Czech orchestra is left headless

Czech orchestra is left headless


norman lebrecht

February 24, 2021

The director of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Petr Polívka, has been fired by the town council without any reason being given.

The chief conductor of the orchestra, Jan Kučera, has resigned in sympathy.

Next year in Marienbad, I suppose.




  • José Bergher says:

    The new management of the city put pressure on the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra for savings, because the city largely finances the orchestra with CZK 34,800,000 per year, which, however, hardly covers the salaries of employees, even though the orchestra has a floor. If the orchestra director Petr Polívka fulfilled the city’s economical assignment, he would have to dismiss a significant number of musicians and the symphony orchestra would suddenly become a small spa orchestra. The city subsequently decided to remove Polívka from office.

    The Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra fears that the organization will be destabilized if the city removes the director. The orchestra thus called on the city to refrain from considering the dismissal of Director Polívka. Among other things, the letter to the City Council stated: “In the event that the dismissal of our director is carried out, we ask for a plausible and documented justification for this step, which may be a complete disaster for our orchestra – we are not aware of any misconduct, the orchestra, despite a fundamentally reduced budget, ended the year without loss.”

    A petition was even written against Polívka’s removal from office, which was signed by more than 1000 people. A protest was planned today in front of the municipality, to which the orchestra responded on its Facebook page: “Dear supporters, we greatly appreciate the support from all sides. We know about a planned protest rally outside the city hall today. We beg you very much: it does not expose itself and other risks that persist today (in our region in particular) from the spread of covid. The general public is heading to the magistrate to deal with their affairs, we do not see any gathering in this busy place as appropriate. Take care!”

    They voted unanimously in favour of the appeal:
    Andrea Pfeffer Ferklová (YES)
    Mgr. Tomáš Trtek (YES)
    Petr Bursík (ODS)
    Josef Kopfstein (Carlsbad)
    Lubomir Kovář (YES)
    Mgr. Bc. Hana Žáková (YES)
    Bc. Jakub Novotný (Karlovy Vary)

    The orchestra’s concerns about destabilisation have become a reality. Jan Kučera, chief conductor of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, said on his Facebook page: “Due to today’s unprecedented dismissal of the director of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Petr Polívka, I will resign as chief conductor of the orchestra with immediate effect.” The orchestra said on its Facebook page that the chief conductor’s resignation was proof that they were right. However, the orchestra’s management has no blame on Kučera and fully understands and respects his decision.

    For years, the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra held an open discussion with the city about the construction of the Spa III building into a concert hall. The orchestra does not have its own building, so it performs in the Neo-Goth spa house Lázně III, where there is not enough background for musical operation and due to problems with air conditioning there is a problem with the temperatures in the hall at any time of the year.

  • IP says:

    You mean that Munich is not headless. . . or is it brainless?

  • Wise Guy says:

    Epic headline.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I think the photo presented to accompany the Jonas Kaufmann post of Feb. 24 would be much more appropriately presented on THIS post.