The Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra
The idea for founding a symphony orchestra in Zlín came about in the early 1920s. Shortly after the liberation of the country, on 1st June 1945, the Symphony Orchestra of Bata National Enterprise, was formed. In May 1950 the Philharmonic Orchestra of Working People started its first spa season in the spa town of Luhačovice. These concerts for the spa visitors during the summer months have become a tradition. Over the course of years the name of the orchestra has been changed several times – from the Symphony Orchestra of Bata National Enterprise and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Working People to the State Symphony Orchestra of Gottwaldov Region. In early 1989 it was renamed the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra.
Today it is one of the leading orchestras of the Czehc Republic, led by outstanding chief conductors and guest conductors such as Rudolf Kvasnica, Richard Týnský, Eduard Fischer, Jaroslav Opěla, Rostislav Hališka, Stanislav Macura, Petr Altrichter, Miloš Machek, Peter Lűcker, Kirk Trevor, Tomáš Koutník, Jakub Hrůša, etc. Stanislav Vavřínek has been the chief conductor of the orchestra since the 2008 – 2009 season. Many leading soloists have worked with the orchestra, such as Mstislav Rostropovitch, Magdalena Kožená, Mischa Maisky, Vadim Repin, Jennifer Larmore, Libuše Domanínská, Eduard Haken, Dagmar Pecková, Eva Urbanová, Václav Hudeček, Ivan Moravec, Eugen Indjic and others.
As well as performing regularly in Zlin, the orchestra tours all of the important centres of the Czech Republic, as well as touring to Italy, Denmark, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Austria, Romania, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and the USA (Carnegie Hall). Cooperation with radio and television stations as well as recording sessions have become an integral part of the orchestra´s activites. From January 2011 the new home of the orchestra is the Congress Center designed by famous Czech architect Eva Jiřičná.