In 1977, a mailman, a math analyst and an actor got together to make some rather strange and wonderful music. Jablkoň, as they called the band, started off playing gigs in places around Prague that didn’t insist on specific genres. For as you’ll hear in today’s Music Profile, Jablkoň’s music rather defies easy explanation; a brand of distinctive folk blended with jazz, rock and more that’s often called world music. Except when it isn’t…
Exactly 20 years ago, during the Velvet Revolution, the country was flooded with posters, both home-produced and professionally printed, calling for change. They bore slogans like Free Elections, Teacher You Don’t Have to Lie to Us Anymore, and Havel to the Castle. Now many of those posters have been gathered in a fascinating new book.
The concept of the library needs some spicing up, it seems. Too drab, too grey, too asexual, say student bookworms at Brno’s Masaryk University. So how to improve the situation? How about taking off the librarian’s clothes? Guerrilla Readers, an association whose primary aim is to promote reading, has printed a calendar to give some sex appeal to libraries in 2010.
Last month Prague’s famous Semafor Theatre, which launched the careers of numerous Czech performers, celebrated its 50th birthday. Now a new compilation album featuring remakes of original songs by Semafor’s classic singing/song-writing duo of Jiří Suchý and the late Jiří Šlitr is set to be released. The CD features contemporary musicians popular on today’s music scene, including Tata Bojs, Jiří Burian, and the electronic trio MIDI LIDI. The latter worked on a re-make of 1965 hit “What I had for Dinner Today”.
Just a few days after the Czech film Protektor took a prize at a festival in Denver, another ambitious project is just entering the cinemas across the country. Thursday night will see the official premiere of 3 sezóny v pekle or 3 Seasons in Hell. The feature debut by Tomáš Mašín, a Czech, Slovak and German co-production, has already received praise by Czech reviewers.
Hello and welcome to Czech Books. This week we're discussing the novel The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer, one of this year's nominations for the prestigious Man Booker prize. The novel, which has already been translated into Czech and had a very positive local reception, is inspired by the functionalist masterpiece, the Tugendhat Villa in Brno, and covers over half a century of Czech history, focusing mainly on the fates of the Jewish industrialist Victor Landauer and his wife Liesel. I met with a professor of English Literature at Charles University's
The Prague Conservatory – teaching music and acting – is one of the oldest and most remarkable secondary schools of its type in Central Europe. Dating back roughly 200 years, the school has currently begun celebrating the upcoming anniversary of its founding with a series of exhibitions, publications and events to take place over the next 24 months or so.
Celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution began at the weekend and, of course, they began with Václav Havel. The dissident playwright cum philosopher-president was the main figure behind the bloodless uprising that toppled 40 years of communism within just a few weeks. At the weekend, Mr Havel held a semi-private concert to commemorate the music that accompanied the overthrow of communism, inviting Joan Baez, Lou Reed, and Suzanne Vega, among others. In exclusive interviews, Radio Prague spoke to some of the guests who