(Prague, Czech Republic)
2015–16 Season: Conductor of Jenůfa
Conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bĕlohlávek made his San Francisco Opera debut with the Company’s 2010 production of Leoš Janáček’s The Makropulos Case. He appears regularly with major orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, and Tokyo’s NHK Symphony. In North America, he conducts the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Montreal, and Minnesota. In his homeland, Bĕlohlávek has frequently performed with the Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, and the Prague Philharmonia, and in 2006 was appointed chairman of the Prague Spring Festival. Bĕlohlávek has been chief conductor of the Prague Symphony (1977–89) and music director of the Czech Philharmonic (1990–1992), with whom he has recorded extensively for Chandos Records. He founded the Prague Philharmonia in 1994 and has recorded and toured extensively with this ensemble, including a televised appearance at the BBC Proms in July 2004. He was appointed principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1995 and was made chief conductor of the ensemble in 2006. Career highlights include Káťa Kabanová, Jenůfa, Eugene Onegin, and Rusalka at the Metropolitan Opera; Rusalka, The Bartered Bride, and Martinů’s Julietta at Paris Opera; Eugene Onegin at Covent Garden; Tristan und Isolde and Rusalka at the Glyndebourne Festival; Káťa Kabanová in Madrid; and Jenůfa at Washington National Opera.