Despite the ongoing pandemic, Ondřej was thrilled and grateful to spend the last third of 2020 being involved with concerts, projects, masterclasses and generally speaking, making music. This originally unpredictable time turned out to be very rewarding and encouraging with regards to the future. The enormously talented musicians at RCM invented ingenious ways to make music and connect with each other and with people beyond the RCM. May many of the original ways of making music and reaching out to people continue positively impacting people well after the pandemic is over!
There was much to cherish in the Autumn term. As assistant conductor with the RCM Symphony Orchestra, Ondřej worked with Martyn Brabbins on Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (arr. I. Farrington). Later in the year, Martyn also gave the conducting class a session on Brahms’ Third Symphony. Furthermore, Jac van Steen led the RCM Philharmonic, where Ondřej assisted him on Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments. This project used LoLa – Low Latency technology – with Jac conducting and rehearsing from The Hague, while the orchestra played in London. The project later culminated in a recording session, where Jac had Ondřej record one of the takes.
Ondřej‘s premiere concert at the RCM saw him conduct Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll with a live audience in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall. In the same venue, he workshopped student compositions with RCM New Ensemble. With the same ensemble, he later rehearsed and recorded Changes by RCM composer Anian Wiedner. He also assisted his professors Peter Stark and Howard Williams on Dvořák’s Carnival overture and Copland’s Appalachian Spring respectively. With Tim Lines, he worked on Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, and with Martin André on Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Among other things, Ondřej took part in a masterclass with Colin Metters on Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances.
In the first months of 2021, Ondřej will assist Vasily Petrenko, Martyn Brabbins, and Jac van Steen. Jac’s project will take place at the Royal Albert Hall. He will also perform Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 ‘Trauer’, work with RCM New Ensemble, and among other projects perform Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with narration by Sir Thomas Allen.
Ondřej Soukup is an experienced conductor of orchestral, operatic and choral music with repertoire ranging from Renaissance to 21st century music. He has conducted numerous performances in six countries and his work engagements regularly see him involved in international projects. Ondřej’s work as a conductor has been recognised and supported by a number of awards and scholarships.