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Mozart versus Salieri: Rivalry?
Prague Sinfonia Orchestra/ Christian Benda


As part of the Czech National Day celebrations, Václav Havel – former president of the Czech Republic – became Honorary President of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra during a gala concert at the Czech National House in New York City with Christian Benda as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Its recordings such as the complete Schubert overtures in two CDs and all of Rossini's overtures in four volumes became a reference. The Prague Sinfonia Orchestra ows its existence to Václav Havel’s ideas and aims to give continuity to the Velvet Revolution’s spiritual, cultural and social renewal while respecting the tradition of the Prague classical style.

"I am happy to have around me Christian Benda and his musicians who are developing their art in favor of the humanistic ideas I defend."


Christian Benda has performed worldwide to critical acclaim. He 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 CPE Bach’s symphonies and curiosities like Philidor’s overtures and Knecht’s Pastoral Symphony.

His recordings with soloists include works by Wagner and R Strauss with Cheryl Studer, Verdi with Simon Estes, Mozart with Barbara Hendricks, and Dvorák, 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. Christian Benda conducts melodramas with actors and directors of the Wiener Schauspielhaus, the Volkstheater, the Burgtheater (Vienna) and the Comédie Française (Paris). 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. We owe him the realization and instrumentation of the cantata 'Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia’ and the concert ending of the ’Entführung’ overture. Invited to many of the European festivals, he works with a host of national orchestras; in particular he serves as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra.