Archive: Culture | Music Music

Prague-based Quebecois Jonathan Gaudet adds Latin flavour to his blues

29-04-2012 02:01 | Jan Richter

Jonathan Gaudet Our guest in this edition of Sunday Music Show is Jonathan Gaudet, a French-Canadian guitarist, singer and songwriter who travelled the world before he settled in Prague. Collaborating with Czech musicians and singing in French, Spanish and English, Jonathan incorporates various musical influences in his lively blues.  More

“Hooligans and swindlers”: the communist regime and the Plastic People

28-04-2012 02:01 | David Vaughan

The Plastic People of the Universe In the 1970s the communist authorities tolerated popular music as long as it was insipid, colourless and unoriginal – everything that the Czech psychedelic rock band The Plastic People of the Universe most definitely was not. Their music was inspired by Frank Zappa and The Velvet Underground, their lyrics anarchic, their behaviour unconventional and their hair long. In 1976 four members of the band were sentenced to prison terms for what was described as “organised disturbance of the peace”, and in December of the same year Czechoslovak Radio broadcast a documentary that painted the band in the darkest possible colours and included extracts from their music, recorded secretly at their concerts.  More

Pavel Šporcl - Not your everyday violin virtuoso

27-04-2012 16:10 | Christian Falvey

Pavel Šporcl, photo: archive of Pavel Šporcl In the Czech Republic and increasingly even abroad, violinist Pavel Šporcl enjoys the kind of name recognition that aspiring rock stars dream of. A natural talent, he became the enfant terrible of the classical music world when first he arrived on the scene, forgoing a tuxedo for a bandana and taking an interactive approach to his concerts. Having toured the world over and recorded roughly a dozen albums, 36-year-old Pavel Šporcl is not only a dominant but a defining force in classical music. I met Pavel as he was preparing for a concert, and asked him to describe what it is that has made him and his career so distinct.  More

Legendary Pražský výběr returns

25-04-2012 15:29 | Jan Velinger

The legendary band Pražský výběr – one of the most influential bands from the Czech New Wave – are back. Recently the group, led by frontman Michael Kocáb announced they would put aside past differences and reunite for a series of concerts in the autumn.  More

Lubomír Dorůžka: Legendary music journalist and translator of Western literature

23-04-2012 14:09 | Ian Willoughby

Lubomír Dorůžka, photo: Tomáš Vodňanský Lubomír Dorůžka first began writing about music seven decades ago when, during WWII, he produced a clandestine magazine on his greatest passion, jazz. The quintessential American art form was frowned upon by the Communists after their 1948 takeover of Czechoslovakia. However, in the relatively liberal 1960s Mr. Dorůžka was able to edit music magazines and play a very active role in international jazz organisations. As well as being a music journalist, he is also a renowned translator of American and British writers – and as a young man did many translations with his lifelong friend, the novelist Josef Škvorecký.  More

Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers

22-04-2012 02:01 | Christian Falvey

Ondřej Havelka This edition of our Sunday Music Show is devoted to the syncopated sounds of Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers, an authentic big band making sure the music of the 1920s and 30s is alive and well today. And they don’t just play the music, but live the age.  More

Prague museum explores Journeys of Antonín Dvořák

21-04-2012 02:01 | Jan Richter

Antonín Dvořák Museum Prague’s Antonín Dvořák Museum recently reopened after renovation with a new programme dedicated to the life and work of the famous composer. Entitled The journeys of Antonín Dvořák, it offers a new look at the composer’s stays abroad. It also features an exhibition on Dvořák’s Czech-American friend and collaborator, Josef Jan Kovařík, who worked with Dvořák during his stay in New York.  More

Kitsch wins through: pop music in Czechoslovakia after 1968

21-04-2012 | David Vaughan

Olga Szántová The 1960s had seen a thriving musical scene in Czechoslovakia, which had been broadly tolerated by the regime, especially during the 1968 Prague Spring. With the political clampdown of the early 70s, rock and pop music were also to suffer. But this was a gradual process, and, initially at least, the communist authorities were careful not to go too far to alienate young people.  More

Soprano Melanie Gall on opera, performance and the American Spring Festival

20-04-2012 13:40 | Jan Velinger

Melanie Gall, photo: archive of Melanie Gall In this week’s Arts my guest is Canadian opera singer Melanie Gall – a soprano who has performed around the world including in Israel, Italy, France and the Czech Republic. This week she dropped by Radio Prague’s studio to discuss upcoming performances at this year’s American Spring Festival. She’s is a charming guest with a great sense of humour and Melanie talks not only about what she’ll be performing while in Prague but also about opera in general.  More

Young musicians light up Prague’s subway

19-04-2012 16:32 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: CTK It was another cold, grey morning for the thousands of commuters who passed through the city’s crowded metro stations making their way to work on Wednesday morning. But on this particular day the mood in Prague’s busy subway was different. An all-day musical happening put a smile on people’s faces and many stopped to listen, even if it meant missing their regular train connection.  More

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