Ondřej's Biography

As of July 2023

Ondřej Soukup has conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Czech Chamber Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, Copenhagen Phil, Symphony Orchestras of Ålborg, Århus, Odense, Sønderborg, and English National Opera Orchestra (masterclass with Martyn Brabbins) among others. He regularly assists Ryan Bancroft with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Malmö Symphony, and Jac van Steen with Prague Symphony Orchestra and NYOS.

In the 2023/2024 season, Ondřej’s engagements include the Copenhagen Phil, the Danish Sinfonietta, Ålborg Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony, Magna Sinfonia, DKDM Symphony, and Prinsens Musikkorps.

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Recipient of the Roderick Brydon memorial award, Ondřej is a versatile musician, proficient in symphonic, operatic, choral and contemporary music with a repertoire of over 250 works by men and women including Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Mentors and colleagues alike have praised Ondřej’s musicality, leadership, and fervour, which he radiates to fellow musicians and to audiences.

A fresh graduate of the Royal College of Music in London (with distinction), he has recently stepped in at short notice to conduct the Prague Summer Nights Festival Orchestra at Mahler-Jihlava festival with Ladislav Kozderka (Czech Philharmonic) as soloist. He has also performed at Prague’s Rudolfinum, Martinů Fest, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Mladá Praha, Pulsar festival and elsewhere.

During his time at RCM (2020-2022), he held the position of Assistant & Guest Conductor at RCM Symphony Orchestra & RCM Philharmonic. Highlights of his time here include recording Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with Sir Thomas Allen, working with Maxim Vengerov on Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, working with Sir Antonio Pappano, assisting Rafael Payare, stepping in for Martyn Brabbins at short notice to conduct Thea Musgrave’s Turbulent Landscapes, and stepping in for Joana Carneiro to conduct Anna Clyne’s <<rewind>>. At RCM, he benefitted from the experience, generosity, and support of his professors Toby Purser, Peter Stark, and Howard Williams.

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In recent years, Ondřej was Music Director of King’s College London Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of VoiceArc opera, Staff Conductor at Dramatic Voices Program, and Assistant Conductor at Berlin Opera Academy. With VoiceArc, he performed Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Strauss’ Ariadne aux Naxos at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. At DVP, he worked on Wagner’s Das Rheingold alongside artists from Komische Oper Berlin and Royal Opera House. At BOA, he assisted Lutz de Veer on Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, which he performed at OpernFest. The following year, he was invited back to work on Le nozze di Figaro with conductor Peter Leonard, and Die Zauberflöte with Tom Seligman.

He was Principal Conductor of EUMS Sinfonia (tours & performances with up to 250 musicians), Founder and Music Director of Unison Chamber Orchestra (outreach projects and charity work), Music Director of Thomas Coats Memorial Choral Society (works with RCS Symphony), Music Director of InChorus (the choir has raised £50,000+ for charity), Conducting Fellow with Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, Chorus Master with Haslemere Musical Society, and Music Director of Edinburgh University Brass Band (EUBB).

Ondřej also conducted the Moravian Philharmonic, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Antonio Soler and Ensemble Cambrica in masterclasses. Leading conductors he studied with include Giordano Bellincampi, Jorma Panula, Atso Almila, Clark Rundell, Mark Heron, and Kenneth Kiesler.

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As composer, he was a finalist in the Maurice Ravel International Composition Competition, CD recorded his A Balkanic Eruption with EUBB and his Pitch Black was premiered at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Interconnect event. Ondřej is an avid supporter of fellow composers. He has premiered, workshopped, and commissioned numerous compositions, also with Århus Symphony and the Explore Ensemble. Ondřej majored in composition and trumpet at The University of Edinburgh, where he gained a First Class degree. He now also works as a repetiteur.

Ondřej speaks English, Czech, Russian, French, and German.

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The work of Ondřej has been generously supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture, Help Musicians UK, the Philip Loubser Foundation, Nadace Český hudební fond, Nadace Život umělce, Sir Richard Stapley Trust, Split Infinitive, and Universal Music UK.

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Fotky od Jana Marie Knotová, Andrew Perry, Dominik Bachurek, Jakub Lhota, Royal College of Music, a KCLSO.