Czech conductor Jirí Belohlávek has been appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the most sought-after positions in musical life.
58-year-old Jirí Belohlávek is appointed to lead one of the world's most versatile orchestras as it enters its 75th anniversary, embracing its core values as champions of new music as well as developing its strengths in the standard symphonic repertoire.
Jirí Belohlávek, who studied at the Prague Conservatoire and Arts Academy with Celibidache, went on to be artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is now one of the world's most respected conductors in the concert hall and in the opera house.
Renowned for his interpretations in a wide repertoire of both mainstream and neglected works he has become one of the greatest exponents of classical and romantic works - in particular Czech music - and is admired for the vivid fluency of his performances and his technical rigour.
Belohlávek's recent engagements include his Metropolitan Opera debut and appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Forthcoming engagements include his debut with the Berlin Philharmoniker.
Building on the BBC Symphony Orchestra's tradition of working with a family of great conductors and soloists, Jirí Belohlávek will be joined by David Robertson who will take the position of Principal Guest Conductor in October.
American-born Robertson is respected internationally for his extensive command of a wide-ranging repertoire and for his particular expertise in 20th and 21st century music.
Both conductors have worked extensively with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to great acclaim and forged excellent relations with the players.
Jirí Belohlávek takes up the position of Chief Conductor officially at the First Night of the Proms 2006 and becomes Chief Conductor Designate until then.
David Robertson will become Principal Guest Conductor from October 2005 when he will open the 2005-2006 BBC Symphony Orchestra season.
He follows the tenure of Jukka-Pekka Saraste which ends in August.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra roster of conductors currently includes Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Principal Guest Conductor, Sir Andrew Davis, Conductor Laureate, and John Adams, Artist in Association.