If you listen regularly to our programme, you'll know that the city of Prague holds a lot of prestigious classical music events such as the Prague Spring competition. The Prague Premieres festival is one such event. Its unique selling point is that it concentrates solely on new classical music and has become the most important showcase of its kind in the Czech capital since it started in 2004. The compositions performed at the Prague Premieres festival are either completely new or not more than five years old. Besides compositions from the Czech Republic, this year's festival is concentrating on new music from Scandinavia and will introduce composers from Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, and Norway.
Prague Premieres offers a rare opportunity for music fans, musicologists, and the composers themselves to get a better idea of the latest trends in classical music, and hear many compositions that have not yet come out on record.
The number of composers who have their works premiered at the festival is increasing every year. The first Prague Premieres in 2004 presented new compositions by 27 Czech composers, while this year there will be premieres of pieces by 59 composers from all over the world, including renowned Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen. Josef Marek - a composer whose work also features at this year's festival - is a member of the organizing committee for the event.
"This year there will be 29 Czech and 30 foreign composers taking part in the festival, and it looks like around half of the foreign composers will be able to arrive in Prague to see the Czech Premiere of their works in person. In 2006, Prague Premieres became an international festival and we could hear music by composers from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and one or two other countries. The most interesting thing for me as a composer is to have the chance to compare the music of composers from various parts of Europe and see how they 'tackle' contemporary music."
The Prague Premieres festival runs from March 24th to April 1st. You can find more information on the festival on its website at www.praguepremieres.eu.