Conductor and composer Ondřej Soukup is a graduate of The University of Edinburgh and currently holds principal conductorship with Edinburgh University Music Society (EUMS) Sinfonia, a full-sized symphony orchestra. He is also principal guest conductor of VoiceArc, an Edinburgh-based opera company, musical director of Edinburgh University Brass Band (EUBB), and founder of Unison Chamber Orchestra. He has lead and worked with a substantial number of choirs, ensembles and orchestras including EUMS Chorus, Edinburgh University String (EUSO), and Chamber Orchestras. Ondrej is delighted to be joining TCMCS as the new musical director and is very much looking forward to opening the new season!
As assistant to conductor Lutz de Veer (Nürnberg) and director Marcin Lakomicki (Staatsoper Berlin) at the Berlin Opera Academy, he performed Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel at the OpernFest in Berlin. Other conductors he has assisted include Will Conway (Chamber Orchestra of Europe) and Gregory Batsleer (SCO and RSNO Chorus). To the present day, he has been given several prizes and bursaries for conducting, most recently the Roderick Brydon memorial award; and has given concerts in Scotland, England, Spain, Latvia, Germany as well as his native Czech Republic. There, he also took EUMS for its 150th anniversary tour. Ondřej made his Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut with Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos directed by Nell Drew in the festival’s 70th edition.
In lessons and masterclasses, Ondřej has studied with some of today’s leading conductors and conducting teachers including Jorma Panula, Atso Almila (Sibelius Academy), Clark Rundell, Mark Heron (both RNCM), and Kenneth Kiesler (University of Michigan). At masterclasses, he has worked with Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra and Camerata Antonio Soler.
As composer, he was a finalist in the Maurice Ravel International Composition Competition with his Reverie for Solo Trumpet. With EUBB, he premiered and CD recorded his A Balkanic Eruption alongside other works. His Pitch Black was premiered at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Interconnect event. Ondřej is an avid supporter of new music written by fellow composers. He has been extensively involved in organising and conducting composition competitions for EUBB (3x) and EUSO (2x). His composition teachers have included Prof Peter Nelson (Edinburgh University), Gareth Williams (Scottish Opera), and Marijn Simons (Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and others).
Besides conducting and composition, Ondřej has won prizes and recorded CDs as a trumpeter, and has been heavily involved in the music scene in Scotland. His orchestral repertoire includes Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (performed at the Caird Hall, Dundee), Firebird, Bruckner 7, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris (performed at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh). He also holds a choral scholarship at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh.