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Prague Brass Ensemble


The Prague Brass Ensemble was founded by trombone player Jan Votava and French horn player Jiří Lisý during their studies at the Prague Conservatory. They continued the tradition of their fathers who had played in the Prague Brass Quintet. The founding pair was joined by the trumpet players František Bílek and Jan Hasenöhrl and the bass trombone player Jiří Sušický. In the first year of its existence (1979), the ensemble won the 1st prize in the national competition Dušek’s Bertramka. In 1980 and 1981, at the World Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, the musicians already performed under their current name the Prague Brass Ensemble. In 1982 the ensemble won the 3rd prize and was awarded the best foreign participant at the international competition of brass ensembles in Hungary. In 1987 the ensemble was joined by Arnold Kinkal, who replaced Jan Hasenöhrl. In 1990 the Prague Brass Ensemble won the 2nd prize at the Preis der Europa – Stadt Passau World Competition in Germany. In 1993 Karel Kučera became a new member of the ensemble and replaced Jiří Sušický.

The Prague Brass Ensemble performs at prestigious festivals in the Czech Republic (Prague Proms, Smetana’s Litomyšl, Czech Brass Festival, etc.) as well as abroad (Festival Internazionale di Ottoni in Italy, Festival Mitte Europa in Germany, Musikfesttage an der Oder in Poland, etc.) Since 2000 the ensemble has regularly performed at the Summer Band Festival in the South Korean island Jeju and has given concerts in many other cities of South Korea (Seoul, Busan, Suwon, Jinju, Daejeon, etc.). In 2005, the Prague Brass Ensemble represented the Czech Republic at the World EXPO in Aichi, Japan.

Besides that, the quintet performs in many European countries, most often in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium and Poland. The ensemble has recorded 7 CDs. Alongside its profile projects, there have been joint recordings with organist Aleš Bárta, with the orchestra Virtuosi di Praga and with the Korean Halla Boys’ Choir, as well as two Christmas recordings produced in collaboration with German artists. The ensemble members, whose repertoire includes music ranging from the Renaissance compositions, through jazz to the famous film and musical melodies, are the graduates of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts and, at the same time, leading players of various significant Czech orchestras.