It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Maestro Libor Pešek KBE, who passed away in his beloved Prague on 23 October 2022. Throughout his glorious, more-than-50-year career, he earned a legion of admirers conducting the world’s most celebrated orchestras. His positions include Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic (1981-82), Conductor-in-residence of the Czech Philharmonic (1982-1990), Chief Conductor of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (2007-2019) and Music Director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) (1987-1998). At the time of his death, he was Conductor Laureate of the RLPO and Principal Guest Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra.F
Maestro Pešek was a champion of Czech music, particularly bringing greater international prominence to lesser-known composers including Josef Suk, Vítězslav Novák and Pavel Josef Vejvanovský.
In his final seasons, Maestro Pešek conducted the Orquestre Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Vienna Tonkunstler, Orquesta Filharmonica de Gran Canaria, the Royal Flemish Phiharmonic for the Dvorak Festival, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and a UK tour with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
In March 1996, Queen Elizabeth II made Libor Pešek a Knight of the British Empire. In 1997, he was awarded the First Grade of Czech Medal of Merit and an honorary fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire.
Generous, humane and kindly, with a brilliant sense of humour, he inspired affection and loyalty for his extraordinary character as well as for his virtuosity. We send our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. It will forever be our great privilege to work with such a remarkable, legendary man. Rest in peace Maestro.