Chief Conductor, Bamberg Symphony
Principal Guest Conductor, Czech Philharmonic
Principal Guest Conductor, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Born in the Czech Republic, Jakub Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He was also formerly Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
He 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 US with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
As a conductor of opera, he has led productions for the Salzburg Festival (Kát’a Kabanová with the Vienna Philharmonic), Vienna State Opera (The Makropulos Case), Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Carmen and Lohengrin), Opéra National de Paris (Rusalka), and Zurich Opera (The Makropulos Case). He has also been a regular guest with Glyndebourne Festival, conducting Vanessa, The Cunning Little Vixen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, The Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni and La bohème, and served as Music Director of Glyndebourne On Tour for three years.
His relationships with leading vocal and instrumental soloists have included collaborations in recent seasons with Behzod Abduraimov, Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Lisa Batiashvili, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Renaud Capuçon, Gautier Capuçon, Isabelle Faust, Bernarda Fink, Julia Fischer, Sol Gabetta, Véronique Gens, Christian Gerhaher, Kirill Gerstein, Karen Gomyo, Hélène Grimaud, Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Barbara Hannigan, Alina Ibragimova, Janine Jansen, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Karita Mattila, Leonidas Kavakos, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, Albrecht Mayer, Anne Sofie Mutter, Stephanie d’Oustrac, Emmanuel Pahud, Kian Soltani, Josef Špaček, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Daniil Trifonov, Mitsuko Uchida, Klaus Florian Vogt, Lukáš Vondráček, Yuja Wang, Alisa Weilerstein, and Frank Peter Zimmermann.
As a recording artist, Jakub Hrusa has received numerous awards and nominations for his discography. Most recently, he received the Opus Klassik Conductor of the Year nomination and the ICMA prize for Symphonic Music for his recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, both with Bamberg Symphony. In 2021, his disc of Martinů and Bartók violin concertos with Bamberg Symphony and Frank Peter Zimmermann (BIS) was nominated for both BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone awards, and his recording of the Dvořák Violin Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony and Augustin Hadelich was nominated for a Grammy ® Award. His recordings of Dvořák and Martinů Piano Concertos with Ivo Kahánek and the Bamberg Symphony (Supraphon), and Vanessa from Glyndebourne (Opus Arte) both won BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2020. Other recent releases include Dvořák and Brahms Symphonies with Bamberg Symphony (Tudor), Suk’s Asrael Symphony with the Bavarian Radio Symphony (BR Klassik), and Dvořák’s Requiem and Te Deum with the Czech Philharmonic (Decca).
Jakub Hrůša studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where his teachers included Jiří Bělohlávek. He is currently President of the International Martinů Circle and The Dvořák Society. He was the inaugural recipient of the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize, and in 2020 was awarded both the Antonín Dvořák Prize by the Czech Republic’s Academy of Classical Music, and – together with Bamberg Symphony – the Bavarian State Prize for Music.
Last week, Jakub Hrůša conducted the final performance of Leoš Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová at this year’s Salzburg Festival. The new production by Barrie Kosky, featuring the Vienna Philharmonic, was Hrůša’s debut at the Festival and earned him unanimous praise from...
At short notice and with no rehearsal, Jakub Hrůša recently stepped in for Riccardo Chailly to conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Songs of a Wayfarer (featuring Andrè Schuen) with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Writing about the concert, Patrick Hürlimann from Le...
Stellar Reviews for Jakub Hrůša, Brandon Jovanovich and Gábor Bretz in Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at the Royal Opera House
Jakub Hrůša, Brandon Jovanovich and Gábor Bretz win acclaim following their opening night performance in Wagner's Lohengrin currently showing at the Royal Opera House. Brandon takes the title role of "Lohengrin", Gábor Bretz stars as "King Heinrich", and Jakub Hrůša...
“Jakub Hruša’s sensational conducting reinforces the vivacity and stylishness: the London Philharmonic sound brilliantly effervescent under his baton and a score too often taken for granted comes thrillingly alive. [On Glyndebourne’s ‘Carmen’]”
“Jakub Hrůša led a fiery, passionate account of Bizet’s score, dripping with drama. [On Glyndebourne’s ‘Carmen’]”
“… conductor Jakub Hrůša carries the singers. He leaves all the vocal parts free to develop in a differentiated and individual way, yet never gives up the reins. Under his baton, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra creates intimate and warm moments of sound, which abruptly tip over, if need be, to become harder and more stinging or storm-like. Janáček’s multi-layered music is thus conveyed vividly and directly. And the balance between romantic cantilenas and energetic, audacious rhythms succeeds magnificently.”
BR Klassik August 2022
“Stand-in Jakub Hrůša led the Lucerne Festival Orchestra to another triumph with Mahler…Since yesterday, this summer festival has a star with hero status.”
Luzerner Zeitung August 2022
“Hrůša steps in and strikes gold with an all-Mahler concert in Lucerne … With Riccardo Chailly having fallen ill, the baton for this Lucerne Festival Orchestra programme was passed to the gifted Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša, who hopped from the Salzburg Festival to Lake Lucerne and not only saved the evening, but led a truly enlightened performance.”
