Obituary: Leading Czech Conductor Libor Pešek Passes Away at 89

By Logan Martell

On October 23, 2022, acclaimed Czech conductor Libor Pešek passed away. He is remembered as one of his generation’s leading conductors, with a career spanning over 60 years.

Born on June 22, 1933, in Prague, Pešek studied music at the Academy of Vocal Arts before going on to work with companies such as PIzen Opera and the Prague National Opera.

He would found and direct the Prague Chamber Harmony from 1958 to 1964, as well as direct companies such as the orchestras in Leeuwarden and Enschede, the Sebastian Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, and more.

From 1987 to 1998, he was music director and conductor laureate of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and was named chief conductor of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in 2007 until he stepped down at the end of their 2018-19 season. For his achievements, he was made a Knight of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996, and also received the First Grade of Czech Medal of Merit in 1997.