The hit comedy Samotáři (The Loners) was a generational film exploring the lives of aimless young people a decade after the fall of communism. The year 2000 movie’s clubby soundtrack today feels like something of a time capsule, with names like the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, Ohm Square and Here highly evocative of the Prague of that era.
Some of the best Czech films of the 1960s and 70s, such as Markéta Lazarová, Shop on Main Street, and The Cremator, have one thing in common, besides the country of origin: the author of the score, Zdeněk Liška. Only a few recordings of his music came out independently; most recently, the British label Finders Keepers published his soundtrack of The Little Mermaid. In this edition of Panorama, we look the life and work of this prolific composer, and one of the most versatile artists in the field.
The Prague Proms International Music Festival is well underway and this Friday offers something special: a concert by up-and-coming Czech singer Patricie and British musician Robin Banerjee (former guitarist for the late soul, rhythm and blues and jazz great Amy Winehouse). They, along with additional musicians, have collaborated on a project called Moods. One recording, 1929, is already getting a lot of attention.
The US director Tim Burton is due to attend a concert of music from his films composed by Danny Elfman at Prague’s Municipal House on Tuesday night. Mr. Elfman will appear in the concert signing a song from the movie Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sketches and storyboards by the filmmaker will be projected above the stage. Some of them will also appear in an exhibition of Tim Burton’s art that is due to open on Friday at the House of the Stone Bell on Prague’s Old Town Square. The helmer of such works as Batman, Sleepy Hollow and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is also due to attend the opening of that show.
The great Italian composer of film scores, Ennio Morricone, performed to a sold-out crowd at Prague’s O2 Arena on Sunday night. The seated audience of 12,000 gave Morricone, 85, a standing ovation at the end of a two-hour performance that featured many of his most famous composition from movies such as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America and The Untouchables.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra opened the new 2013/2014 season on Monday night with a Czech premiere of a work entitled Last Train to Tomorrow by the American Composer Carl Davis. The symphony is a tribute to Nicolas Winton who was able to save 600 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia before World War Two by arranging train transports for them to England. The premiere was conducted by the composer, with the vocal accompaniment of the Children’s Opera Prague.
World famous jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra on Wednesday night at the Municipal House in Prauge. The concert is part of the Prague Proms musical program that includes both classical music and jazz performances. As part of the Proms series, Prague audience had a chance to hear actor and singer F. Murray Abraham earlier this month. Prague Proms are also host a free open-air concert on Wenceslas Square on Sunday evening.
American actor F. Murray Abraham – best-known in the Czech Republic for his Oscar-winning performance as composer Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (Miloš Forman, 1984), will head to Karlovy Vary on Thursday for the 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. On Wednesday evening Mr Abraham is performing at the Prague Proms; organisers of both festivals were able to ensure he would attend Karlovy Vary as well. He and cinematographer Miroslav Ondřícek will present Czech costume designer Theodor Pištěk (who, like Mr Abraham, received an Oscar for Amadeus) with a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. F. Murray Abraham has starred in dozens of film productions throughout his career including Scarface and the sci-fi thriller Mimic. In 1990 he played the title role in a TV version of Václav Havel’s Largo Desolato.