A respected musical force, conductor ZDENEK MACAL is renowned in the world of classical music for his masterful interpretations and graceful conducting style. He has guest conducted over 160 orchestras worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestra della Scala, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.
Mr. Macal has also conducted at the Prague National Theater, the Smetana Theater, the Brno Opera, and the opera houses of Cologne, Geneva, Turin and Bologna. He has taken part in major international festivals including those of Vienna, Lucerne, Edinburgh, Prague, Zurich, Besançon, Athens, Montreux and Holland; as well as the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and the Ravinia, Tanglewood and Wolf Trap festivals in the United States.
Since his American debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra over 25 years ago, he has conducted widely throughout North America, regularly leading the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the New World Symphony and the symphony orchestras of Montreal and Toronto.
This season, in additional his national and international guest conducting engagements, Maestro Macal records the Dvorak Requiem and Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for Delos. His recent recording of works by American composer Richard Danielpour, "Celestial Night," "Toward the Splendid City" and "Urban Dances," with the Philharmonia of London (Sony Classical, 1998) has been extremely well received, and Maestro Macal continues to program these works.
Maestro Macal and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra have made several other recordings for Delos, the most recent being Berlioz's "Symphonie fantastique," Op. 14 (1998). Additional recordings include "Heaven and Hell" (an all- Mussorgsky CD featuring "Pictures at an Exhibition" and the premiere recording of "The Dream of the Peasant Gritzko"), Glière's "Red Poppy" Suite and Symphony No. 2 (1996) and Dvorák's "Stabat Mater" (1994), which elicited rave reviews. In addition to Delos, Maestro Macal has recorded for EMI, French Decca, Supraphon, Deutsche Grammophon and the Koss labels. Mr. Macal has recorded the complete Dvorák symphonies and tone poems, as well as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for Koss.
As Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since September 1993, Maestro Macal has helped to build the orchestra's reputation through an exclusive recording contract with Delos International and the introduction of several highly acclaimed series, including the summer Amadeus Festival. Resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, the Orchestra also performs throughout the state of New Jersey.
Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, Zdenek Macal is now an American citizen. At the age of four he began violin studies with his father. He went on to study conducting at the Brno Conservatory and then at the Janácek Academy of Music, where he graduated with highest honors in 1960. Zdenek Macal's previous positions include Music Directorships of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the
Cologne Radio Symphony and the Radio Orchestra of Hannover. He has also served as Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of Chicago's Grant Park Summer Festival and Principal Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, where he conducted both symphonic concerts and operatic performances. He first received international attention by winning two prestigious contests, the 1965 International Conducting Competition in Besançon, France, and the 1966 Dmitri Mitropoulos Competition in New York, chaired by Leonard Bernstein. In May, 1998, the Westminster Choir College honored Maestro Macal with an honorary doctorate.