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The Czech Chamber Orchestra is the successor to the ensemble of the same name founded by Václav Talich and active from 1946 to 1948. The members of the ensemble of that time included many leading instrumentalists and conductors for whom the orchestra represented a ‘training-ground’ helping them to perfect their skills and art of interpretation.
The first violinist of that early ensemble was Talich’s pupil and colleague, the founder and leader of the Vlach Quartet, Josef Vlach. Ten years later, in 1957, Vlach came back to Talich’s idea, gathered around him twenty four outstanding string players and became the teacher and the director of this new orchestra. With Talich’s blessing, the Czech Chamber Orchestra quickly established itself as a leading ensemble and, very soon after its formation, began to enjoy considerable success.
As part of his work as a teacher, concert artist and conductor, Josef Vlach was responsible for bringing up a whole generation of young artists who now play in leading Czech orchestras and chamber groups. And it is precisely these pupils together with the direct inheritors of Josef Vlach’s ideas – The Vlach Quartet – who now continue in the interpretative tradition of Václav Talich and Josef Vlach.
The artistic director of the nowadays Czech Chamber Orchestra, Vlach’s daughter Jana Vlachová, and all the members of the orchestra take as the basic precept for their work the conviction that a chamber orchestra must be guided by the same principles as a string quartet.
The Czech Chamber Orchestra has resumed its activity at the end of last century and from 2003 it has organised its own abonent series in cooperation with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Besides this concert series the orchestra performs both on prominent Czech stages and at international festivals – e.g. in Germany, Poland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain. The Czech Chamber Orchestra works both as a small ensemble of 12 people without a conductor and as a bigger orchestra with full strings and wind sections.