Prague Radio’s Symphony Orchestra to hold benefit concert for Ukraine

Czech Radio is hosting a benefit concert in support of Ukraine in Prague’s Rudolfinum Concert Hall on Monday evening. The concert, featuring the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, will combine music by Ukrainian and Czech composers. The proceeds will go to a collection organised by the NGO People in Need.

The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra | Photo: Petr Horník,  Český rozhlas

Ahead of the event, I caught up with the orchestra’s head Jakub Čížek to find out more:

“I think everybody knows that Czech Radio has already launched Ukrainian radio broadcasting, started making podcasts and other special broadcasts from Ukraine, having correspondents in the country.

Jakub Čížek | Photo: archive of Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

“We tried to figure out what we could do for Ukraine and for its people as an orchestra. And since music is our job and it is something that we can do, we decided to organize this extraordinary concert to help Ukraine.”

The concert will open with the Czech and Ukrainian national anthems performed by the Czech Radio Children's Choir. What else will be on the programme?

“It was actually rather easy to decide about the programme. We wanted to present both Czech and Ukrainian music. We will start with the composition Elegy by Valentin Silvestrov, probably the best-known living Ukrainian composer.

“We will continue with Reinhold Gliere Horn Concerto featuring the renowned horn player Radek Baborák. In the second half we will present the iconic work by Antonín Dvořák, his Symphony No. 9 From the New World.”

Photo: René Volfík,

It is also important to note that all the artists will perform free of charge and all the proceeds will be donated in aid of Ukraine, more specifically to the collection organised by the Czech NGO People in Need. Are there still any tickets left for the event?

“Yes, there are still some tickets available, so I strongly recommend that listeners buy them and support us!”

For those who cannot attend the event in person, where can they follow the concert?

“The concert will be broadcast live on several Czech Radio stations, including Dvojka, the second channel, and also on the music channels Vltava and D-Dur. It will also be streamed live from the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum.”

And as far as I know, it can also be followed abroad. Is that right?

Dvořák Concert Hall,  Rudolfinum | Photo: Sintakso,  Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 4.0

“Yes, that’s right. There are several radio stations from the Euroradio network that will join us, either live or as part of their broadcast. As far as I know we will be joined by radio stations in Sweden, Bavaria, Canada, Romania and several others.”

Are you planning any other events for the future in support of Ukraine?

“We are going to make some changes to the programme of our next concert, scheduled for March 21. We will again perform a composition by Valentin Silvestrov, called Silent Music. This is more of a symbolic gesture, but we may organize another benefit concert in the future.”