Studying at the Royal College of Music
Master of Music in Conducting degree
Conductor and composer Ondřej Soukup is a graduate of The University of Edinburgh and currently holds principal conductorship with Edinburgh University Music Society (EUMS) Sinfonia, a full-sized symphony orchestra. Furthermore, he holds music directorship with Thomas Coats Memorial Choral Society, who regularly work with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra. Ondřej is also Guest Conductor of VoiceArc opera company, Founder and Principal Conductor of the Unison Chamber Orchestra, Music Director of InChorus, Conducting Fellow with Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, and Music Director of Edinburgh University Brass Band (EUBB). He has lead and worked with a substantial number of choirs, ensembles and orchestras including EUMS Chorus, Edinburgh University String (EUSO), and Chamber Orchestras.
As assistant to conductor Lutz de Veer (Nürnberg) and director Marcin Lakomicki (Staatsoper Berlin) at the Berlin Opera Academy 2018, he performed Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel at the OpernFest in Berlin. The following year, Ondřej was invited back to work on Le nozze di Figaro with conductor Peter Leonard (NYP, Augsburg) and director Nina Brazier (ROH, ENO), and on Die Zauberflöte with conductor Tom Seligman (ROH, Bayerische Staatsoper), and director Katrin Hilbe (Bayreuth, Würzburg). In 2019, he also worked as Maestro suggeritore for Wagner’s Das Rheingold alongside musical director Caroline Dowdle (ROH), and conductor Byron Knutson (Komische Oper Berlin) on a production by Dramatic Voices Program Berlin. Other conductors he has assisted include Will Conway (Chamber Orchestra of Europe) and Gregory Batsleer (SCO and RSNO Chorus). To the present day, he has been given several prizes and bursaries for conducting, most recently the Roderick Brydon memorial award; and has given concerts in England, Scotland, Spain, Latvia, Germany as well as his native Czech Republic. There, he also took EUMS for its 150th anniversary tour. Ondřej made his opera debut with VoiceArc performing Mozart’s Don Giovanni. His Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut featured R. Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos directed by Nell Drew in the festival’s 70th edition.
In lessons and masterclasses, Ondřej has studied with some of today’s leading conductors and conducting teachers including Jorma Panula, Atso Almila (both Sibelius Academy), Clark Rundell, Mark Heron (both RNCM), and Kenneth Kiesler (University of Michigan). At masterclasses, he has worked with Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, and Camerata Antonio Soler.
As composer, he was a finalist in the Maurice Ravel International Composition Competition with his Reverie for Solo Trumpet. With EUBB, he premiered and CD recorded his A Balkanic Eruption alongside other works. His Pitch Black was premiered at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Interconnect event. Ondřej is an avid supporter of new music written by fellow composers. He has been extensively involved in organising and conducting composition competitions for EUBB (5x) and EUSO (2x). His composition teachers have included Prof Peter Nelson (Edinburgh University), Gareth Williams (Scottish Opera), and Marijn Simons (Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and others).
Besides conducting and composition, Ondřej has won prizes and recorded CDs as a trumpeter. His orchestral repertoire includes Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (Caird Hall, Dundee), Firebird, Bruckner 7, Mahler 2 (McEwan Hall, Edinburgh), and Gershwin’s An American in Paris (Usher Hall, Edinburgh). Ondřej also works as a repetiteur.
Ondřej speaks English, Czech, Russian, French, and German.