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Semyon Bychkov to Step Down from Czech Philharmonic in 2028

Bychkov will complete his 10-year run as Chief Conductor and Music Director at the end of 2027-28 season


Conductor Semyon Bychkov became Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic at the beginning of the 2018/19 season. Today, he announced that he will not renew his contract and will end his tenure at the end of the 2027-28 season.

CEO of the Czech Philharmonic, David Mareček, was saddened to hear the news, sharing: "While I totally respect the rationale, I know I speak for the whole orchestra when I say that he will be much missed on both a musical and human level. With Semyon, the orchestra went through an unprecedented rise and Semyon is at the very heart of this movement. We are deeply grateful for what we have already achieved together and we are sure, that there is much more to be expected in the coming four years. As is so typical of Semyon, his words are generous and genuine, and express his thinking more clearly than anyone else could."

Bychkov explains that his dream "of the Czech Philharmonic being part of the tiny group that makes up the world’s orchestral elite and making sure that the world knew it and recognized it" has been realized.

"When that became clear, it was only natural that, in 2028, after 10 years of leading this orchestra, the time will have come for me to step back as its chief conductor and music director," he said in today's statement.

"Why am I sharing this with you today, with 4 more years ahead of us? For a very simple reason. In today’s music world plans are made a long time in advance," he explains. "The 4 coming years will allow my colleagues to ensure that the next chapter in their life will be a harmonious and organic evolution, as will the next chapter in mine. We have planned many very exciting projects for the next several years, and this orchestra will continue to be as much the artistic center of my life as it has been since day one.“

The 71-year-old conductor expressed gratitude for this season and its recent tours in Korea, Japan, and Europe. "I do not recall receiving such positive intensity and unanimity of response for every single performance as we received on this tour. Audiences loved our Dvořák. They clearly felt the orchestra’s identification with his music, its performing tradition, and the joyful personality it exudes both on and off stage.

"You cannot imagine how much joy and pride I felt in my colleagues living for every note, every phrase in every moment of every performance."


Upcoming performances include three concerts at Carnegie Hall, and two concerts in Toronto with programs including Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, Mahler’s 5th Symphony, three poems of Má vlast, and all 3 concertos of Dvořák.

These concerts will be followed by residences in London, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, and Brugges, and will be focused on the music of Mahler, Shostakovich, and Mozart.


Born in St Petersburg in 1952, Bychkov emigrated to the United States in 1975 and has lived in Europe since the mid-1980’s. Bychkov studied piano before winning his place at the Glinka Choir School where he received his first lesson in conducting. He was 17 when he was accepted at the Leningrad Conservatory to study with the legendary Ilya Musin. Within three years, he won the influential Rachmaninov Conducting Competition.

He previously served as the Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. In 1989, he was named Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris; in 1997, Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne; and the following year, Chief Conductor of the Dresden Semperoper.

In 2015, Semyon Bychkov was named Conductor of the Year by the International Opera Awards. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music in July 2022.

upcoming events

may 2024

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27mayAll Day31New York Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Manhattan School of Music, 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027Event Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

june 2024

06junAll Day13Khachaturian International Violin Competition(All Day) Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, 46 Mesrop Mashtots Ave, Yerevan, ArmeniaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKhachaturian International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW


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