Tomáš Netopil

General Music Director – Aalto Musik Theater and Philharmonie Essen
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.

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“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]

Westfälische Rundschau

“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.” 

John Johnston


“Katie Mitchell presents Janáček’s Jenůfa in Amsterdam as a social drama, Tomáš Netopil conducts the work like an epic symphony.” 

Opern Welt Magazine

“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.” 

David Nice

BBC Music Magazine ****

“… 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]

Opera Online

Laurent Vilarem

“…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]

Res Musica

Vincent Guillemin

“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]

Opera +

Havlíková Helena

“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]

Frits van der Waa

De Volkskrant

“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]

Mischa Spel


“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.”

Nicolas Nguyen

**** Bachtrack

“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.”

Richard Morrison

The Times

“…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.”

Rian Evans

The Guardian

“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”

Rob Cowan


“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..”

BBC Music Magazine

More Reviews

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.”