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Jakub Hrůša in conversation with Nigel Simeone

March 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša and musicologist Nigel Simeone will discuss their musical careers & Czech music. They will go back to their musical beginnings, their life experiences in various countries and the role that classical music and Czech music play in contemporary society. Their common loves, such as Leoš Janáček or Leonard Bernstein, will be at the forefront of the discussion. They may also share their opinion about the new critically acclaimed movie “Maestro“. Their discussion will also be livestreamed.

This event marks the Year of Czech Music 2024 and also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music in the UK.

Years ending in a four have special significance in Czech music, often coinciding with the anniversaries of the birth, death of the most prominent Czech composers, or else the creation of their key works. 2024 marks the 120th anniversary of the passing of Antonín Dvořák and 130 years since composition of his piano pieces Humoresky. It is also 200 years since the birth of Bedřich Smetana, 140 years since his death and 150 years since the composition of his famous symphonic poems Má vlast. It is also 170 years since the birth of Leoš Janáček and 120 years since his composition of Jenůfa.

More information about the Year of Czech Music can be found at: Year of Czech Music | Rok české hudby 2024 (

Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Music Director Designate of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (from September 2025), Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He was previously Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He is the 2023 Opus Klassik Conductor of the Year.

Hrůša is a frequent guest with many of the world’s greatest orchestras, enjoying close relationships and performing regularly with the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK Symphony and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra – and in the USA with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Jakub is one of the ambassadors of the Year of Czech Music 2024, a patron of the Smetana 200 project and is due to perform Smetana’s opera Libuše with the Czech Philharmonic at the Prague Spring and Smetana Litomyšl festivals.

Nigel Simeone was born in London in 1956. He is a writer and broadcaster with a lifelong interest in Czech music – an enthusiasm ignited by seeing a production of The Cunning Little Vixen during a school trip to Germany in 1970. He is the author of three books on Janáček including Janáček’s Works (1997) and The Janáček Compendium (2019). His other books include three with a focus on the relationship between composers and conductors: The Leonard Bernstein Letters (2013), Charles Mackerras (2015) and Ralph Vaughan Williams and Adrian Boult (2022). He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 (Record Review and Opera on 3) and contributes articles to Opera and Gramophone (most recently a feature on Smetana in the March 2024 issue). He also writes programme notes for the Salzburg Festival, Wexford Festival, Royal Opera House, London Symphony Orchestra and the Wigmore Hall.

Light refreshments will be served following the talk.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite to attend in person or receive the online link (see below)

BCSA and Dvořák Society members enjoy free entry. Non-members £10, full-time students £5.

All proceeds from this event will go to the BCSA School Support Fund established in 2004 to provide support for English language skills in Czech and Slovak schools and other educational institutions. For more information, see




Czech Embassy cinema
26 Kensington Palace Gardens
London, W8 4QY
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