Principal Guest Conductor – Czech Philharmonic
Founder and Artistic Director – International Summer Academy in Kroměříž (Czech Republic)
Tomáš Netopil took up the position of General Music Director of the Aalto Theatre and Philharmonie Essen at the start of 2013/14. In addition to his concert season at the helm of Essen Philharmoniker, his opera productions in 2018/19 include Der Freischutz, Salome, Cosi fan tutte and Rusalka whilst in 2017/18 he conducted Bartered Bride, Salome, Lohengrin, Die Walküre and die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail.Read more
Netopil made his debut with Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden in 2008 since when he has conducted Clemenza di Tito, Rusalka, Cunning Little Vixen, La Juive and Busoni’s Doktor Faust and he will conduct a new production of Bartered Bride for them in Spring 2019. This season, he will also conduct a new production of Jenufa for Netherlands Opera and returns to Wiener Staatsoper for Idomeneo: in 2017/18 he conducted a new production of der Freischutz, and has previously conducted Katja Kabanova, Rusalka and Cunning Little Vixen in Vienna. He has also conducted Falstaff and Makropulos Case for Vlaamse Opera.
An inspirational force in Czech music, Tomáš Netopil is one of the two Principal Guest Conductors of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (the other being Jakub Hrusa). In August 2017 he conducted two Dvorak and Mozart concerts alongside Diana Damrau at the Grafenegg Festival, in early Spring 2018 he led the orchestra in an extensive UK tour, and conducted Ma Vlast in the opening concert of the 2018 Prague Spring Festival, which was televised live.
„Artist in Residence“ of the Dvorak Festival Prague in 2017/18, Netopil opened the festival with Essener Philharmoniker about which Bachtrack wrote: “The music lit up the stage like a rousing march, providing a dazzling showcase for Netopilʼs facility for creating three-dimensional soundscapes with the orchestra. With Strauss, they showed an impressive ability to segue almost instantly from dramatic dissonance to charming melodies. The thrilling highs and expansive sound were a better fit for the theatrical qualities of this music, which under Netopilʼs baton also captured the atmospherics of the piece, brimming with effervescence and elegance. In all, it was a convincing demonstration that a serious classical orchestra can swing. And if there were any remaining questions about how well the orchestra does the basic German repertoire, a rousing encore of the prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin established unassailable bona fides”. He then conducted Dvorak’s Te Deum in the closing concert of the festival with Vienna Symphony Orchestra, whom he subsequently conducted at Vienna Konzerthaus and later on at the Vienna Musikverein.
On the concert platform, this season sees him return to Zurich Tonhalle. Highlights of recent seasons have included Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo whilst future dates include Leipzig Gewandhaus and RAI Torino
Tomáš Netopil’s discography for Supraphon includes Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass (in its never-before-recorded original 1927 version), Dvorak’s complete cello works, Martinu’s Ariane and Double Concerto, and Smetana’s Ma Vlast with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. He has also recorded Suk’s Asrael with Essener Philharmoniker.
From 2008-2012 Tomáš Netopil held the position of Music Director of the Prague National Theatre. Tomáš Netopil studied violin and conducting in his native Czech Republic, as well as at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm under the guidance of Prof. Jorma Panula. In 2002 he won the 1st Sir Georg Solti Conductors Competition at the Alte Oper Frankfurt.
“Triumph for Tomáš Netopil: Schönberg’s mighty Gurre-Lieder. The evening was clearly also the personal triumph of the Essen Music Director Tomáš Netopil. He had tamed a sonic monster, an oratorio that breaks boundaries (let’s just take three four-part male choirs, in total 200 gentlemen!). Netopil explored the dazzling range of this melodramatic show ballad with Essen’s Philharmonic iridescently orchestral colours.” [translated from German]
“What brought real distinction and authenticity to the evening, as so often in this house, was the outstanding playing of the Staatskapelle conducted by Tomáš Netopil. From the start of the overture with its rapidly scurrying string fugato and pointed phrasing from the woodwinds, one felt the true sense of Smetana’s Czech-inflected rhythms and harmonies.”
