The well-known Czech musician Ivan Hlas is celebrating his 65th birthday. The singer, songwriter and guitarist has been a fixture on the domestic music scene for over five decades. He started performing in the late 1960s with his friends from the Prague neighbourhood of Hanspaulka and enjoyed the biggest popularity in the 1990s, after receiving the Czech Lion for Best Original Score for Jan Hřebejk`s film The Big Beat or Šakalí Léta.
The Prague based Berg orchestra, known for its unique approach to contemporary music, has come up with a new project, called ‘Hudba k siréně’ or ‘Music for the Siren.’ The series of micro-concerts, performed live every first Wednesday of the month, incorporate Prague’s regular testing of sirens in the music.
The winner of the prestigious 2018 Magnesia Litera Award for Prose went to journalist, translator and writer Pavla Horáková for her novel A Theory of Strangeness. Pavla, who is a former Radio Prague reporter, now has several books under her belt, including a popular trilogy for children and a book on soldiers serving in WWI. However, her first big novel, A Theory of Strangeness, which was an overnight success, is the most difficult to define. So when I met up with Pavla to talk about her new book my first question was how she herself would define
The legendary runner Emil Zátopek and his wife Dana, a javelin thrower, made history at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, when they won altogether four gold medals for Czechoslovakia. The story of one of the world’s most famous sporting couples is the focus of a new film by David Ondříček, which has just started shooting.
Metronome, Prague’s biggest music festival, will bring the likes of Liam Gallagher and Kraftwerk to the Výstaviště exhibition grounds for its fourth edition on June 21 and 22. A few weeks prior to that, the city will host the free festival United Islands of Prague, which first took place exactly 15 years ago, when the Czech Republic was celebrating accession to the EU. Both of these events are the brainchild of promoter David Gaydečka. When we spoke at his company’s bustling offices, I first asked Gaydečka how he had got into music promotion.
The country’s leading orchestras came together on Tuesday this week to perform a charity concert in aid of the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The concert took place at Prague’s Rudolfinum. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonia and the ensembles of the National Theater and the State Opera performed Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, under the baton of Tomáš Netopil, the guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.
The Czech Republic’s cultural heritage is set to become more accessible than ever after the Ministry of Culture announced it will create a freely accessible central database of the country’s heritage online. Dubbed Czechiana, the EU funded project will make it possible to see anything from maps, pictures and diaries normally located in Czech museums and galleries, on the internet by November 2020.
In a wide-ranging interview at the start of Holy Week, leading up to Easter, the Roman Catholic priest Tomáš Petráček – a leading church and social historian – talks about the pagan, Slavic, communist and Hapsburg influences on the position of the church in Czech society over the centuries, and why, in his mind, painting eggs and pre-Christian fertility rites have a welcome place at Easter alongside the liturgy.
Our Easter Sunday music show is dedicated to an album called Studánko Rubínko or Ruby Well by the band Hradišťan, one of the country’s most respected performers of folk music. The album, intended for children and their parents, includes songs, nursery rhymes, poems and carols, connected with spring time and Easter.