In keeping with tradition, the annual Prague Spring classical music festival kicked off on Sunday with a rendition of Bedřich Smetana’s epic cycle Má vlast, or My Country, which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer’s homeland. What makes this performance particularly poignant is that it was performed by a German orchestra formed by musicians expelled from Czechoslovakia after WWII.
The country’s leading orchestras came together on Tuesday this week to perform a charity concert in aid of the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The concert took place at Prague’s Rudolfinum. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonia and the ensembles of the National Theater and the State Opera performed Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, under the baton of Tomáš Netopil, the guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.
More than a hundred years after his death, fans of Antonín Dvořák have a chance to hear a new piece by one of the greatest Czech composers. An artificial intelligence programme called AIVA recently completed a fragment of his piano composition in E-minor. It was recorded by the acclaimed Czech pianist Ivo Kahánek.
The legendary pianist Alfred Brendel will come to Prague this weekend to take part in a three-day festival organised in his honour. The Czech-born musician, considered to be one of the world’s greatest living pianists, will present his books, give a master class and lecture on the art of playing Mozart. The event gets underway at Prague’s Rudolfinum concert hall on Sunday.
The popular violinist Vanessa Mae will return to the Czech Republic after
three years to perform her most famous pieces of music this October,
concert organiser Roman Helcl told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday.
Accompanying her will be Ms May’s band, the Czech String Orchestra and
eight vocalists. The first concert is set to take place in Ostrava on
October 15. Two days later the Ms. Mae will perform in Prague’s O2 Arena
The renowned violinist said that she looks forward to working with Czech musicians and that apart from her most popular pieces she will also play some rare compositions.
The 40-year-old Britton, who was born in Singapore is known for her pop interpretations of classical music and has millions of fans across the world.
An exhibition featuring the manuscript of Antonín Dvořák's famous
Cello Concerto in B minor, gets underway at the Czech Centre in New York on
Saturday. The unique score, the last work Dvořák composed in America,
will be on display in the U.S. for the first time ever.
The exhibition, which was prepared in collaboration with the National Museum in Prague, Carnegie Hall Archives, and the Czech Ministries of of Foreign Affairs and Culture,will run at the Czech Centre's Gallery until November 9.
The Czech Philharmonic will open its 123rd season on Wednesday with a
concert at the Prague Rudolfinum, under new chief conductor and music
director of Semjon Byčkov. Under the direction of Lukáš Vasilka, the
Prague Philharmonic Choir will also take part.
Among the highlights of the upcoming season are concerts by Simona Rattla, Franz Welser-Mösta, Giovanni Antonini and Christophe Eschenbach as well as the programmes of the main guest conductors Jakub Hrůša and Tomáš Netopil.
The Prague composer of Jewish descent, Hans Krása, wrote Brundibár using Adolf Hoffmeister’s libreto as early as 1938. Sadly however, the opera only became famous once it premiered in Terezín on September 23rd 1943. Krása himself studied the opera with small jewish children after being deported to Terezín. Here it was performed more than 50 times.
Earlier this year the young piano virtuoso Tomáš Kačo performed for the first time at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. It was the fulfilment of a long-held dream for the 31-year-old, who comes from a large Romany family in a small Czech town and was a youth prodigy before seizing a life-changing chance to study in the US. I caught up with Tomáš Kačo when he was visiting Prague last week from his home in LA. My first question: When was he first exposed to music in a meaningful way?