“Katie Mitchell presents Janáček’s Jenůfa in Amsterdam as a social drama, Tomáš Netopil conducts the work like an epic symphony.”
“he knows how to steer an ensemble through the greatest of Mahler symphonies. The biggest challenges are the most impressively met: those cataclysmic welters in the colossal first movement, always clear but at the same time powerfully on the move, the last emotional climax of the farewell finale and its final, whispered laying to rest… How well he’s trained his player… the woodwind are exquisite in the dying of the light, the strings hugely powerful of outline when they need to be, and subtle, too, as they reduce to a sliver of sound.”
“… the Czech conductor [Tomáš Netopil] does not choose to “snap” the rhythms of Janáček; he lovingly carves out phrases, bringing out the melodious elements of each instruments… The result is magnificent elegance and musicality.” [Translated from French]
“…the conductor [Netopil impresses every moment as already recently in Vienna in Katya Kabanova, with a remarkably beautiful and subtle intelligence, as displayed already within the string rubatos of the opening bars” [Translated from French]
“Netopil worked with dynamics, temps, phrases, contrasts of different layers of score, and above all tension so that Jenůfa was the shock of the emotions that had frowned, but which touched the heart. His production had the energy, the urgency, and the excellent acoustics of the Amsterdam theater, the full plasticity of the dynamics. The orchestra respected and managed to fill the subtle nuances as Netopil expressed in its legible gestures, including the balance of sound to the singers.” [Translated from Czech]
“The Czech conductor Tomáš Netopil obviously understands the intricacy of his native language and music, fully reflected in all manners in which he very confidently guides the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra through the score.” [Translated from Dutch]
“Conductor Tomás Netopil is a specialist in this repertoire. You will hear from his fine-grained, well-controlled leadership about the beautifully playing Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra, which he knows and feels through Janácek’s multi-layered score. All melodies, based on Czech prosody, take shape smoothly. Within the typical passages where multiple layers of narrative coincide (the lively choir in the first act, for example, where the orchestra simultaneously announces the impending doom), he unifies all components coherently.” [Translated from Dutch]
“At the première, Czech conductor Tomáš Netopil led the Netherlands Philarmonic Orchestra in an admirably detailed reading of the score, more light-footed than most and with beautiful transparencies of textures, but with staggering swells in crucial dramatic moments. All came together for a dramatically engrossing, moving performance.”
“Tomas Netopil, who conducts the Czech Philharmonic on its British tour is one of the rising stars of central European musical life. Thoroughly grounded in the music of his native Czech Republic, he is also becoming a regular in the UK and Germany, where his dynamic interpretations are winning a growing army of fans.”
“…in the two works by Dvořák, his Symphonic Variations and the ‘New World’ Ninth Symphony, he (Netopil) showed his mettle in dextrous control of rhythmic discipline and the give-and-take of rubato.”
“The substantially gifted Tomáš Netopil has the full measure of all four works, balancing the Sinfonietta’s closing build-up so that the reappearance of the fanfare trumpets (the Band of the Castle Guards and Police of the Czech Republic) is allowed to achieve an effective climax rather than hogging the limelight prematurely… Netopil again proves himself an accomplished and perceptive advocate of the music”
“Tomas Netopil understands the pace of Asrael and seizes the ample dramatic opportunities with relish. The orchestral detail, particularly from the woodwind, is impressive…there is much to enjoy..”
The Arts Desk, Feb 2018
“Netopil created dramatic pauses in the opening statement, and the brass responded in stentorian style. He knows how to highlight a good tune when given the chance, and in this case bathed Dvořák’s themes in pools of limelight, finally whipping up both tension and tempo at the end of the first movement.”
Ilkley Gazette, Feb 2018
“Tomas Netopil soon demonstrated in this programme of music by Dvorak that Belohlavek’s legacy is in secure hands… Netopil’s careful layering of textures and his judging of dynamics revealed the innermost detail – even in the fastest passages.”