"Proms 2004" celebrate Czech composers with the theme 'Back to Bohemia'

19-07-2004

Each year London's famous series of Promenade Concerts at the Albert Hall - universally known as the "Proms" - looks at different themes, as a way of linking music from distinct styles and eras. This year 'Back to Bohemia' is one of the three main themes running through the festival, which started last Friday.

The Proms are delighting listeners with a chance to experience works, some little known, by Czech composers - Dvorak, Janacek, Novak, Smetana and the list goes on. There will be over 40 performances of Czech works. And it is only fitting as this year has been named 'The Year of Czech Music,' honouring a host of Czech composers, most importantly Antonin Dvorak, who died a hundred years ago in May.

Sunday's Prom 3, saw Dvorak's opera "Dimitrij" brought to life. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales accompanied the Slovak Philharmonic Choir and an international cast of singers, including the Czech Dagmar Peckova as 'Marfa Ivanovna'.

And the Czech concerts continue this week, including the Skampa Quartet with Itamar Golan on piano performing Janacek's String Quartet No. 1 based on Tolstoy's novel "The Kreutzer Sonata" and Dvorak's Piano Quintet in A Major, Opus 81, which takes its inspiration from Czech folk music.

For those of you who won't be visiting the United Kingdom to enjoy the Proms, you will still be able to hear them live on BBC Radio and Television. Have a look at the BBC's website to find out the details www.bbc.co.uk/proms.