Czech vocalist, banjo player, composer and translator Robert Křesťan is one of the bright lights on the Czech folk, country and bluegrass scene. In the course of a career spanning more than three decades he has played in several ensembles, coproduced close to twenty CDs and performed at thousands of concerts, including annual tours of the US with his current ensemble Druhá tráva.
Fashion initiative We’re Next held their third annual event in Prague on Thursday evening, featuring designs by students from Prague’s Academy of Arts, or Umprum, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. I attended the show to see the collections and to speak with the young talents who brought them to life.
Household items produced in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s and ‘30s by some of the country’s top designers and artists, such as Ladislav Sutnar and Toyen, are currently on display at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The glasses, plates, hand-woven carpets and other items were made for Krásná Jizba, a famous interwar design co-op.
The Architect of the Year award has been bestowed upon a renowned educator and architect, Petr Hájek, who the judges said has responded with experimental flair on a wide range of challenging projects. A professor at the faculties of architecture at Czech Technical University in Prague and at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, he was honoured on Tuesday evening for his exceptional contribution to the field over the past five years.
Steamboat Stompers are one of the legends of the traditional Czech jazz scene. The Prague Dixieland band was established 50 years ago, in 1968. Steamboat Stompers have captured audiences with a distinct music style, which was defined by the late founder and band leader Jiří Kadlus. After his death two years ago he was replaced by trombone player Pavel Janík.
Welsh writer John Bills currently resides in Prague, but his fondness for Central and Eastern Europe stretches beyond the borders of the Czech Republic. So far beyond, in fact, that he’s written a 600-page book dedicated to history’s greatest Slavs, wryly titled An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery.
An exhibition of work by the major Czech modernist painter František Kupka has just got underway at the National Gallery in Prague. Entitled František Kupka 1871–1957, it is the first retrospective of the artist’s work since the 1989 exhibition in Paris and covers his entire career, from symbolism to abstraction.
The Czech pop-rock group Chinaski formed way back in the late 1980s and though they didn’t find a broad audience until the mid-2000s, they have consistently been one of the country’s most popular groups ever since. This autumn they will set off on a tour around the Czech Republic that will take them to a number of cities and towns where they either haven’t previously appeared or haven’t played in a long time.
Hip Hop Kemp, the largest music festival of the genre in Central and Eastern Europe officially kicks off on Thursday night at the massive open-air site Festivalpark on the outskirts of Hradec Králové. But thousands of fans, including hundreds from abroad, particularly Poland, have already begun descending on the city. Along the way, scores have found themselves caught up in police searches for illegal drugs and contraband.