Ninety years ago to this day, on the 12th of August, 1928, Leoš Janáček, one of the most significant Czech composers, died in a hospital in Ostrava. He was brought there from his native Hukvaldy in North Moravia, where he was spending his holidays. The native region was a major inspiration for Janáček. He was interested not only in folk songs, but he also heard musical motives in the melody of the local dialect.
Summer is here with a vengeance, temperatures are hitting 37 degrees Celsius in the Czech Republic and holiday makers are heading for the country’s lakes and rivers or high up in the mountains to cool down. This week’s Sunday Music show presents some of the best-loved summer pop music hits reflecting the lazy, relaxed atmosphere of long summer days in the countryside.
Eight musicians and groups are set to compete in the inaugural edition of
the “Sound of Silent Movies” competition in Prague’s Žižkov
district, which starts on Thursday evening and runs through September 14th.
Audiences will select the winner, based on the best improvisions accompanying silent classics such as Modern Times with Charlie Chaplin and the original King Kong from 1933 starring Fay Wray, as well as Czech cartoons featuring the beloved ant Ferda Mravenec.
A three-day techno party on the outskirts of Ústí nad Labem drew an
estimated 3,000 people at its peak and passed without serious incident, a
local police spokesperson said.
The event was held on a private meadow within a protected area, so the police presence was higher than usual. Several thefts and minor injuries were reported.
Illegal techno parties often attract thousands of participants and have on occasion led to clashes with the police.
Tramping is a phenomenon that influenced the lives of tens of thousands of Czechs. Young people who dreamed of the freedom of the Wild West, spent time outdoors, engaging in sporting activities, building log cabins and settlements. The birth of tramping is in fact linked to the tramp settlement Lost Hope near Svatojánské proudy (one of the most picturesque stretches of the Vltava River) in 1918.
Bonnie Tyler sang her 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at the
ongoing Benátská! music festival in Liberec on Friday night, against the
background of the century’s longest blood moon.
The Welsh singer’s trademark pop ballad, known as “Zatmění” in the Czech version, often surges in popularity around lunar and solar eclipses, as seen in Spotify charts and views of the official music video on YouTube.
The 17th edition of the Colours of Ostrava music festival came to a close
on Saturday with performances by 1980s star Grace Jones, her Jamaican
compatriot Ziggy Marley and US artist Seasick Steve, among others.
The organisers refuse to release attendance figures but it is believed that the event – which takes place in a former ironworks in Ostrava’s Vítkovice district – draws around 50,000 people every year.
Renowned Czech musician Iva Bittová turns 60 on July 22nd. An excellent singer, violinist and composer, Bittová has never focused on one particular genre. She plays and sings folk music, jazz, rock as well as opera. She has also starred in several Czech films and appeared on stage at home and abroad.
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