

    Norman, his name is Jiří Vodička, not Vodiček

  • MacroV says:

    The timing of this seems odd. She won the job in September. Josef Spacek is still there this year so the orchestra effectively had four concertmasters this year. I wonder how much of an-the-job evaluation she got, especially with the season curtailed in March. They seem to have decided against her very quickly, esp. since they already auditioned for and selected a replacement.

    • W.E. says:

      I agree it’s a bit odd but although she was comfirmed only in the autumn she was with them since spring and this season she lead them fairly often – Špaček was very much absent already.

  • Evan Tucker says:

    The lack of foreigners might have a justification if they sounded better or more Czech, but there’s little that separates the modern Czech Philharmonic from any other European orchestra.

    • MacroV says:

      I don’t know about “better;” they sounded great each of the several dozen times I’ve heard them. True, the oboes and horns don’t really have that old Central European vibrato anymore, but they still have rather distinct style of playing.

  • Szymon Makowski says:

    He is an excellent musician. I had an opportunity of working with him in Praska Komorni Philharmonie, and his way of leading the group was extremely mature, while remaining a great partner to the fellow orchestra musicians and the conductor.

  • Fiddlist says:

    Olga is a fantastic violinist and musician; wonder why she didn’t pass her probation?