The Suk Chamber Orchestra was established in 1974. It is named after Josef Suk (1874-1935), the famous Czech composer.
SCO is one of the leading chamber orchestras in the Czech Republic and in the world. Its concert tours have taken the orchestra around the world: SCO has performed in almost all European countries, in South Korea, Hong-Kong, Macao, and in China; at regular intervals SCO is invited to Japan. On the occasion of its Latin-American tour, SCO demonstrated its art on the concert platforms of Chile, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.
In 2002, SCO was the first Czech orchestra to appear in Cusco, the Inca town, and this premiere event was repeated on the Philippine Islands (concerts in Manila and Cebu City).
During its nearly thirty years of existence, SCO has taken part in important international festivals, such as the Salzburger Festspiele, the Vienna Festival Weeks, Schleswig Holstein Festival, and the Prague Spring Festival. It is also regularly invited to various Italian festivals, and to the Euriade Festival in Holland. It has also performed in the Ceský Krumlov festival and other such events in the Czech Republic.
Until 2000, the violinist Josef Suk was the soloist and the artistic leader. He invited great artists to appear as guest performers; among the famous soloists who have appeared with the orchestra are Heinz Holliger, Paul Tortelier, Igor Oistrach, Angelica May, Rudolf Firkušný, Maurice André, to mention just a few.
Since 1997, The Suk Chamber Orchestra regularly organizes international cycles of chamber music in June. The original intent of SCO was to organize its own festival, and it has increased in the long-term, wider project with an expanded title, Musical Jewels from Prague through Europe to the World. It carries on under the patronage of the Czech UNESCO Board every year. One of the UNESCO main objectives is to support young artists and the SCO fully meets this demand: SCO´s concerts feature young soloists from the Czech Republic and from around the world whose brilliant artistic qualities are presented to the audience. Many of them are present or former SCO´s members: the violinist M. Kos, the cellist T.Strašil, the violist K.Untermüller, the double bass player T. Vybíral, the pianist Š. Kos and a great number of others.
In 2002, The Suk Chamber Orchestra was awarded the prestigious Antonín Dvorák World Prize for its contribution to music, for its interpretative art, for its many high-quality recordings, and its representation of the Czech Republic in the world.
SCO, as a small orchestra, usually plays without a conductor, but when a larger ensemble is needed, the orchestra occasionally collaborates with three conductors (mainly abroad) who have put in good work and established close relations with the orchestra.These are Gudni A. Emilsson (Iceland),Wilhelm F. Walz (Germany) and Sakae Sakakibara (Japan).
The SCO´s repertoire extends over all periods of musical history, from the Baroque to the present day. Many contemporary compositions are composed exclusively for The Suk Chamber Orchestra and dedicated to the orchestra and the soloists by the authors. The orchestra has recorded over thirty compact discs with well-known soloists and conductors. Among its new projects appear also several world premieres of contemporary classical music.