Mgr. Jaroslav Brych – Artistic Director

Jaroslav Brych (1964) served as the chief conductor of the Prague Philharmonic Choir between 1996 and 2004. His journey to this prestigious post began in Pardubice where, in addition to studying the French horn at the local academy of music, he devoted himself to conducting a children’s choir. He continued his musical studies at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts with a focus on orchestral conducting; he was a student of Václav Neumann as well as Josef Veselka, his famous predecessor at the head of the Prague Philharmonic Choir. Jaroslav Brych also attended many of the master courses led by Helmuth Rilling in Stuttgart.

From 1984 to 1997 he functioned as the choirmaster of the Charles University Choral Ensemble, from 1987 to 1994 he was conductor and Chief Conductor of the Czech Army Symphony Orchestra, and from 1992 to 1993 he conducted the Opera Mozart Company in Prague. He was appointed second choirmaster of the Prague Philharmonic Choir in 1994, served as its principal choirmaster in the years 1996–2005, and then conducted the Prague Chamber Choir from 2006 to 2012.

Jaroslav Brych currently heads the Foerster Chamber Choral Association; he works with the Prague Philharmonic Choir, the Kühn Choir of Prague, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and other Czech orchestras. In addition to his orchestral and choral conducting commitments, he teaches at the Prague Academy of Music, the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague and the Pardubice Conservatoire.

PhDr. Luboš Hána, Ph.D.

Luboš Hána is an assistant professor at the University of J. E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem. During his university studies he specialized in choir directing, music theory and pedagogy.

Besides teaching, he has also served as the director of NONA Chamber Choir since 2002, a group of choristers chosen from the students of the University of J. E. Purkyně. Outside of the school grounds he directs a mixed adult choir, Ventilky Jirkov. Both of the abovementioned choirs have won numerous prizes at international festivals (Malta International Choir Competition, Festival of Songs Olomouc, IFAS Pardubice, Internationaler Chorwettbewerb Austria etc.).

Luboš Hána is often invited to lecture at workshops and courses (Bohemia Cantat, Franco-German Forum for Young Artists in Bayreuth) and is a member of many choir festival juries.

In 2007 Luboš Hána founded Jirkovský Písňovar, an international choir competition focused on popular and jazz choir music.

MgA Michal Hájek

Michal Hájek is a young and energetic choir director. He studied conducting at the Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Prague, as well as sacred music conducting at Charles University in Prague.

He has worked with top Czech adult choirs, such as the Prague Philharmonic Choir (choir director), the Prague Mixed Choir (assistant choir director), Oktet, Bohemiachor etc. In 2009–10 Michal Hájek studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and participated in many choir masterclasses (Ragnar Rasmussen, Anders Eby, Gustav Sjökvist). He also conducted a number of seminars and choir workshops. In 2010 Michal won the prize for “Most popular choir director” at the International Choir Directors’ Competition in Riga, followed by the first prize at the International Competition of Choir Conducting in Budapest and the special prize of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat in 2011. Michal Hájek is often invited to participate in festival juries (Opava Cantat, Jirkovský Písňovar etc.)