Principal Guest Conductor – Czech Philharmonic
Founder and Artistic Director – International Summer Academy in Kroměříž (Czech Republic)
Tomáš Netopil starts his eight season as General Music Director of the Aalto Musiktheater and Philharmonie Essen at the start of 2020/21. This season, the operas he plans to conduct in Essen include Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Die Zauberflöte, The Bartered Bride, and Arabella. In recent seasons, he has conducted Salome, Così fan tutte, Rusalka, Lohengrin, Die Walküre, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Pique Dame, and Der Rosenkavalier. During his tenure, he has recorded highly acclaimed Suk Asrael, Martinů’s Ariane and Double Concerto, plus Mahler Symphonies 6 and 9.
In Summer 2018, Tomáš Netopil created the International Summer Music Academy in Kroměříž offering students both exceptional artistic tuition and the opportunity to meet and work with major international musicians. In Summer 2020, in association with the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Academy will establish the Dvořákova Praha Youth Philharmonic with musicians from conservatories and music academies, coached by principal players of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Tomáš Netopil has held a close relationship with the Dvořák Prague Festival for some time and was Artist in Residence in 2017, opening the festival with Essen Philharmoniker and closing the festival with Dvořák’s Te Deum and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. This new undertaking will consolidate this relationship still further.
An inspirational force in Czech music, Tomáš Netopil also holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. In early Spring 2018 he led the orchestra on an extensive UK tour, and conducted Má vlast in the opening concert of the 2018 Prague Spring Festival, which was televised live. This season, his engagements with them include conducting their 130th anniversary celebrations of Bohuslav Martinů, their 2021 New Year concert, and at the Smetana’s Litomyšl Festival in June 2021.Read more
Operatic highlights include Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (La clemenza di Tito, Rusalka, The Cunning Little Vixen, La Juive, The Bartered Bride, and Busoni’s Doktor Faust), Vienna Staatsoper (his most recent successes include Idomeneo, Der Freischütz, and a new production of Leonore and for Netherlands Opera, (Jenůfa featuring Annette Dasch, Hanna Schwarz and Evelyn Herlitzius.) His upcoming plans as a guest conductor include The Makropoulos Case at Grand Théâtre de Genève and Jenůfa for Hamburg Opera.
On the concert platform, Tomáš’ planned engagements this season include Orchestre National de France, Salzburg Mozarteum, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Varsovia. His highlights of recent seasons have included Zürich Tonhalle as well as engagements with Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de Montpellier, RAI Torino, and Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.
Tomáš Netopil’s discography for Supraphon includes Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (the first ever recording of the original 1927 version), Dvořák’s complete cello works, Martinů’s Ariane and Double Concerto, and Smetana’s Má vlast with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
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 Professor Jorma Panula. In 2002 he won the 1st Sir Georg Solti Conductors Competition at the Alte Oper Frankfurt.
In what promises to be an early highlight of this year’s extensive celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Tomáš Netopil returns to Vienna State Opera to conduct Beethoven’s Leonore (the "first version" of what would become his operatic hymn...
Tomáš Netopil conducts the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he is Principal Guest Conductor, at the Kissinger Sommer festival on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July 2019, the first of which will be broadcast live on Bavarian Radio.With pianist Leif Ove...
Conductor Tomáš Netopil to Conduct Smetana’s The Bartered Bride at Dresden Semperoper March – May 2019
Tomáš Netopil will conduct Smetana’s The Bartered Bride at Dresden Semperoper. The production, directed by Mariame Clément, opens on Friday, 8 March, 2019, and runs through May. Smetana’s merry opera, brimming with humour and colourful choral singing, is the timeless...
Directed and revived by Kasper Holten, the run opens on Saturday 16 February 2019, with additional performances on Tuesday 19 and Friday 22 February 2019. The cast features Bernard Richter, Rachel Frenkel, Irina Lungu, and Valentina Naforniţa. This engagement follows...
Dutch National Opera’s new production of Jenufa opens on October 6. In a production by Katie Mitchell, Tomas Netopil conducts Annette Dasch (singing Jenufa for the first time), Hanna Schwarz as Grandmother Stařenka and Evelyn Herlitzius as Jenůfa’s stepmother,...
“Despite the small cast, Tomáš Netopil elicits a strong Wagnerian sound from the Essen Philharmonic. Wagner’s music developed a great emotional pull even with 30 musicians. With just 7 horns, these do not dominate at all, but the sound is well balanced. Netopil leads through the score with flowing tempos and chooses neither excessively slow nor too fast speeds” [translated from German]
“Tomáš Netopil illuminates the tragic in life, in jubilation and tenderness. Nobody can accuse the conductor of too little, too much or even wrong expression… In this recording, Netopil’s interpretation is very reminiscent of the recording by Mariss Jansons and the London Symphony Orchestra. The performance comes across as very direct, very human and that’s what makes the symphony’s tragic moments so dramatic. It is pure joy and pure human suffering that we feel here. The excellent performance of the Essen Philharmonic…” [translated from German]
“This Mahler Symphony No. 6, conducted by Tomáš Netopil with his Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, attests to the superlative level that an orchestra in a large German provincial city can reach… under the baton of Tomáš Netopil, who is well-known in Belgium for his regular presence in the pit of the Flemish opera, the orchestra presents impressive qualities of cohesion, precision of the desks and dynamics. In addition, the overall sound is very beautiful with fall tones that are perfectly suited to this work. Tomáš Netopil’s vision is coherent and intelligent and takes effect at the first hearing. Perfect tempo management, a nice in-between (neither too fast nor too slow)…”
“…this initial overture has magnificent musical values. The Wiener Staatsoper orchestra, under the musical guidance of Maestro Tomáš Netopil, provided exquisite insights into the richness and profound meanings of this overture, leading to a sublime performance. No strain was observed from the pit in any form; quite the contrary, the wind instruments were in the excellent shape, as well as the brass and the strings.”
“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.”