The Benda Chamber Orcherstra (BKO) is an amateur music ensemble studying and interpreting classical music of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, focusing mainly on Czech masters.
The Benda Chamber Orcherstra (BKO) is an amateur music ensemble studying and interpreting classical music of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, focusing mainly on Czech masters. Owing to its special dramaturgy, the BKO has gained a faithful body of listeners who appreciate the unique opportunity to enjoy previously unknown musical pieces from Bohemia´s musical past. Its revealing activities and a professional approach have won the BKO a number of national awards as well as international recognition. The ensemble is a member of the European Union of Amateur Orchestras (EVL) and of the World Association of Amateur Orchestras (WFAO).
The Benda Chamber Orchestra was founded on October 5, 1956 in Ústí nad Labem. The name of Jiří Antonín Benda, an outstanding composer, the first author of scenic melodrama, and the most famous member of the Czech musical family of the Bendas, was chosen to represent the main aims of the BKO, which included discovering and interpreting forgotten pieces of baroque and classical music mainly by Czech composers. In order to accomplish this demanding task, the members of the orchestra have cooperated with archives of music in the Czech Republic and abroad, and have established a specialised documentation centre of historical music sheets and manuscripts. Consequently, the BKO has interpreted more than 320 compositions by Czech as well as foreign authors of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, most of them in their modern premiere. The BKO has performed both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Germany, Switzerland), cooperating with many outstanding professionals and soloists, and also with local singing choirs.