Ahead of performances at Hamer Hall, the maestro explains why Bohemian music is in the Czech Philharmonic’s blood.

1. You’re conducting at the new Hamer Hall this month. What prompted the Czech Philharmonic to embark on this tour? 

Well, there have been ties between Australia and the Czech Phil dating back to the 1960s when Karel Ancerl was the head of the orchestra and they made a big tour of the Far East and Australia. So we’re looking forward to strengthening that bond on this tour.

2. You’re playing all Czech music, but with Beethoven’s Eroicathrown in as a wild card – how does that work?

We don’t want to brand the Czech Phil as solely a purveyor of Czech music. We also have qualities we want to show off in standard repertoire. And Eroicais a symphony that is adored by all music lovers.

3. Is there a recognizably Czech sound to the orchestra?

I think the Czech Phil has always had distinctive sound qualities. One can describe it as a rich, melodious string sound combined with a very distinctive woodwind. The source of that is the members of the orchestra, who...