West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra
In the beautiful Mariánské Lázně in the very heart of Europe resides the oldest symphony orchestra in the Czech lands, the West-Bohemian Symphony Orchestra. Its history is connected with the opening of the local spa, with 1821 being the year that a permanent ensemble was founded.
Throughout its history, the orchestra saw not only many different conductors and musicians but many different changes as well. The most significant recent change was in the year 2001, when the orchetra´s legal form became an "o.p.s.", a charitable organization that was founded by the city of Mariánské Lázně. The year-round operations of the orchestra include a 3-cycle subscription season, cooperation with musical schools from Prague, Weimar, Zürich and Nürnberg while the summer features the orchestra in its traditional role as a Promenade orchestra.
The WBSO also travels outside of its city´s boundaries to neighbouring communities in the Karlovy Vary region and to Germany. An important part of its activities are programs for young listeners, in the form of family concerts and school concerts. A regular part of the WBSO´s schedule is the featuring of Czech and international soloists of high quality and a 50 year cooperation with the Chopin Festival at the event´s opening and closing concerts.