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02-05-2004

Tributes to Antonin Dvorak

The week-end celebrations commemorating the famous Czech composer Antonin Dvorak on the one hundredth anniversary of his death culminated on Sunday with a series of concerts in Prague. At five different venues, four of Prague's best orchestras and a number of soloists pay homage to Antonin Dvorak, who died on May 1, 1904, at the age of 62 years.

An exhibition in Prague's Rudolfinum Gallery also celebrates the life and works of the Czech composer, giving visitors the one-time opportunity to view the original score of Dvorak's New World Symphony on Sunday. The manuscript is usually stored in a safe. Dvorak, whose music has reached many, partly thanks to his incorporation of folk music into his works, wrote his "New World Symphony" (Symphony No. 9: From the New World) in the United States. Many classical music lovers argue it is his most recognizable work.

Prague's Municipal House also opened an exhibition on Sunday called the Sacred Works of Antonin Dvorak, featuring him as a Christian and the author of spiritual works. The exhibition is part of the "Tribute to Antonín Dvo"ák 2004" project and was launched by a concert featuring his Stabat Mater called "Dvo"ák Spiritual", which will be held in Smetana Hall. Among the main exhibits are several restored original music scores, both handwritten sketches and finalized versions. Other exhibits include the first editions of some of Dvo"ák's works published by Simrock in Berlin and Novello in London, examples of his correspondence, reviews, period photographs and pieces of art illustrating the spiritual climate of the period. The exhibition is under the patronage of Catholic Church Primate and Prague Archbishop, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk.

Cuban dissidents arrive in Prague to discuss human rights issues in Cuba

Eight Cuban dissidents and former political prisoners arrived in Prague on Sunday to meet politicians and other Czech personalities supporting human rights around the world. The Cubans will meet with former Czech president and dissident Vaclav Havel, Deputy Foreign Minister Pavel Vosalik, Senate Chairman Petr Pithart and members of the Czech Parliament. They were invited to Prague by the Czech humanitarian organisation People in Need, which has been supporting human rights activists fighting against the totalitarian Castro regime in Cuba. The dissidents, who now live in the United States, are expected to stay in the Czech capital until Saturday.

United Islands of Prague music festival ends with Gypsy Kings concert

The world-famous Gypsy Kings hold a concert at Prague's T-Mobile arena on Sunday, as the last band to perform at the United Islands of Prague music festival. The four-day festival began on Thursday and saw 130 bands from 19 countries perform at ten islands and various other venues in Prague. Visitors were able to enjoy folk, rock, blues, jazz, techno, and world music. Participating artists included Finland's Leningrad Cowboys, Britain's Levellers, and Spain's world music performer Mercedes Peon. With the exception of the Gypsy Kings concerts, tickets to all activities cost a symbolic 1 Euro, or 33 Czech crowns, in celebration of EU enlargement.

Weather

Monday is expected to have overcast skies with scattered showers and day-time temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.

02-05-2004