The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has been enjoying the annual players’ party with a very special guest of honour. It is always a pleasure to have Libor Pesek return to Liverpool to conduct but an even greater pleasure to spend time with him on his eightieth birthday.
Beer, as always, kindly supplied by the magnificent Liverpool Organic Brewery
The RLPO and Libor have a very close relationship, spanning four decades and more. We still travel to Prague to do concerts with Libor at the helm and in the past he has taken the orchestra all over the world. It was in Prague that Libor put on a special party for the orchestra.
This was a complete surprise for us and was one of the nicest moments I can remember. We had opened the Prague Spring Festival (the RLPO is the first non-Czech orchestra to have this honour!) and were entertained regally at the British Council premises afterwards. We boarded the coach to go back to the hotel when someone noticed that we were not travelling in the correct direction.
Instead of the hotel, Libor had booked a champagne barge on the Vltava with all these Czech dignitaries such as Vaclav Havel on board. It was fantastic! In the early hours of the morning, one of the ladies in the RLPO mentioned to Libor that is was a shame it was a little too dark to see the castle and St. Vitus’ Cathedral.
“… Allow me,” said Libor. He got on his mobile phone and a couple of minutes the lights came on all over the castle and cathedral area right in front of us. You never forget a moment like that.We will be playing Smetana’s ‘Vltava’ with Libor Pesek tonight…
Happy 80th birthday Libor!
Here is some more information on the RLPO & the great Libor Pesek by Catherine Jones in the Liverpool Echo…
Libor Pešek talks about his bonds with the RLPO ahead of his concert at the Philharmonic Hall
The UK’s oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra has attracted some starry names over the years – names like Max Bruch, Sir Charles Halle, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Sir Charles Groves.