Czech folk-rock band Divokej Bill recently celebrated 20 years of existence with 18,000 fans cheering in a sold-out O2 arena. The band, which hails from the town of Úvaly near Prague, was founded by singer and guitarist Václav Bláha. Since 1998 it has released 13 studio records as well as a number of singles and music videos.
The band Lake Malawi will represent the Czech Republic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Tel Aviv in May. The indie-pop band, formed in 2013 by the singer and guitarist Albert Černý, garnered the most votes in the Czech national round, leaving behind seven other finalists. I spoke to Lake Malawi’s frontman about their success and I started by asking why they decided to take part in the Eurovision contest:
The world famous tenor Placido Domingo on Sunday conducted a concert of
selected Mozart arias at Prague’s Estates Theatre in honour of the
composer’s birthday, getting a standing ovation.
The birthday concert featured the National Theatre Orchestra and soloists Adela Zaharia, Štěpánka Pučálková, Petr Nekoranec and Simone Alberghini. It took place at the very same theatre where Mozart conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni on October 29, 1787.
The legendary film composer Ennio Morricone will conduct his music at
Prague’s 02 Arena on Friday night.
His appearance in Prague is part of his 90th Birthday Tour which started in Krakow on January 19th, moving to Berlin and Budapest before coming to Prague. The tour ends in Stockholm on January 28th.
In Prague Morricone with conduct the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble with which he has cooperated for over ten years.
Houpací koně, who have been determinedly doing their own thing in the north Bohemian town of Ústí nad Labem for over a quarter of a century now, recently released their eighth LP of expansive guitar-based rock. Though title track Desolation Peak and other tracks have English titles, the record again features finely-honed Czech lyrics from group leader Jiří Imlauf.
Shoegaze, the musical genre marked by washes of effects-driven guitar and ethereal vocals, was born in the UK three decades ago. Among those keeping it alive and well today are Manon Meurt, a young band from the Central Bohemian town of Rakovník. Though indebted to My Bloody Valentine and others, the indie outfit’s recently released debut LP MMXVIII (produced by The Ecstasy of St. Theresa founder Jan P. Muchow) more than stands comparison to much of the shoegaze canon.
Join us for a look back at some of the Czech music highlights of the past year. In Radio Prague’s New Year’s Eve music show we bring you some of the most-played songs on radio this year. The bands include award-winning J.A.R with their new CD Escalation of Goodness, Mikolas Josef with Lie to Me, that won him sixth place at this year’s Eurovision contest, US based rock musician Ivan Král with his new album Colors and one of the biggest hits on YouTube this year - Lost and Found by Emma Smetana and Jordan Haj.
The world famous mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková, in collaboration with Czech composer and conductor Jaroslav Krček and his ensemble Musica Bohemica, has released her debut Christmas album. Called Nativitas, Christmas Songs of Old Europe, it is made up of Czech and Moravian carols, Christmas songs from seventeenth-century Bohemian Baroque hymnbooks as well as old carols of other European nations.
Martin Chodúr, a Czech singer and the winner of the 2009 Czech Pop Idol, has released his first Christmas album called Hallelujah. It contains cover-versions of some of the best-known Christmas songs, such as Oh, Holy Night or I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, as well as a couple of traditional Czech carols. Martin Chodúr is accompanied by the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra headed by Marek Prášil.
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