Most dedicated listeners but also more casual fans of classical music have at some point wondered about the sound of early musical instruments once played by the great composers. The question of how historic instruments might have sounded veritably haunted Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein, who lamented that while some instruments that had survived in museums they had long lost their original colour and tone. The result was that nobody really knew any longer which techniques had been used in their production, or what their exact sound was like. That
Ana Maria Janků was born in Argentina, but her link to her roots and in particular to Czech classical music is strong, thanks to the influence of her Czech parents. Today she is taking her own and her parent’s Czech legacy further by promoting Czech music at the Czech cultural centre in Buenos Aires. When she visited Radio Prague’s studio a few days ago we spoke about the fulfillment this brings her and why her work at the center has become the pivot of her life.
Organisers have confirmed that legendary American singer and musician Patti Smith will headline this year’s Trutnoff Open Air Festival in the Czech Republic. Trutnoff (the spelling changed this year) has a 30 year-long tradition in the Czech Republic and former Czechoslovakia. Organisers made the announcement ahead of a related event on Monday at Prague’s Archa Theatre, celebrating renowned British bluesman John Mayall’s 80 birthday.
Singer-songwriter Albert Černý is well-known to local guitar pop fans thanks to his former group, Charlie Straight. Indeed, their 2009 UK-inspired debut She’s A Good Swimmer won the Czech equivalent of a Grammy for album of the year. Now the rangy and charismatic frontman is back with a new band, Lake Malawi, who are just about to play their first live shows around the Czech Republic. On the eve of those shows, I spoke to Černý at our studios. Our conversation started with where it all started: his hometown of Třinec, one of the country’s most easterly
The great Italian composer of film scores, Ennio Morricone, performed to a sold-out crowd at Prague’s O2 Arena on Sunday night. The seated audience of 12,000 gave Morricone, 85, a standing ovation at the end of a two-hour performance that featured many of his most famous composition from movies such as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in America and The Untouchables.
Over 1,000 people watched a free live screening of Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka live from the New York Metropolitan Opera on a Prague square on Saturday evening. Rusalka was the first Czech opera to feature in the popular series, which is beamed to cinemas and other venues around the world. A spokesperson for the company that runs such projections in the Czech Republic, Aerofilms, said the technical quality of the screening on Náměstí Republiky was below that achievable in a cinema but that they had attempted to create the best possible conditions for the open air event.
For 12 years Peter Freestone was a personal assistant and close friend to Freddie Mercury, the singer who reached superstardom with the rock group Queen. He was with also there during the singer’s last days in 1991. Since the start of the Noughties, Freestone has lived in the Czech Republic. I contacted him this week after it was confirmed that Queen will release three tracks that time forgot which Mercury recorded with Michael Jackson, a recording at which Freestone was present.
A little bit of music history will be made on Saturday when Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka will become the first Czech opera to be broadcast live from New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The story of a water nymph who falls for a human has long been a favourite amongst Czech audiences, but this ‘Live in HD’ performance will be beamed to cinemas, concert halls and town squares around the world.
The Apollo music award for the best album of 2013 will be presented at an awards ceremony in Prague on Wednesday night. The annual award, which is perhaps analogous to the Mercury Prize in the UK, is voted on by a panel of music critics and is this year being presented for the third time. Among the contenders this time out are Dan Bárta & Illustratosphere, Never Sol and Prago Union.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur