“Driving through a Beautiful Landscape Is Inspiring”

“Driving through a Beautiful Landscape Is Inspiring”

What does ŠKODA’s crystalline design have to do with Antonín Dvořák and his compositions? And what kind of music is pleasant to listen to in a car? Read on to find out what Semyon Bychkov, one of the leading figures in classical music and principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, has to say.

18. 6. 2019 Lifestyle PEOPLE

Classical music is one of the things that have made the Czech Republic famous around the world. Names such as Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů are hallmarks and ambassadors of the Czech musical tradition. Likewise, ŠKODA is a name associated with the sonority of the Czech tradition of craftsmanship and engineering.

It comes as no surprise, then, that ŠKODA and the Czech Philharmonic have enjoyed a partnership that has lasted since 1993. ŠKODA provides the orchestra with funding and sponsorship vehicles.

The Czech Philharmonic’s principal conductor, Semyon Bychkov, told ŠKODA Storyboard how he views the Czech music tradition, which he believes was inspired – just like the ŠKODA design language – by Cubism and allusions to the Bohemian glassmaking tradition. “We could find Cubist structuralism reflected in Leoš Janáček’s music. As for Antonín Dvořák’s compositions, these are the musical equivalent of Bohemian crystal,” says Bychkov.

He also described how he himself combines music and driving. “I only put music on occasionally. I tend to drive in silence,” he explains.

Semyon Bychkov
The Czech Philharmonic’s principal conductor

Semyon Bychkov currently drives a sponsorship ŠKODA KODIAQ in the Laurin & Klement trim, which he collected personally in Mladá Boleslav. “What I like most about it is the design. It’s a beautiful SUV,” he says. Needless to say, when he is driving he also thinks about music. “If I’m driving in an inspiring car and I’m passing through a beautiful landscape, then yes, it can,” he says when asked whether a drive can also be inspiring for him.

And what sort of music does he listen to in the car? “Any music sounds great in this car,” he says. He adds that the compositions of Bach and Mozart are good for driving, whether around town or on a motorway.


The Czech Philharmonic's traditional open-air concert is being held on Hradčany Square. 
The photograph shows the same event from 2016. 

ŠKODA also sponsors the traditional Open Air concert staged by the Czech Philharmonic, which is the symphonic orchestra’s way of rounding off the concert season. This year, it will be playing the concert in the heart of the Czech capital – on Hradčany Square at Prague Castle – on 19 June. ŠKODA will lay on a fleet of vehicles in the preparations for the entire event in order to ferry the musicians and soloists throughout the day.

Although a concert of this sort is exceptional even for the orchestra, the preparations are just the same as for any other performance. “We prepare for each concert in the same way and with the same dedication, so that we always give our audience the best possible musical experience,” explains the principal conductor.

So if you happen to be in Prague after eight o’clock in the evening on 19 June, be sure to make your way to Hradčany Square. Admission is free and the repertoire includes hits from film scores.