This fall, PARMA returned to one of our favorite locations for making music: the Czech Republic. Filled with culture, history, and some of the most prominent contemporary orchestras, the Czech Republic is a hub of musical activity. CEO Bob Lord was especially hard at work this round of sessions, recording with three different symphony orchestras in the span of a single week for over half a dozen PARMA composers. Bob and the ensembles set to work bringing orchestral compositions to life on a trip that was as productive as it was brisk.
One of the highlights of the week was time spent in Ostrava with one of PARMA’s orchestral connections, and a relationship we are thrilled to be cultivating: the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra. With over six decades of proud performance history in the Czech music scene (which has seen the likes of figures from Prokofiev and Stravinsky to its namesake, Leoš Janáček), the JPO is working with PARMA on many exciting projects. During the trip, the JPO recorded PARMA veteran composer Beth Mehocic’s orchestral composition Left of Winter (written as a prelude to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring). Our work with the JPO is far from over after this round of sessions – the ensemble is one of our three performers for the PARMA Fall 2018 Call for Scores. The JPO will be recording an album of select scores to be released by a PARMA label, and they will be incorporating these works into their full concert schedule.
Bob also spent part of the week in the big city, working with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (SOČR). Considered to be one of the most eminent Czech orchestras today, the SOČR has established a global presence, having just returned from a tour in Japan this summer. The PARMA team was joined by our Program Director, Croatian maestro Miran Vaupotić, who assisted in the recording of stunning orchestral works with the SOČR.
And, of course, what’s a trip to the Czech Republic without time spent in Olomouc working with our friends, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra? Ever hardworking and effective, the MFO was able to record works for five different PARMA artists in the span of three days. Compositions by Michael G. Cunningham, Jan Järvlepp, Rain Worthington, Erich Holt Stem, and John Carollo were all recorded through the efforts of the MFO together with PARMA. After all was said and done, this trip brought over half a dozen different compositions to life, which will be introduced to the listening world before too long.
We certainly didn’t starve on the trip either. Bob enjoyed one of the finest Czech burgers that is still being talked about in the office back in New Hampshire. Needless to say, the rest of us are pretty jealous.
From the music and culture to the people that make up the nation, every trip to the Czech Republic is a reminder of why PARMA continues to expand our presence there. We look forward to our next trip back!