Conductor of the Opera
Jiří Štrunc (b. 1969) studied violin at the Plzeň Conservatory and conducting at the Academy of Music in Prague. He then made a study visit to the Guildhall School of Music in London (1993), and attended master classes with Helmuth Rilling (Prague, Stuttgart, and the USA, 1992–1993). He won several awards from the 1995 Prague Spring Conducting Competition (as the best Czech entrant, Gideon Klein Foundation Award, Rafael Schächter Memorial Award, and City of Prague Award). From 1996–2000, he was principal conductor of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra. Since 1997 he has held the post of conductor-in-residence at the J.K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň, where he has directed 25 opera titles and conducted performances of another 20 productions, including The Bartered Bride, Carmen, Boito's Mefistofele, Dvořák's The Devil and Kate, Foerster's The Fool, Puccini's Manon Lescaut and Turandot, Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans, and others. He conducted the world premiere, in 1999, of Zdeněk Lukáš's opera Measure for Measure. In 2003 and 2005, he stood at the rostrum in a string of over 40 performances during the Plzeň opera company´s Japanese tours (La traviata, Madama Butterfly, The Bartered Bride, Il trovatore, and Carmen). He combined his artistic career with teaching at the Prague Academy of Music, and the Plzeň Conservatory. Apart from opera, he has systematically cultivated his symphonic repertoire. In the 2010/2011 season, he was principal conductor of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra whose chief guest conductor he has remained to this day. Since 2004, he has worked regularly with the Gunma Symphony Orchestra and with the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra in Japan, as well as with a number of symphony orchestras in this country (the Plzeň Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Southern Bohemia Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, and others). As an opera conductor, he made guest appearances at the National Theatre in Prague, in its productions of Rusalka, The Devil and Kate, and La traviata. He made his debut at the Prague State Opera in 2003, in the company´s new production of Madama Butterfly. He entered into permanent engagement there in 2006, conducting performances of Madama Butterfly, Rusalka, Così fan tutte, La bohème, and Il trovatore. Since January 1, 2012 he has been conductor at the Czech National Opera.
Update: November 2012