Czech musicians bring classical music concerts to cafés


Enjoy your coffee while listening to Beethoven, have a glass of wine while listening to Mozart and quench your thirst with contemporary music and mineral water, suggests a new project that brings classical musicians to cafés all around the Czech Republic. The series of concerts, which aim at raising public interest in classical music, was launched on Friday at a café in Prague’s district of Holešovice.

Tomáš Jamník, photo: archive of Czech RadioTomáš Jamník, photo: archive of Czech Radio The Fama Quartet, a young string quartet focusing on contemporary classical music, has launched the series of concerts at cafes all around the Czech Republic with a concert at Prague’s ‘Kavárna, co hledá jméno.’

The organizers of the Vážný zájem or Serious Interest series are following up on a project that took place earlier this year, which brought classical musicians directly to people’s houses and apartments. Tomáš Jamník, a cellist and one of the people behind the project, explains why they decided to continue with the event:

“We performed more than a hundred concerts in living rooms throughout the month of April, which is quite amazing, because it shows that people really want to be in touch with classical music. The project was so successful that we decided to bring music not just to the living rooms, but also to other venues, where classical music can actually get in touch with new audience, because, as you know, classical music sometimes struggles with the lack of new audience.”

According to Tomáš Jamník, the tradition of home and café concerts can benefit both musicians and audiences and can help people overcome the barrier they sometimes feel in large concert halls:

“One of the benefits is the connection between the musicians and the audience, which is sometimes not present in big concert halls where there is a significant border between the performers and the listeners. So every concert in a café should be about the contact between the musicians and the audience. We are also hoping that every concert will last till late in the evening and the people will just be together and enjoy a nice time.”

Screenshot from Vážný zájem promotional videoScreenshot from Vážný zájem promotional video The organizers of the café concert series have already received so many requests that they have had to turn some down. However, Tomáš Jamník is hoping that the month-long event will help to establish a tradition that will eventually run on its own.

“What is interesting is that we have been approached not only by young or hipster cafes, but we also by traditional and really small cafés from out of Prague, so there is a huge variety of venues, which makes the event really colourful and nice.”

Tomáš Jamník himself will take part in the Vážný zájem series with a concert at the Broumov Monastery in north Bohemia. The last concert will take place on September 30 at Café Neustadt in the centre of Prague.