Actor, singer and translator Rudolf Peller died on Saturday at the age of 87. Mr Pellar was well-known for dozens of translations of English language and German novels, such as the work of J. D. Salinger. Together with his wife he was awarded the State Prize for translation in 1997. He was however a person of many artistic talents; aside from his frequent performances in some of Prague’s best known theatres and in some films, Rudolf Peller also recorded songs in the 50s and 60s, and studied chanson singing at conservatory in the 1970s. His first album was only released when he was 80 years old, as he had been banned from performing during communism.
Thousands of rock fans were left disappointed by the one day festival Řipfest 2010 which culminated with an appearance by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne just before midnight on Saturday. Fans were disappointed that the Black Sabbath member only sang for around an hour instead of the expected 90 minutes. The appearance of former Uriah Heep member Ken Hensley was also cut short. Technical problems due to rain disrupted the programme. Osbourne was launching an 11-stop European tour at the Czech festival and also promoting his new album, Scream.
Fans of deceased US pop singer Michael Jackson organised a three-hour walk through the streets of Prague on Saturday in homage to their hero. The walk was staged to coincide with would have been the singer’s 52nd birthday. At various stages along the walk stops were scheduled for participants to dance to the tunes of his hit album “Thriller.” Fans from Slovakia were also expected to take part. Jackson died in June last year after taking too many sedatives.
Thousands of rock fans have been gathering for the one day festival Řipfest 2010 near the historic hill Řip in central Bohemia on Saturday. The culmination of the festival will be a late night appearance by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne. The former Black Sabbath member is launching an 11-stop European tour at the Czech festival and also promoting his new album, Scream. Rain forced the cancellation of some of the earlier bands on the programme.
In this week’s Music Express our guest is Jan Žampa the talented singer/guitarist for Eddie Stoilow – an unusual Czech band founded in 2004. The group has grown increasingly popular, especially following the long, much-awaited release of just their first album just last year. Humorously called The Best of Eddie Stoilow, the album brought hits such as Hey You, Floating, and the catchy Realize and Compromise.
A new book about how the Communist authorities targeted young men with long hair in the 1960s was launched at the Open Air Festival in the east Bohemian town of Trutnov on Saturday. Entitled Vrat’te nám vlasy! (Give Us Our Hair Back!), it maps in detail how the Communists used the state security apparatus to repress long-haired men in 1966. At the launch, poet and former dissident Ivan Martin “Magor” Jirous, who spent 8.5 years in jail under communism, said the book described the pre-history of a group of alternative youths who later contributed to the launch of the Trutnov festival as an underground event in 1987.
A member of the audience committed suicide during a concert by the Czech musician Markéta Irglová and her group The Swell Season in the US city of Saratoga on Thursday night. The man jumped from the roof that covered the venue’s stage, landing on the podium and dying instantly. The band extended their sympathies to the victim’s family and friends in an internet post. Markéta Irglová and The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard won an Academy Award for best original song for their composition Falling Slowly in February 2008, just days before her 20th birthday. She is the only Czech woman to have ever won an Oscar.
The Welsh group Manic Street Preachers performed to thousands of fans at one of the Czech Republic’s biggest rock music events, the Open Air Music Festival in the east Bohemian town of Trutnov, on Friday night. Other performers included The Glitter Band and the Czech artists DG 307 and Michal Hrůza. The Trutnov festival first took place in 1987, two years before the fall of the communist regime. This year over 100 groups and solo musicians are performing on four stages over four nights.
The third annual Dvořák Prague Festival got underway in Prague on Friday with a performance of the composer’s New World Symphony by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the city’s Rudolfinum. The festival, which runs for two weeks, features 16 concerts, most of them at the same venue’s Dvořák Hall. All in all, 12 pieces by Antonín Dvořák are being performed; the programme also includes work by other composers.
Welcome to our first edition of Music Express, bringing you music and interviews with some of the Czech Republic’s brightest young stars and biggest names. Today: a group that first broke onto the scene just two-and-a-half years ago, called Airfare. Founded by Czech-American frontman Thomas Lichtag, now 23, the four-member band plays catchy, sometimes harder alternative rock, with all songs sung in English. The singer/guitarist came into the studio this week to discuss how the band got its start. He also talked about their first big hit Sorry Baby
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