Punk-rock legend Iggy Pop will be headlining at the Trutnov Open Air Music Festival on Thursday, when the four-day festival kicks off. He will be accompanied by his band The Stooges on Thursday night. Czech acts such as Garage, Neruda and the singer Jiří Schmitzer will also be performing on Thursday, ahead of Iggy Pop’s concert. Among the foreign guests at this year’s edition of the open air festival, which is the country’s oldest, is the UK-based Pakistani percussion group The Dhol Foundation.
It’s that time of year again – the Czech Republic’s premiere open air music festival in Trutnov is back on the Battlefield, as the traditional venue is called. A red letter event on the calendars of underground music lovers (the likes of regular attendee Václav Havel), Trutnov has been celebrating counter-culture since 1987, when it was attempted, but stopped by the State Police. This year, as ever, the festival offers four days of a “cultic meeting” beginning Thursday, “dedicated to Amnesty International, Jim Morrison and the warriors from Tippecanoe”.
Czech pop singer Marie Rottrová has announced she will be retiring after her 2011 autumn concert tour. The singer who started her career in the late 60s has recorded over two dozen albums and CDs. Last year the Music Academy elected her to the Hall of Fame. The singer said she wanted to end her career before hitting 70. An album containing “the best of” is to be released on occasion of her jubilee coming up in November.
In Sunday Music Show we look at the life and work of Czech opera diva Milada Šubrtová who died at the age of 87 last week. The soprano, whom many consider to have been the best Rusalka ever, was one of the lights of the Czech opera world. With her three octave range and considerable acting abilities she could interpret both coloratura roles and dramatic parts, making her one of the stars of the prestigious National Theatre.
The band Psí vojáci has announced it has broken up after more than 30 years on the Czech music scene. A statement on the band's website cites personal and health reasons for the split. Frontman Filip Topol has long faced a number of health difficulties and has undergone several operations in recent years. Public performances have been infrequent in recent times. Topol founded Psí Vojáci (“The Dog Warriors”) with schoolmates when he was only 13. The band enjoyed huge popularity after 1989 and have maintained a large cult following since. They have published some two dozen albums and underground recordings from the Communist era, when they were not allowed to record.
For a lot of Czechs, Pavel Bobek is THE voice of country pop, thanks to his hugely popular Czech-language versions of hits by U.S. singers like John Denver and Kris Kristofferson. He is also a trained architect, and was a close friend of Jan Kaplický, who died in 2009 after a long and fruitless struggle to have one of his plans realised in Prague. In this, the second part of a two-part interview, Pavel Bobek speaks about Kaplický and aspects of his own career. But first he discusses his love of Johnny Cash, whose songs he recorded on his most recent
Pavel Bobek is one of the greats of Czech popular music, best known for his Czech versions of songs by American artists like Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, and his long-time hero Johnny Cash. A trained architect, he started out in the Czechoslovak bigbít (rock’n’roll) scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s, singing with an early version of the band Olympic before becoming a member of the Semafor theatre, one of the country’s most vibrant cultural institutions in the Communist era.
Composer Jiří Traxler, called the co-founder of Czech swing, died on Sunday in his home in Canada at the age of 99. Particularly active in the 1930s and early 40s, Traxler’s songs have been sung by generations since and have survived to today. He moved to Canada in 1949 in response to the rise of communism in Czechoslovakia and briefly worked with the public radio broadcaster there before turning to work as a draftsman in Quebec.
In this edition of our Sunday Music Show, we’ll hear songs inspired by the Czech capital, its beauty, its people and some of the events that took place there. Throughout the centuries, many writers, painters and other artists have been captured by the city’s charm but in our show today, we will listen to songs by foreign artists including Nick Cave, British Sea Power, Slayer, Joaquin Sabina, Vladimir Troshin, and others.
The 11th outdoor music festival Sázavafest kicks off on Thursday afternoon. Some 120 acts both from the Czech Republic and abroad will be performing at the four-day festival, including Basta Fidel, Sto žvířat, the British band Hurts and the German group Alphaville. For the first time this year, the festival is held in the Central Bohemian town of Benešov. Organizers said that the previous site of the festival, the town of Kácov near the river Sázava, was not safe, since two of the five stages had to be shut down last year after the river flooded.
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