Bachtrack August 2022
“Jakub Hrusa’s incredible achievement … the Czech conductor worked miracles at the head of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra on Wednesday evening for a formidable “1st Symphony” by Mahler … It’s a success story as we like it, the story of a replacement at short notice that turned out to be successful. Riccardo Chailly was declared unwell on the morning of the concert and had to be replaced … Insisting on keeping things fresh, Hrusa conducted the concert without rehearsal, using Maestro Chailly’s annotated score (which he had studied carefully for the rest of the day) as the basis for his interpretation. Everyone was amazed by the intensity of the concert and the quality of the orchestra, given the circumstances. No sooner had the last chord sounded than the audience leapt to their feet to salute the conductor and musicians. Standing ovation!”
Le Temps August 2022
“ … this revival Wagner was conducted on the stage of the Royal Opera for the first time by Jakub Hrůša, and his conception and performance earned great acclaim both from the audience, who visibly and audibly cheered on him, and from critics … if Jakub Hrůša were to conduct one of Wagner’s other operas in the future, I would really hurry to watch the performance.”
Harmonie June 2022
“… the conductor’s most distinctive feature was his attention to the unfolding musical arc, his capacity to grasp the big picture and only then allow for microscopic enquiries. Undoubtedly, the perspicuity of Hrůša’s interpretation was an ideal match for Dvořák’s score … Hrůša’s scrupulous control over dynamics and phrasing, as well as his fortunate choice of tempos, proved the value of the symphony as a functioning and exhilarating mechanism of its own … ”
Bachtrack June 2022
“[the score] requires a dab hand on the baton to spark it into life. With Jakub Hrůša, that is never in doubt: his fresh, fluid and warm-hearted conducting makes these four and a half hours flash by.”
The i April 2022
“The way it was played last night, by Jakub Hrůša and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, will have delighted Lohengrin devotees … Hrůša treated us to a masterclass in Wagnerian conducting …”
Bachtrack April 2022
“Musically, the revival is built on extremely strong foundations. Jakub Hrůša has an unerring sense of the work’s structure …. The Royal Opera orchestra’s playing in the great scene between Lohengrin’s two enemies, Telramund and Ortrud, in act two was gripping.”
The Guardian April 2022
“Jakub Hrůša shines at the podium … Best of all was the orchestral playing under the astute leadership of Jakub Hrůša … the climaxes, to the Prelude and to each of the acts, are just stunning. The Royal Opera is on the lookout for a new Music Director: could this engagement by a try-out for Hrůša? If so, he is a strong contender.”
The Arts Desk April 2022
“Hrusa’s contribution … was crucial. His handling of the climactic procession to the minster later in the act, of the unfolding denouement in the last act and indeed of the whole drama was revelatory … masterly musical direction … an evening of acute theatrical potency”
Evening Standard April 2022
“What makes this revival truly stand out is its talent … conductor Jakub Hrusa cannily distils the eeriest sonorities of the score, highlighting its bleak beauty … Hrusa deploys the big guns of the enlarged orchestra with authority …”
The Times April 2022
“Simply magnificent Voříšek symphony and Beethoven Ninth from Hrůša and the Philharmonia … Even by the Philharmonia Orchestra’s exalted standards, this was an exceptional concert … So many moments of great character here – it truly did sound as if the players were having a ball at the sheer joy of performance … a superb account characterised by Hrůša’s incredibly intelligent conducting. He sees the long view, so structurally each movement has a grand arc of its own and each, in turn, leads inexorably to that finale … the strength of Hrůša’s interpretation and the Philharmonia’s magnificent realisation of the score … This was certainly one of the finest Beethoven Ninth’s this reviewer has heard, prepared for via a perfectly judged, and impeccably executed, first half … Simply magnificent.”
Seen and Heard International April 2022
“[Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4] has never been heard in a more fresh and colourful, imaginative, and richly blossoming performance than in this one under Jakub Hrůša.”
ICMA January 2022
“It’s all here! Taut, refreshing, often inspired, never bland. Such music-making confirms Hrůša as among the very finest Mahler conductors of the younger generation.”
Gramophone Magazine September 2021
“I don’t believe that I have ever heard this symphony before in such a compelling, narrative, atmospheric and agitated performance … astonishing …”
Pizzicato March 2020
“… very special … really superb … [Hrůša] has this music in his blood …”
Fanfare Magazine July 2017
“… a triumph of balanced energy, gentle emotion, and clear sound … There is something beguiling and profoundly right about Hrůša’s way with the music … a privileged glimpse into the human heart.”
Fanfare Magazine July 2017
“With an original approach that privileges epic scope in measured tempi, the conductor Jakub Hrusa offers the famous score a most poignant vision. Perfectly mastering the balance between instruments, he gives life to fragrant emotion throughout the cycle.”
Opus Haute Définition May 2017
“… colourful and exciting … impassioned … animated … impressive … an auspicious debut.”
The New York Times May 2017
“Ma Vlast clearly is close to Jakub Hrusa’s heart. He made it speak through the orchestra to the hearts of his listeners… Mark well the name of this upwardly mobile conductor. He deserves a return engagement at Orchestra Hall.”
Chicago Tribune May 2017
“Everything I hear from this charismatic Czech conductor leaps off the page … Hrůša showed how completely he is inside the music in this big-hearted, compelling performance. Every instrumental nuance, every slender rubato and explosion of drama took us directly into this Symphony’s universal but specifically Czech character … spellbinding …”