Music in the family: Conductor Christian Benda interprets the music of his Bohemian ancestor Georg Anton Benda (1722-1795). This appealing cross section of the symphonies of Georg Anton Benda, who was highly respected by Mozart, which includes six rarely performed symphonies in three movements. All pieces performed by the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra and conducted by Christian Benda.
Christian Benda has performed worldwide to critical acclaim. He boasts numerous CD and TV recordings of the standard repertoire and an eclectic repertoire ranging from J S Bach’s Musical Offering to twentieth century symphonic works. His recordings with soloists include works by Wagner and R Strauss with Cheryl Studer, Verdi with Simon Estes, Mozart with Barbara Hendricks, and Dvorak, Puccini and Previn with Renée Fleming. Christian Benda conducts melodramas with actors and directors of the Wiener Schauspielhaus, the Volkstheater, the Burgtheater (Vienna) and the Comédie Française (Paris). As a composer, he has created the concept of micro-opera, and his works have been premiered at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Prague Smetana Hall. Invited to many of the European festivals, he works with a host of national orchestras; in particular he serves as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra.
As part of the Czech National Day celebrations, Václav Havel – former president of the Czech Republic – became Honorary President of the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra during a gala concert at the Czech National House in New York City with Christian Benda as Chief Conductor and Artistic Di rec tor. The Prague Sinfonia embodies the Velvet Revolution’s spiritual, cultural and social renewal through symphonic performance and owes its existence to Václav Havel’s ideas. Its discography includes the complete Schubert overtures in two CDs and all of Rossini's overtures in four volumes. A recording of the solo repertoire with the violinist Fabrizio von Arx has recently been released on RCA Red
Seal, including works by Saraste and Bruch. This recording of Benda’s Sinfonias, as well as an earlier CD of Philidor’s overtures, showcases the Prague Sinfonia Orchestra’s inter pretative approach with the focus on the music of the classical period.