Collegium 1704 & Collegium Vocale 1704

The harpsichordist and conductor Václav Luks founded the two ensembles on the occasion of the project Bach – Prague – 2005. Since 2007, they have been making regular guest appearances at festivals all over Europe. In 2008, Music Bridge Prague – Dresden began, bringing together the two cities’ wealth of cultural traditions. Their collaborations with such world-famous soloists as Magdalena Kožená, Vivica Genaux, and Bejun Mehta in 2012 led seamlessly to a second Collegium 1704 concert series at the Rudolfinum. Since autumn 2015, the two cycles have been merged into a single concert season that continues to take place in parallel in Prague and Dresden. In 2019 Collegium Vocale 1704 launched a series of chamber choir concerts in Prague.

In the field of opera, Collegium 1704 followed up on the international successes of its production of Handel’s Rinaldo with performances of Josef Mysliveček’s L’olimpiade, nominated for the 2014 International Opera Awards, and of Antonio Vivaldi’s Arsilda, regina di Ponto in its modern-era world premiere. Collegium 1704 has received invitations recently from such prestigious presenters as the Salzburger Festspiele (2015, 2016, 2018), the Berliner Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Theater an der Wien and Konzerthaus, the Lucerne Festival, BOZAR (Palais des Beaux-Arts) in Brussels, the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Wratislavia Cantans, and the Elbphilharmonie, and it is an ensemble-in-residence at the renowned festival Oude Muziek in Utrecht and at the Leipzig Bachfest.

In 2014, under the baton of Václav Luks Collegium 1704 collaborated with Bejun Mehta on a DVD of Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice with the stage director Ondřej Havelka and with Rolando Villazón on the making of the BBC 2 documentary Mozart in Prague. The ensemble took part in making the director Petr Václav’s epic film Il Boemo about the life of Josef Mysliveček.

The recordings of Collegium 1704 are popular with listeners and music critics (they have repeatedly won the Diapason d’Or, CD of the Month & Editor’s Choice, and nominations for CD of the Year Gramophone Magazine). Among their successful CD recordings have been the violin concertos of Josef Mysliveček, oboe concertos, cantatas, and the B Minor Mass by Johann Sebastian Bach, the world premiere of J. D. Zelenka’s Missa Divi Xaverii, and sonatas by Zelenka (both Zelenka recordings were honoured with the prestigious Diapason d’Or).

In 2019, Collegium 1704 issued the first complete Czech recording of Handel’s Messiah and a collection titled Il giardino dei sospiri with selections from Baroque secular cantatas sung by Magdalena Kožená. The latest recordings are an imaginary mass by J. D. Zelenka, Missa 1724, and the opera Les Boréades by Jean-Philippe Rameau.

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Veronika Hyksová
General Manager
+420 773 99 1704