Though forced to live in exile for most of his life, the world-renowned pianist Rudolf Firkušný maintained strong Czech traditions at his home in the United States. Indeed, his daughter Véronique Firkusny’s mother tongue was Czech and today she translates leading authors from her parents’ homeland and helps opera singers get to grips with Czech-language works. When we spoke in New York, I first asked Véronique Firkusny how her father had viewed the situation in his native country following the Communist takeover of 1948.
An exhibition showcasing items and documents from Czech collections recently listed on a UNESCO list of world documentary treasures has got underway in Prague. Visitors can see the Great Siege of Malta Map from the 16th century, the Kynžvart daguerreotype or items from composer Leoš Janáček’s archive.
The renowned British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen is set to make her debut with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague’s Rudolfinum on Saturday. The graduate of the Royal College of Art and this year’s recipient of the ECHO Rising Star Awards will be performing a world premiere of a piece by the award-winning British composer Richard Blackford.
The Fifth International Theatre and Music Festival Janáček Brno 2016, on until October 18, has featured more than 25 top productions on 12 stages featuring Leoš Janáček’s work. One of the most anticipated performances this year was a re-staging of Janáček’s romantic tragedy Katya Kabanova at the National Theatre in Brno, directed by Robert Carsen.
Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša will receive the very first Sir Charles Mackerras Award on Saturday.The award named after the late British conductor was established by the Leoš Janáček Foundation as a mark of respect for an outstanding artist and great propagator of Leoš Janáčeks music abroad.Sir Charles left the foundation a financial contribution and it decided to use the funds for an award in support of promising artists under the age of 4O.Jakub Hrůša will accept the prize at the Janáček Theatre in Brno.
This Sunday falls on July 5, a public holiday in the Czech Republic marking the legacy of Saint Cyril and Methodius, two Christian missionaries, who arrived in Moravia in 863 to spread the gospel in the Slavic language. In this edition of Sunday Music Show we will listen to the Glagolitic Mass by Czech composer Leoš Janáček, a musical homage to the two missionaries. The version you are going to hear today is performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.
Organized by the International Dvorak Society, the American Spring music festival (April 8th to July 4th) annually brings internationally renowned soloists and music ensembles to a broad audience in the Czech Republic, with concerts and master classes taking place in dozens of towns and villages around the country. Among this year’s performers is pianist Diana Fanning from Middlebury College, Vermont whose recent piano recital featured music by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček. When she visited Radio Prague’s studio shortly after the recital we talked