The Prague Philharmonic Choir (in Czech Pražský filharmonický sbor) is an independent, self-governing chorus operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The choir has been associated with various orchestras over its nearly 90 years of existence, although not with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Prague Philharmonic Choir was founded in 1935 by singer Jan Kühn as the Czech Choir. At first, it served the needs of what was then Czechoslovak Radio and sang with that network's Symphony Orchestra of Czechoslovak Radio. Both organizations were silenced by the German occupation during World War II, but the choir was re-formed in the postwar years and performed with various orchestras. Several performances were landmarks: the choir performed Dvorák's oratorio St. Ludmila in the courtyard of Prague Castle in 1948, and Arthur Honegger's King David under the composer's baton the following year. In 1953, the choir was attached by the Czechoslovak Culture Ministry to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. It took the name Prague Philharmonic Choir at about this time. Kühn remained the director until his death in 1958 and was replaced by Josef Veselka. The choir toured often in the 1960s and 1970s, not only in Eastern Europe. Veselka stepped down in 1981 and was replaced by his pupil, Lubomír Mátl.
With the end of Communist rule in 1990 and the subsequent separation of the Czech Republic from Slovakia, the Prague Philharmonic Choir was removed from its connection to the Czech Philharmonic and became independent under conductor Pavel Kühn (son of Jan). In the 1990s, the choir spawned the smaller Czech Chamber Choir, which has gone on to considerable renown on its own. Since 2007, Prague Philharmonic Choir's conductor has been Lukás Vasilek. In modern times, the choir has appeared often with orchestras in both eastern and western Europe and has expanded its activities into opera.
The choir's recording catalog dates back to a performance of the Dvorák Stabat Mater under Vaclav Talich in 1952. It has recorded for the Praga and Supraphon labels, but also for CPO, where it was heard with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in the world premiere recording of Max Bruch's opera Die Loreley on an album released in 2019.