Ondřej Soukup was born in 1951 in Prague. He graduated from the Prague National Conservatory in 1975. He played in many jazz and pop groups and at the same time started composing and producing songs and creating soundtracks for films, beginning with short and animated movies and later moving to feature films. Some of the most successful films with Soukup’s music are the Czech-English Oscar winner ‘Kolya’ - directed by Jan Svěrák it was awarded Best Foreign Film in 1997, and an Israeli film ‘Intimate Grammar’, directed by Nir Bergman, which won a Tokio Sakura Grand Prix in 2010. In 1998, Soukup received the Czech Lion Award for the Best Film Composition for Juraj Jakubisko’s movie ‘The Ambiguous Report about the End of the World’ and in 2001 he won the same Best Soundtrack award for for the Czech-English movie ‘Dark Blue World’, again directed by Jan Svěrák.
He played an essential role in the career of the celebrated Czech singer, Lucie Bílá; he has composed music for and produced four of her albums. The first album, ‘Missariel’, won five (out of a possible seven) Czech Grammy Awards in 1993.
Some of Soukup's successful cross-over projects are the ballet ‘Checkmate’ and the theatrical performance of ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’, which was inspired by the life of Hieronymus Bosch.
Musicals represent a significant part of his work, including ‘Joan of Arc’, ‘The Elixir of Life’, ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Mowgli’. The librettos for these four musicals, as well as lyrics for many of Ondřej's songs, were written by the highly respected lyricist Gabriela Osvaldová.
His musical ‘Joan of Arc’ premiered on March 30, 2000. It is still played in the Kalich Theatre in Prague with over 1,200 performances to date. ‘Joan of Arc’ was also invited to the International Festival of Musical Theatre in Cardiff in 2002 and 30 performances were played in Spain in 2006. The piece was translated into Spanish and poeticised by Gabriel Sopena.
‘The Elixir of Life’ premiered at the Ta Fantastika theatre on October 14, 2005. This piece draws very non-traditionally from the life of Doctor Max Wolf, the discoverer of enzyme therapy. This musical was played for three years, with 230 performances.
‘Robin Hood’ was written for the Kalich Theatre and has enjoyed over 350 performances since 2010.
Today the Kalich Theatre plays Soukup’s musical ‘Mowgli’, which premiered in September 2013 with over 200 performances so far.
Ondřej recently finished the musical 'The Last Tsar' (about the last Russian Tsar Nikolai ll and his German wife Alexandra – granddaughter of Queen Victoria) for the German production company Gallissas in Berlin.
In 2011 EMI released a Platinum Collection of Soukup’s music, consisting of three CDs. The first includes songs composed by him and sung by various artists, the second is an overview of his soundtracks and the third represents a selection of songs from his musicals.
Ondřej has been a judge on the live Czech version of Pop Idol and X Factor for four series between 2004 and 2013. He has employed some of the contestants for his own live shows.
Ondřej lives with the singer Lucia Šoralová in Prague, with whom he has two children. With his ex-wife Gabriela he has a son František who is also a celebrated musician. A huge hobby of Ondřej‘s is flying planes - he has the PPL as well as the IFR licence and with his Piper 28 Warrior he has flown over the whole of Europe. His furthest flight so far has been to Casablanca.