In the sometimes baffling but absolutely innovative world of “contemporary classical” music in the Czech Republic, few young composers have enjoyed the kind of success that Miroslav Srnka has. The 35-year-old’s complex and greatly imaginative work has been performed far and wide by the eminent musicians and conductors of today, and he is endlessly commissioned to produce more for some of the best known orchestras and festivals. His clear talent did not however emerge at an early age, and he told me how it was that he began composing when we met earlier
January 5th marks ten years since the death of Czech underground music legend Milan Hlavsa. At the age of just 49 in 2001, the frontman for The Plastic People of the Universe and Půlnoc succumbed to lung cancer; fellow musicians from both bands will commemorate the singer and bassist on Saturday at Prague’s Akropolis.
The Italian composer Ennio Morricone is in Prague this weekend recording the soundtrack to a new film with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Mr Morricone, who is 82, is one of the world’s best known movie soundtrack composers and is particularly associated with the spaghetti westerns of his compatriot Sergio Leone. This is his second recording visit to the Czech capital after a similar visit in 2009.
In our increasingly globalised world, cross-cultural musical collaborations are becoming ever more common, and you couldn’t find a better example of this trend than the work of Pedro Rodriguez. A DJ, producer and rapper whose passport reads Petr Kulíšek, he has forged a unique partnership between Cuban and Czech musicians with a project named La Conexion.
A 12-year-old opera singer, Patricia Janečková, beat a dancing dog in Sunday’s final of the Czech-Slovak version of Got Talent. Some 1.2 million viewers took part in the final vote, with 53 percent of them favouring the singing sensation over Keysi the performing dog. The winner, who sang a composition by Ennio Morricone from the film Once Upon a Time in the West, received 150,000 euro in prize money.
Karel Gott won the annual Czech Nightingale pop music contest, receiving the prize for the most popular Czech pop singer at the award ceremony on Saturday night. Gott, aged 71, won his 36th Nightingale award. In 1963, he gained the prize for the first time. Since then, 44 Nightingale contests have been organised. Lucie Bilá and Kabát also defended their titles for the most popular female singer and the best band categories. Votes from the public decide who gets the Czech Nightingale prizes. Altogether, just under 148,000 votes were cast.
US jazz singer Dianne Reeves got a standing ovation at a packed Congress centre in Prague on Sunday night. In a two hour concert with the Prague Chamber Philharmonic the jazz great performed some of her greatest hits, including Lullaby of Birdland, as a tribute to Sarah Vaughan, Embraceable You and Send in the Clowns. The concert was the final event of the jazz and classical music festival Struny podzimu, or Strings of Autumn.
The British pop group Simply Red were due to perform at Prague’s Tesla Arena on Sunday night. It has been billed as the last time the band will play in the Czech capital; the concert comes a year and a half after another show advertised as Simply Red’s final appearance in Prague, the Czech News Agency reported. The group, led by singer Mick Hucknall, first performed in the city in 2005, two decades after the release of their debut album.
Today in Mailbox: We quote from your correct answers to our October quiz question and announce the name of the lucky winner. Listeners quoted:Asifa Shaneen, Hans Verner Lollike, Roger Tidy, Ganesh Chandra Kundu, Jayanta Chakrabarty, S. J. Agboola, Mogire Machuki, Paul Peacock, Evelyn Coviello, David Eldridge, Alan Roe, Stephen Wara, Charles Konecny, Meng Cheng, Colin Law.
Toxique, one of the most vibrant and closely-watched Czech pop bands, recently released Outlet People, their much-awaited second album. With the CD, the band takes on a new look and goes further creatively – with electronic sound, a children’s choir and a slew of new ideas – than ever before. Klára Vytisková is the band’s charismatic lead singer; she dropped by Czech Radio recently to discuss how the new album (which has been getting rave reviews) came together.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’