In 2016, Czechs picked more than five billion crowns worth of fruits and
mushrooms in the country’s forests. In all, people picked 33,800 tons,
which is less than the long-term average of 39,300.
The news was confirmed by a new report for the government on the state of Czech forests and forestry on Wednesday.
In monetary terms, Czechs picked 800 million crowns’ worth less year-on-year. A single household picked 8.14 kilograms.
Just like every summer, Czechs are setting off to forests all around the country armed with baskets and knives in their annual hunt for mushrooms, one of the most popular national pastimes. This season, recognition of the various fungi species may be easier than ever, thanks to a new mobile app which has recently been launched by a team of Czech developers.
Drew Petersen is a prodigious pianist who is the winner of this year’s American Pianists Award. He is pursuing a Masters at the Julliard School of Music and recently completed a tour of the Czech Republic as part of the American Spring music festival. He and the president of APA, Joel Harrison, stopped by Czech Radio as the concert tour wrapped up, to discuss the American Spring and much more.
One of the greatest composers of the latter half of the twentieth century, Krzysztof Penderecki, will bring this year’s Prague Spring Music Festival to a close with his monumental work Seven Gates of Jerusalem (Symphony No. 7) on Friday night. He will be conducting the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. The 72nd Prague Spring Music Festival, which offered music lovers over forty concerts in different Prague venues, was marked by the death this week of the world renowned Czech conductor Jiří Belohlávek.
The world-renowned Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek has died at the age of 71. Bělohlávek was one of the bright lights on the Czech cultural scene and an ambassador for Czech classical music the world over. He raised the prestige of the Czech Philharmonic, of which he was currently Music Director and Artistic Director, taking the classic music ensemble to the world’s leading stages. Bělohlávek served as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, of which he is now a Conductor Laureate. He has collaborated with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, and the Vienna State Opera, among others. The head of the Prague Spring Music Festival Roman Beloř, said the news was a bad blow for the Czech music scene and would throw a damper on the festival which Bělohlávek traditionally opened. Czech politicians, cultural figures and members of the public are mourning the loss of a great musician. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Bělohlávek’s demise was a huge loss not just for Czech but for world culture.
The Prague Spring international music festival gets underway on Friday at Prague's Obecní dům. The festival will traditionally open with Bedřich Smetana’s My Country, this time featuring the world famous Vienna Philharmonic. Ruth Franková spoke to the head of Prague Spring, Roman Bělor, and asked him what was on the menu for the 72nd edition of the event.