Recently appointed to serve as chief conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) starting with the 2020/21 season, Petr Popelka is currently participating in the conducting fellowship programme of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. He is a regular guest conductor with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Norske Opera Orchestra in Oslo, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK), and the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest. This season will also see him appear with the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and conduct Carmen at the Hungarian State Opera, and a new production of Peter Eötvös’s opera Der goldene Drache at Semperoper Dresden.
Popelka was awarded the Neeme Järvi Prize for the best young conductor by the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy in 2017. He studied conducting with Vladimir Kiradjiev and attended master classes with Paavo Järvi, Peter Eötvös, Jaap van Zweden and Johannes Schlaefli.
He is also active as a composer. While composer-in-residence at Austria’s PODIUM Festival
Mödling in 2015, he conducted the world premiere of his composition Labyrinth of the Heart.
Popelka studied double bass at the Prague Conservatory before moving on to the Freiburg College of Music. Since 2010, he has held the position of assistant principal bass in the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden.