The ORIGINAL PRAGUE SYNCOPATED ORCHESTRA first came to be in the mind of Pavel Klikar - trumpet player, band leader, pianist, arranger and musicologist, in the autumn of 1974. As a quintet, with three wind instruments and a two-piece rhythm section - piano and banjo - it had an incredibly authentic sound right from the start and quickly stirred the interest of both listeners and music critics. The ensemble focused on detailed analysis of the recordings from the period and patient effort in recreating its musical thinking and aesthetics, as well as reviving long-forgotten playing and improvisation techniques. OPSO carried this study through with great commitment, even down to use of the original historical instruments.
In 1976, the ensemble added to its personnel a second saxophone and a violin. Another addition was the singer - Ondřej Havelka, who stayed with OPSO for nineteen years. The era of this eight-member personnel culminated with a triumphant performance at the Festival of Old Jazz in Breda, Holland, in May, 1978. In the autumn of the same year, the Orchestra's personnel was expanded to twelve instruments - the standard for American dance orchestras of the 1920's - and the ensemble went professional.
The OPSO has given over three thousand concerts in the Czech Republic and in most European countries. It has also participated in a variety of important festivals and in a number of shows for German, French, Swiss and British TV stations. Thanks to many TV and radio broadcasts and gramophone editions, the Orchestra has become one of the most popular ensembles in its homeland.
The ensemble's heart and soul is its leader Pavel KLIKAR. His authentic and intricate arrangements together with an uncompromising attitude toward stylistic interpretation are the building blocks of OPSO's success. As a trumpet player he leaves his audiences bewildered by his, even by international standards, unique ability to improvise in several forgotten styles. Thus his music is not a copy, but an entirely inventive act of recreating artistic concepts and procedures which have disappeared from our world with the decease of their performers.
In 1996, Mr. Klikar received the Czech Grammy Prize for his artistic activities. He was granted the Award of the Czech Musical Council for his lifetime achievement in 2006.