Prague Philharmonic Children´s Choir


The choir won first place in the prestigious choral competition in Arezzo, Italy (2010), undertook its first tour of the Republic of South Africa, and also appeared in China (2012), South Korea and Russia (2014). In 2012 the choir celebrated 80 years of its existence, and a year later celebrates the 80th birthday of its choirmaster, Jiří Chvála. In Tolosa, Spain, this time under choirmaster Petr Louženský, the choir won first prize for the third time, something that no other choir in the world has managed to do. In 2014 the choir issued a double CD profiling its work, along with a DVD featuring the musical and dance piece Celebration of Spring. In the same year a full-length documentary called "The Kühňata Phenomenon", made by Czech Television, premiered.
In 2015 the choir successfully toured Australia and New Zealand. During the tour the choir performed also in the famous Sydney Opera House. 


In 2000 the choir visited Singapore and Malaysia, and in 2001 made its debut in the Carnegie Hall in New York. The choir made a significant contribution to the production of Janáček's opera The Cunning Little Vixen at the prestigious Bregenzer Festspiele festival in Austria (2003). The choir then toured Mexico (2005), Japan and South Korea (2007). In 2007 the choir won first prize in the European Broadcasting Union's international radio competition, and ten years after its first participation won the festival once again in Tolosa, Spain.


In 1992, as part of the transformation of artistic intitutions, the choir left the Czech Philharmonic and for four years became part of the Prague Philharmonic. In 1996 it became an independent non-profit organisation, which it still is today. In 1993 the choir recorded Rafael Kubelík's CD Inventions and Interludes,  conducted by the author. They went on to tour the US (1994, 1995 and 1998) and also experienced success at the renowed choral festival in Tolosa, Spain, where the choir won first prize and also the Grand Prix in 1998. The musical and dance piece Celebration of Spring was created for the choir, and it has won worldwide accolades for the choir ever since.


In 1980 the choir went on the longest tour in its history, performing a total of 41 concerts in Japan. Overall, the choir toured Japan five times during this decade. To mark the 50th anniversary of the choir in 1982, twenty one new compositions for children's choir were commissioned. In 1986 the choir performed the premiere of Otmar Mácha's The Animals and The Bandits, which they also performed on tour in Japan. The choir's intense recording activity continued, and they made recordings for Supraphon, Panton and also for foreign record companies.


In 1970 the choir once again performed at La Scala, this time Mahler's Eighth Symphony, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. The choir's intensive foreign touring activity during this period was crowned by its first tour to Japan in 1976. The choir made a significant contribution to a series of concerts called The Czech Philharmonic for Children, which were broadcast by Czechoslovak Television starting in 1979.


The choir went on its first tour to Italy, singing at La Scala in Milan and working with conductor Claudio Abbado in concerts. In 1967 they recorded a television production of Václav Trojan's opera Merry-Go-Round, and in the same year Jiří Chvála took on the leadership of the choir. In 1968 the choir won first prize at the festival in Neerpelt, Belgium.



In 1952 the choir, together with the Czech Singers' Chorus, was brought directly under the Czech Philharmonic. For the first time they sang Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony and Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater, conducted by Václav Talich. In 1956 the choir achieved a phenomenal success, coming first in the First Choir Olympics in Paris. In 1958 the founder of the choir, Jan Kühn, died, and his wife, Markéta Kühnová took over leadership.



The choir grew rapidly, and soon had 350 members. From 1942 it was known as the Kühn Children's Choir. After the war, in 1945, it became part of the Czech Singers Chorus (founded in 1935, also by Jan Kühn) and in 1947 went on its first foreign tour, to Poland. The choir also appeared at the Prague Spring festival for the first time. During this period the choir recorded Václav Trojan's music for the animated films of Jiří Trnka. The first summer school also took place (1949).


In 1932 opera singer and director Jan Kühn founded a small children's choir for the needs of Czechoslovak Radio's live broadcasts. The choir grew rapidly,  and in 1935 won "Youth Sings Across Borders", an international competition for radio choirs, for the first time. In 1936 the choir started to work with the National Theatre in Prague.