“One of the more soul-replenishing sounds on the planet has to be the singing of the Jitro Czech Girls Choir”

Textura

Jitro, meaning “Daybreak” in Czech, is more than just a concert choir from Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. It is an organization of 400 children in seven preparatory ensembles, of which only the best 25 or 30 qualify to tour. For the past 45 years they have been admired all over the world for their tonal brilliance, superb intonation, distinctively rich blend of sound, and energetic vitality. Today, Jitro is considered one of the best children’s choirs in the world. To date they have participated in 18 international competitions and won 38 categories. These awards have been bestowed on the choir by international juries, including at prestigious European contests such as Llangollen (1988), Nantes (1989), Neerpelt (1996), Olomouc (2003), Xiamen (2006), Lecco (2010), Pardubice (2015), Žilina (2017), and Sydney (2018).

America’s love of Jitro was re-born when the choir was invited to sing at the National Convention of the American Choral Conductors Association in San Antonio TX in 1993, where they received standing ovations from thousands of professional American conductors. An official response from Dr. J. B. Haberlen, ACDA President stated: “Our ACDA members will long remember your concerts, as they were a major highlight of the 1993 convention.” Professor Doreen Rao of Toronto University commented, “Are you aware that you have just changed forever the character and style of all American choral singing?”

Jitro makes over 100 appearances annually and has sung with other renowned choirs such as the American Boys’ Choir. Jitro has performed with the Bavarian Symphonic Orchestra, the Milano Symphonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the Czech Philharmonic. They have performed in prestigious concert halls in Prague, Barcelona, Hale, Bern, Basle, Dortmund, Avignon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Austin, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis, Madison, Chicago, Penn State University, New York City, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Xiamen, Sydney, and many more. Jitro’s classical discography includes 37 solo Jitro albums. They have recorded with various companies like Supraphon, BMA, Classico, Amabile, ArcoDiva, and Navona Records. Their recent discography contains a special edition of albums devoted to famous composers associated with the choir: Antonín Dvořák, Bohuslav Martinů, Otmar Mácha, Petr Eben, Ilja Hurník, and Jan Jirásek. Since 1977, Jiří Skopal has led the choir as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, winning high praise for his brilliant leadership. Superb playing by organist František Vaníček and pianist Michal Chrobák adds luster to the choir’s remarkable performances. Noting that “jitro” means “daybreak” in Czech, BBC Music Magazine deemed this an apt description for the chorus’ “bright, gleaming” performances, which are “indeed like brilliant rays of sunshine slicing through the darkness.”

Albums

GRATIAS - album cover

Gratias

Release Date: May 28, 2021
Catalog Number: NV6350
20th Century
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
The Jitro Czech Girls Choir and conductor Jiří Skopal return with GRATIAS on Navona Records. The commemorative album pays homage to Czech composer Ilja Hurník, whose playful compositions perfectly match the joyful imagination of youth without sacrificing a sliver of musical integrity. Also a prolific author, Hurnik infuses his compositions with narrative texts that give the music a storybook quality.
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Openings

Release Date: May 8, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6288
Folk Music
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
Their fourth release with Navona Records, OPENINGS by the Jitro Czech Girls Choir and conductor Jiří Skopal presents the rich beauty of the Czech Republic’s national dances, folk texts, and songs for audiences around the world.
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In Heaven

Release Date: May 24, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6228
21st Century
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
Organ
The Jitro Czech Girls Choir, under the leadership of conductor and music director Jiří Skopal, presents yet another vivid exploration of the depths of traditional Czechoslovakian music on their fourth release with Navona, JITRO IN HEAVEN. The tone for the album is set by Liturgical Chants, five pieces which express the spiritual and musical code of European culture. These pieces are composed by Petr Eben, an icon of 20th-century Czech music.
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Hymnus

Release Date: July 13, 2018
Catalog Number: NV6168
Folk Music
Vocal Music
Choir
On HYMNUS, the world renowned Jitro Czech Girls Choir under the direction of Jiří Skopal once again delivers refined, dazzling interpretations of the music that is so much a part of Czech culture. The album, which is the Choir’s third release on Navona Records, includes 24 selections that range from Moravian and Silesian folk songs on which the Choir interprets the subtle call and response between bucolic lovers, to a series of compositions inspired by Latin proverbs on which intricate, multidimensional vocals underscore the significance of a simple word or phrase.
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Parallel Worlds

Release Date: June 9, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6101
21st Century
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
With PARALLEL WORLDS, Czech composer Jan Jirásek provides a portal into his intricately textured and resonant choral music. These works are enhanced by Czech children’s choir JITRO, whose singers imbibe Jirásek’s delicate and earnest compositions with authority, maturity, and captivating grace.
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Czech And Moravian Christmas Carols

Release Date: October 9, 2015
Catalog Number: NV6010
Folk Music
Holiday
Liturgical
Choir
Celebrate the joy and magic of Christmas with Czech composer Jan Jirásek’s debut Navona Records release CZECH AND MORAVIAN CHRISTMAS CAROLS. The composer presents a collection of original carols that highlight the spirit, peaceful contemplation, and mystery of Christmas, performed by the Czech children’s choir JITRO with accompaniments by traditional wind, percussion, and string instruments.
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