Petr Popelka (born 1986) is a Czech conductor and composer.



Popelka was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. he studied music and played the double bass at the Prague Conservatory. He continued his studies at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, where his teachers included Božo Paradžik. At age 19, Popelka became a member of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in 2009 joined the academy of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 2010 to 2019, Popelka was deputy principal double bassist of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Popelka was composer-in-residence at the PODIUM festival in Mödling in 2015.

During his orchestral tenure in Dresden, Popelka developed an increased interest in conducting.[1] His conducting mentors have included Vladimir Kiradjiev, Péter Eötvös, Alan Gilbert, Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli. He was a recipient of the Neeme Järvi Prize in 2017. In the 2019–2020 season, he was the first conducting fellow at the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. From 2020[2] to 2023,[3] Popelka was chief conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, his first chief conductorship. He has served as principal guest conductor of the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava.

Popelka became chief conductor and artistic director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra as of the 2022–2023 season.[4][5] He first guest-conducted the Vienna Symphony in May 2022. In June 2023, the Vienna Symphony announced the appointment of Popelka as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2024–2025 season, with an initial contract of five seasons.[6]

Selected compositions

  • Labyrinth des Herzens (2015)
  • Szenen für Klavierquartett (2015)[7]


  1. ^ Petr Veber (2022-06-29). "Petr Popelka: Přál bych si, aby byl SOČR světovým tělesem s repertoárem od staré hudby po současnou". Czech Radio (Český rozhlas). Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  2. ^ Jan Fredrik Heyerdahl (2019-11-20). "Blir ny sjefdirigent i KORK". Norwegian Radio. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  3. ^ "KORK-dirigent Petr Popelka til Wiener Symphoniker" (Press release). Norwegian Radio (NRK). 9 June 2023. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  4. ^ "Petr Popelka to become the new Chief Conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  5. ^ Ruth Fraňková (2022-05-27). ""It is something special" – New Radio Orchestra chief returns to where it all began". Radio Prague International. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  6. ^ "Petr Popelka wird neuer Chefdirigent ab der Saison 2024/25" (Press release). Vienna Symphony. 9 June 2023. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  7. ^ Chanda VanderHart (2015-05-01). "Stratos Quartett brings youthful, polished vigor to the Gläserner Saal in Vienna". Bachtrack. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
Cultural offices
Preceded by Principal Conductor, Norwegian Radio Orchestra
Succeeded by
(post vacant)
Preceded by
Alexander Liebreich
Chief Conductor, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by