Mandrage is a Czech band which is not easy to place: its music has been described as soft-rock, pop-rock, punk-rock and it has recently been experimenting with electronics. Some critics find it hard to digest but since its formation in 2004 it has been gathering momentum and has built-up a dedicated fan-base.
Renowned Romany musician Eugen Horváth died on Friday at the age of 74, the Museum of Romany Culture in Brno said. The Slovak-born Horváth, known as Janko, came from a musical family, and learned the play the violin at an early age. In 1969, he formed his own cimbalom band which recorded several albums including the 1992 record Gypsy Weeping.
The world-renowned minimalist composer Steve Reich is set to perform in Prague on Tuesday night alongside percussionist Colin Currie and his ensemble. The musicians will perform Reich’s 1972 piece Clapping Music at the city’s Forum Karlín venue as part of the annual Strings of Autumn festival. The American composer, who is 79, pioneered minimal music in the 1960s.
Inspired by US guitar bands like The Pixies and Sonic Youth, Houpací koně formed in Ústí nad Labem in 1991, releasing their eponymous debut LP four years later. While the group – with leader Jiří Imlauf the only constant member – have been ploughing their own independent furrow for years, they won a new generation of fans with their most recent LP, the acclaimed Everest.
From the Hussite wars of the Middle Ages to the Velvet Revolution of 1989, many pivotal events in Czech history occurred against a musical backdrop, at least in the nation’s collective memory. An exhibition at the National Memorial on Prague’s Vítkov Hill explores the links between music and politics, and shows what roles music assumed in modern Czech history.
Masters of Rock, held near Zlín, is the biggest international rock festival the Czech Republic each year, with a spin-off winter event as well as sister festival in Plzeň. Masters of Rock in the past has featured legends from Def Leppard to Motorhead. This week, promoters announced that the headliners for 2015 will be the Finnish rock phenomenon Nightwish.
Friends, family members, and former colleagues from the world of culture paid their last respects to composer and musician Petr Skoumal at the Strašnice crematorium in Prague on Monday. Mr Skoumal died on September 28th at the age of 76. Attendees at the funeral ceremony included actor and screenwriter Zdeněk Svěrák, film director Jan Hřebejk, theatre director and actor Jan Kačer and many others. The ceremony was closed to the public. Skoumal, who had studied conducting, was widely known his songs for both adults and children and also wrote music for films. Music journalist Jiří Černý described him as the most original Czech popular composer of the last 30 years.
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