Czech Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has brought out into the open a deepening feud between the mayor of Prague and Beijing, which has resulted in the cancellation of several cultural events involving Prague ensembles in China. In the sharpest rebuke yet, Minister Zaorálek told the Chinese ambassador to Prague, there would be no cultural exchange if Beijing continued with this practice.
The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra announced on Monday that its planned tour
this September of China will not take place.
It said that Chinese authorities had postponed the concert tour indefinitely, without explanation. But earlier, they had threatened to do so over statements made by Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) in support of Taiwan and Tibet.
After being elected mayor in November, Hřib reportedly pushed to remove a clause in a sister-city agreement between Prague and Beijing stating that Taiwan is Chinese territory, in line with the Communist country’s “One China” policy.
Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was due to tour China from 17 September to 5 October.
The charity concert for Notre Dame which was held at Prague’s Rudolfinum
on Tuesday is reported to have raised close to 400,000 crowns. The money
will be sent to the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris.
Six leading Czech orchestras including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra performed Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, under the baton of Tomáš Netopil.
It was heard by a thousand guests and broadcast live to millions on Czech Television.
The Czech Philharmonic is set to make its debut performance at the
Elbphilharmonie concert venue in Hamburg, the Czech News Agency reported on
Monday. The performance, which is part of the orchestra’s German and
Belgian tour, is scheduled to take place on February 4, and will feature
young Canadian pianist Jan Lisecki.
The concert hall in Hamburg, known as ‘Elphie’, was completed two years ago and has since become one of the city’s most popular tourist sights. The concerts, which are usually completely sold out, have so far attracted over 1.7 million people.
Celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918 are taking place not only in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but also among Czech and Slovak communities the world over. From London to Chicago, Czechs and Slovaks are highlighting an event in their common history that put them on the road to independence.
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 Radio Symphony Orchestra, one of the leading ensembles in the country, has embarked on their 12th tour of Japan, where they are scheduled to play over a dozen concerts. Just a few days before they set off on their journey, I caught up with the orchestra’s head Jakub Čížek and asked him for more details about the tour: