Conductor

Biography

Christian Benda

Christian Benda is chief conductor and artistic director of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra created under the impulse of its Honorary President Václav Havel.

His engagements have taken him to music centers such as Paris, Vienna, London, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and Rome, and to international festivals including: George Enescu Bucharest, Schwetzingen, Echternach (Luxemburg), La Roque d’Anthéron (France), Cité de la musique (Paris), Prague Spring, Wratislavia Cantans (Poland), Clifden Arts (Ireland), Campos do Jordao (Brazil), Hong Kong Arts, Klangbogen Wien, Styriarte and Steirischer Herbst (Austria), Lugano Festival, and Menuhin Festival (Switzerland).

Among the instrumentalists having performed with Christian Benda we also find Lazar Berman, Michel Béroff, Till Fellner, Francois-René Duchable, Mikhail Rudy, Josef Suk, Vladimir Spivakov, Pierre Amoyal, Uto Ughi, Bruno Giuranna, Paul Tortelier, Boris Pergamenschikov, Philippe Entremont, Jean-Philippe Collard, Cristina Ortiz, and Marc Coppet.

Christian Benda boasts numerous CD and TV recordings of the standard repertoire such as the complete overtures of Schubert and Rossini, and an eclectic repertoire ranging from J S Bach’s Musical Offering to twentieth century symphonic works by Casella, Malipiero, Prokofiev, Debussy, Martinu, Enescu and Stravinsky, taking in along the way C P E Bach’s symphonies and curiosities like Philidor’s overtures and Knecht’s Pastoral Symphony. His recordings with soloists include works by Wagner and Richard Strauss with Cheryl Studer, Verdi with Simon Estes, Mozart with Barbara Hendricks, and Dvorak, Puccini and Previn with Renée Fleming. Also on the list are Frank Martin with Paul Badura-Skoda, Haydn with Jean-Jacques Kantorow and the Verdi Requiem with the Prague Philharmonic Choir.

He appears also as a cellist performing the complete Bach solo suites, Haydn and Dvorak concertos, Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, and has recorded the Schumann and Stamitz cello concertos. He appeared with Vladimir Spivakov, Josef Suk, Norbert Brainin, and Paul Badura-Skoda in Brahms' double and Beethoven's triple concertos, and in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante. He has recorded a number of complete works for the cello, such as those of Schumann, Beethoven, Brahms, Stamitz, and Martinu, as well as Boccherini sonatas.

Christian Benda performs melodramas with actors and stage directors of the Wiener Schauspielhaus, the Volkstheater, the Burgtheater (Vienna) and the Comédie Française (Paris) such as: Maddalena Crippa, Andrea Jonasson, Hertha Schell, Peter Uray, Brigitte Quadlbauer, Mercedes Echerer, Erika Pluhar, Jean-Luc Bideau, and Francois Rochaix.

As a composer, he has created the concept of micro-opera, and his works have been premiered at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Prague Smetana Hall.

Christian Benda received his professional training within his family, where the musical tradition has been maintained through generations.


After the concert with President Havel and Olga Havlová
Video - An evening with V. Havel

With Renee Fleming
Video - In concert