The third annual Dvořák Prague Festival got underway in Prague on Friday with a performance of the composer’s New World Symphony by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the city’s Rudolfinum. The festival, which runs for two weeks, features 16 concerts, most of them at the same venue’s Dvořák Hall. All in all, 12 pieces by Antonín Dvořák are being performed; the programme also includes work by other composers.
Welcome to our first edition of Music Express, bringing you music and interviews with some of the Czech Republic’s brightest young stars and biggest names. Today: a group that first broke onto the scene just two-and-a-half years ago, called Airfare. Founded by Czech-American frontman Thomas Lichtag, now 23, the four-member band plays catchy, sometimes harder alternative rock, with all songs sung in English. The singer/guitarist came into the studio this week to discuss how the band got its start. He also talked about their first big hit Sorry Baby
On Thursday, Sázavafest kicked off in the Central Bohemian town of Kácov. Its site is located near the Sázava river, which provides both the name and the scenic backdrop for one of the country’s most popular music festivals. It drew some 20.000 visitors in 2009 and organizers are expecting a similar turn-out this year.
The 15th International Organ Festival got underway at Prague’s St James’ Basilica on Thursday night with a recital by the American organist John Scott. In a series of eight concerts over a month and a half, the city’s music lovers will have the chance to hear some of the world’s best players perform on greatest organ in the Czech capital.
The phenomenal Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia, will perform to a packed house at Prague’s Obecní dům on Tuesday evening. He will appear on stage with a six-member accompanying group, including singer Duquende and virtuoso dancer Farruco, the grandson of Romany dancer El Farruco, the founder of the legendary Andalusia dancing family. Paco de Lucia last performed in the Czech capital in 2207.
Daphne Carr is an American music expert and writer. The focus of her research is not classical but popular music, a field that only recently has warranted attention from academics. Carr’s passion for writing started within what is commonly referred to as the zine culture, zines being small and often underground publications that became popular in America in the 1980s and 1990s. She has stayed true to the underground and found a new favorite in the Czech Republic: the Plastic People of the Universe, who she learned about when she first came to Prague
The organisers of Tuesday’s concert of the American singer Pink in Prague’s Synot Tip Arena may pay a fine for exceeding noise limits. The Prague Hygienic Station said it registered noise levels 20 decibels higher than the permissible daytime rate, and the organising company, Live Nation, could thereby face a of hundreds of thousands of crowns. The station is also filing an administrative lawsuit against the venue itself, as it is zoned only as a sports stadium. The owners of the stadium have not commented on the matter. Live Nation has been fined 200,000 crowns for noise level violations at concerts of Madonna and Depeche Mode.
The American pop singer Pink is playing a concert at Prague’s Eden soccer stadium on Tuesday evening. It is the fourth time the star has visited the Czech capital, with her most recent appearance at the city’s O2 Arena in November last year. Organisers say Pink, who is promoting her album Funhouse, will put on her usual show, despite a recent fall from a stage in Germany.
The Argentinean singer Jose Cura is one of the biggest stars of contemporary opera, known for his powerful and distinctive interpretations of characters like Verdi’s Otello. Czech fans will have a rare chance to see him in the flesh this weekend, when he performs two concerts at the International Music Festival in Český Krumlov, one of the country’s most beautiful towns.
The world lost one of its leading conductors and a great patron of Czech classical music on Wednesday with the passing of Sir Charles Mackerras, who has died of cancer at the age of 84. In a long career of many highlights, Sir Charles became a notable specialist on the Czech composer Leoš Janáček and played a major role in championing the work of other Czech classical masters, like Bohuslav Martinů and Antonín Dvořák. Christian Falvey looks back at his life.
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