Remembering the Prague 1996 Tour

5th August, 2022

Following on from the hugely successful, ground breaking tour to St. Petersburg in the Easter of 1994, Founder Music Director Andrew Constantine then planned an even more ambitious 12 day tour travelling by coach to eastern Europe, based in Prague, during August 1996.

Five concerts took place, two in Prague and others in Karlovy Vary, Marianski Lazne and in the famous Palace at Kromeriz. The Symphony Orchestra performed repertoire including the Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade together the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1, with leader Adam Summerhayes as soloist. The Orchestra rehearsed in the Prague Opera House and the extended nature of the tour meant that the players were able to also take in sight seeing in Prague and explore the various other concert locales.

Not being content with just a purely Orchestral tour, Andrew then planned for the Orchestra to be joined for the final few days by the Bardi Symphony Chorus to perform Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony. This was for Karlovy Vary, Kromeriz and then for the final concert on Tuesday 13th August in the Rudolfinum concert hall in Prague, the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. This high-profile civic concert also included the Brahms Double Concerto performed by the stunning Czech duo of violinist Jan Talich and cellist Jiri Bárta.

A much remembered party then took place straight afterwards for all concerned with everyone departing for Leicester on the four coaches in the early hours. One of the orchestra coaches then broke down at the Czech/German border, but that is another story…

Watch highlights from the tour

Top row: CD artwork from Beethoven Symphony No.9 concert recording at The Rudolfinum, with concert poster, right.
Bottom row: Prague scenes – Countryside Park, Mechanical Clock and The Rudolfinum.

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