First, the anniversaries: this year marks 125 years since the Czech Philharmonic’s first ever concert. ŠKODA, which has long supported this prestigious orchestra and true symbol of Czech culture, celebrated the same anniversary last year. Lockdown got in the way of the celebrations, so a decision was made to combine these two anniversaries with a third: it is now 30 years since ŠKODA joined forces with Volkswagen Group in 1991.
So ŠKODA and the Czech Philharmonic eventually celebrated all three anniversaries with a charity concert from Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall. The gala evening was also a fundraising event: during the concert, viewers were able to contribute to the families of social and health care workers who had lost their lives to the coronavirus while on the front line in the fight against the pandemic.
“The special concert featuring the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was a real highlight of our anniversary celebrations to mark 30 years of ŠKODA AUTO being part of the Volkswagen Group. At the same time, in collaboration with our social partner KOVO, we dedicated this evening to those who have worked tirelessly in the Czech social services and institutions to help fight the virus and who have lost their lives in this courageous mission. We also supported the bereaved families and loved ones of these outstanding people with a donation of one million Czech crowns,” says ŠKODA CEO Thomas Schäfer.
The evening was hosted by actor and presenter Marek Eben. The concert featured well-known works by Antonín Dvořák, Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, Alessandro Marcello, Camille Saint-Saëns and Georges Bizet. The soloists were members of the Czech Philharmonic, among them violinist Jan Mráček, cellist Václav Petr and trumpeter Walter Hofbauer. The orchestra’s principal conductor-in-chief Semyon Bychkov conducted the performances.