Ticket sales for the 2005 international Prague Spring music festival opened on Monday.
Music lovers stood in line throughout the day to try and get tickets to the performances, of which there will be more than 60 during the festival. Tickets to symphonic concerts were the most popular - especially those for the opening and closing concerts.
The festival begins every year on May 12 with Smetana's patriotic cycle of symphonic poems "Ma Vlast", or "My Country". This year Sir Colin Davis will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra for the season opener. The festival wraps up on June 4th, when Mariss Janson conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestra playing Beethoven's Symphony Eroica and Dvorak's 8th Symphony.
The three weeks of music will highlight works of the great but underrated Czech composer Josef Suk and Baroque maestro Johann Sebastian Bach. Throughout the festival, the city of Prague will play host to world renowned musicians: singers such as Anne Sophie von Otter, Matthias Goerne, Peter Schreier and Emma Kirkby, violinist Gill Shaham and pianist Alfred Brendel. And, the festival is not only a classical one - American Jazz Legend Herbie Hancock will be here, and world music from China, Senegal, Mauritania and Syria will also be featured.
Younger virtuosi will be on hand to play at matinees and informal night concerts in the Rudolfinum. Winners of the Prague Spring competition will also play concerts.
The festival runs from May 12 - June 4th. You can find out more about it on the festival website: www.festival.cz.
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