Míla Fürstová is currently enjoying a level of exposure that most artists can only dream of. The Czech’s exquisite etching of angel’s wings against the background of a starry sea appears on the cover of Ghost Stories, the hit new LP by one of the planet’s biggest rock bands, Coldplay. Indeed, her intricate illustrations are at present central to the group’s visuals, also appearing on single sleeves and merchandising.
Director Tomáš Pilař is regarded as a coming man in the world of Czech opera. And the 25-year-old is already incredibly busy; this season he is working on more than a dozen different projects at opera houses in various corners of the country. When we met recently, we discussed the craft of opera direction, the state of the art form in the Czech Republic and his own ambitions. But I first asked Pilař – who is also a stage designer – whether he came from a musical family.
In this week’s show, we will listen to some music by a young singer named Debbi. She’s put out two albums before turning 20, and captured the attention of Czech, and even some international audiences with her husky voice and bubbly personality. Her music has given the Czech pop scene a bit more depth, a few more good songs in English and even a slightly retro dimension.
Monday’s opening of the 2014 Prague Spring music festival was dedicated to one of the greats of Czech music, conductor Rafael Kubelík, who was born 100 years ago this year. The honour was certainly merited; after all, not only did Kubelík help found the festival immediately after WWII, he helmed its first ever concert – and the first opening after the fall of communism.
Monday night’s opening of the 69th edition of the Prague Spring International Music Festival will be in honour of the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of most important figures in 20th century Czech music, conductor Rafael Kubelík. In this special programme, his son Martin discusses Kubelík's remarkable life and career.
The 69th Prague Spring international music festival starts in the Czech capital on Monday with a performance of Bedřich Smetana’s My Country by the Czech Philharmonic. The festival offers over 50 concerts by symphony orchestras and other ensembles including the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The Prague Spring festival this year focuses on Czech music, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of birth of conductor Rafael Kubelík, one of the festival’s co-founders. The even runs until June 3.
Formed by Englishman Colin Stuart, Colorfactory featured several Czech musicians who in their own right shaped the local music scene in the 1990s. Two of the latter starred in the 1996 movie Šeptej (Whisper) and it was Colorfactory’s contribution of several gentle, guitar-based songs to the film’s soundtrack that made the group firm favourites with Czech music fans.
The opening concert of this year’s Prague Spring International Music Festival will be a tribute to the great Czech conductor Rafael Kubelík, who was born 100 years ago in June and died in 1996. Next Monday’s curtain raiser, featuring the traditional My Country by Smetana, will be performed by the Czech Philharmonic helmed by Jiří Bělohlávek. Kubelík conducted the first ever Prague Spring opening concert in 1946 and, after his return from exile, the first after the fall of Communism, in 1990. Six pieces by Czech composers will receive their world premiere in the first week of the Prague Spring, which runs until June 2 and is being held for the 69th time.
The tragic life story of the 1980s Czech pop star Iveta Bartošová has come to a shocking end. After years of addiction and alcohol abuse and destructive personal relations, the 48-year-old singer committed suicide on Tuesday by throwing herself under a train. Bartošová’s tribulations in recent years were very closely followed by the country’s tabloids and some, including her husband, believe that the media’s invasive attention contributed to her demise. But can the tabloids really be held to blame? That’s a question I put to journalist Jana Ciglerová,
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