Conductor

Biography

Christian Benda

The conductor Christian Benda is a descendant of the Czech Benda composer dynasty of the eighteenth century, the longest enduring family of musicians in music history after the Bach family. He received his professional training within his family, where the musical tradition had been maintained without interruption through three centuries.

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 the music festivals of Schwetzingen, Echternach, La Roque d'Anthéron and Paris, as well as to the Prague Spring, George Enescu Bucharest, Wratislavia Cantans, Campos do Jordão in Brazil, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Klangbogen Vienna, Styriarte , Styrian Autumn and the Menuhin Festival Gstaad.

After a long collaboration with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, he became chief conductor and artistic director of the Prague Sinfonia created by Václav Havel who is the ochestra's President. With the Prague Sinfonia he recorded the complete Schubert Overtures for Naxos. He works regularly in Vienna for melodramas where he performs with actors such as Andrea Jonasson, Erika Pluhar, Mercedes Echerer, Hertha Schell, Brigitte Quadlbauer, Peter Uray. Among the orchestras he regularly conducts we find the Torino Philharmonic where he is first guest conductor.

His career has brought collaboration with leading singers (Renee Fleming, Barbara Hendricks, Cheryl Studer, Simon Estes) and soloists (Lazar Berman, Michel Béroff, Till Fellner, Jean-Philippe Collard, Philippe Entremont, François-René Duchâble, Michaïl Rudy, Cristina Ortiz, Uto Ughi, Bruno Giuranna, Paul Tortelier, Boris Pergamenschikow), and involvement with television for Czech, Polish, Slovenian, Serbian and Hungarian television stations, for Télévision Suisse Romande, the SF DRS Swiss German Television, and TV Cultura (Brazil). He has also recorded for the BBC, Radio Luxemburg, Radio France, ORF, Hessischer Rundfunk and SWR. His CD recordings are regularly broadcast all over the world.

His numerous recordings include the complete works for piano and orchestra by Frank Martin with Paul Badura-Skoda (Bestenliste der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Haydn's violin concertos with Jean-Jacques Kantorow, J.S. Bach's Musical Offering, the Hamburg Symphonies by C.P.E. Bach, symphonic works by Malipiero and Casella, as well as recordings of his ancestors' works, notably Jíri Antonín Benda's symphonies and melodramas with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, together with two volumes of violin and viola concertos by Franticek and Jan Jíri Benda with Josef Suk as soloist.

Christian Benda appears also as composer and cellist performing double and triple concertos with Vladimir Spivakov, Josef Suk, Pierre Amoyal, Paul Badura-Skoda and 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.


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

With Renee Fleming
Video - In concert