THE SLOVAK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
was established in 1960 at the Slovak Philharmonic by the outstanding violinist of Silesian origin, Bohdan Warchal (1930 – 2000). Since the beginning of its existence it has been one of the most popular ensembles of classical music in Slovakia. Under the leadership of maestro Warchal it became one of the most prominent representatives of Slovak performing art abroad. In 2001 Ewald Danel took over leadership of the orchestra.
Apart from regular concerts at the Slovak Philharmonic and participation in festivals and concert tours abroad, the orchestra presents many exceptionally interesting projects. They performed, for the first time in Slovakia in one concert, Bach’s complete Orchestral Suites and Brandenburg Concertos. They gradually introduced all of Georg Friedrich Händel’s and Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerti Grossi in their concerts as well as the rare set of string symphonies composed by the young F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and repeat performances of Händel’s Messiah oratorio. The orchestra has discovered many works of famous international composers for the Slovak public which have been up-to-now unplayed in Slovakia, has performed the Slovak premiere of the work “Eight seasons” by A. Vivaldi and A. Piazzolla, and own arrangements of J. Ježek’s songs. The orchestra plays a significant role in presenting the works of Slovak composers and has premiered more than sixty works since 2001. During the Year of Slovak Music 2016 they recorded two CDs with works by Slovak composers. They regularly perform special concerts not only for the anniversaries of important composers and personalities from the music world, but also commemorate the exceptional contribution made to the Slovak music scene by their founder in a special concert, Hommage à Bohdan Warchal.
As part of the Church Music Cycle, the Slovak Chamber Orchestra supports the work of non-professional choirs. This cooperation with choirs has meanwhile expanded to include cooperation with non-professional chamber orchestras, recently also on a nationwide scale. It is important to mention that the orchestra continues to maintain the nearly two-hundred-year-old Bratislava tradition of performing Haydn’s Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross in St. Martin’s Cathedral on Palm Sunday and continues to present “Concerts without barriers” for the disabled. The orchestra regularly cooperates with renowned Slovak and foreign artists and prepares concerts for children and young people in regular concert cycles at the Slovak Philharmonic and in cooperation with the Children’s University in Bratislava. In March 2019 the Slovak Chamber Orchestra, together with Juraj Kukura, premiered a musical-dramatical work, “Biblia”, at the Aréna theatre, which they also perform at various festivals in Slovakia and Czechia.
Recently the Slovak Chamber Orchestra has performed in Japan, South Korea, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Czechia, and performs at anniversary concerts on stages both at home and abroad. On 21 February 2021, at the Gala concert for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Slovak Chamber Orchestra, they will play the same program as was performed at their first concert in February 1961, with former orchestra members.