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Liverpool Philharmonic conductor Libor Pesek dies aged 89

2 years ago

Liverpool Philharmonic conductor Libor Pesek dies aged 89
Picture - PA

Libor Pesek, a Czech classical music conductor best known for leading the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra for a decade, has died aged 89.

Jan Hasenohrl, director of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra where Pesek was a chief conductor till 2019, said he died on Sunday.

Pesek worked with several orchestras at home and abroad.

He was a great supporter of music from Czech composers, above all Josef Dvorak’s pupil and son-in-law Josef Suk. His recordings and concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic contributed to making Suk’s music known worldwide.

“It happened primarily because the time was right for presenting unknown pieces in Britain, even Czech pieces, and also it was still a right time to make some recordings,” he once said in an interview for Czech public radio.

Pesek was principal conductor in Liverpool from 1987–1997, becoming conductor laureate thereafter.

Under his charge, the northern English orchestra was dubbed “the best Czech orchestra this side of Prague”.

He was made Knight Commander of the British Empire during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Prague in 1996.

Pesek, who was born in Prague on June 22 1933, studied conducting, piano, cello and trombone at the Czech capital’s Academy of Music and Arts before embarking on an international conducting career that lasted more than 50 years.

He led several orchestras in the Netherlands during the 1970s and headed the Slovak Philharmonic and was conductor in residence of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1980s. Later he was principal guest conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

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