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.
This year’s Bohemia Jazz Fest got underway in Prague on Tuesday night with a concert featuring the great American bass player Stanley Clarke and three other artists. The annual event brings top class jazz musicians to the squares of a number of Czech towns and cities, for free. The man who set it up is New York based Czech musician Rudy Linka; earlier I asked him what was new this year.
One of the most significant composers of modern times, Gustav Mahler, was born on July 7, 1860, in a small village near the eastern town of Jihlava where he grew up. On Wednesday, both places staged a jubilee gala celebration on the composer’s 150th birthday anniversary, attended among others by the Czech president.
The US singer Jello Biafra nearly missed his appearance at the Rock for People open air festival in Hradec Králové, eastern Bohemia, on Monday, organizers said. Apparently, the 52-year-old punk rock legend arrived at a wrong venue – instead of Hradec Králové, he drove to the town of Český Brod, where the festival was held four years ago. While his current band – The Guantanamo School of Medicine – was already on stage, the rock singer then made another stop at his hotel, and only performed for some 20 minutes at the festival.
The name Pete Best became a synonym for nearly man after he was kicked out of The Beatles before they became the biggest band the world had ever seen. The group’s original drummer is currently in Prague to perform at an exhibition at the Czech Museum of Music entitled Beatlemánie, which features original memorabilia and documents how young people in Czechoslovakia, like their peers elsewhere in the world, were thrilled by the explosion of the Fab Four. On the eve of the show, I discussed The Beatles’ continued popularity with Pete Best.
The 6th annual music festival Prague Proms will kick off with a Beatles Night concert on Saturday evening. The month-long string of events in churches, concert halls and jazz clubs will offer visitors a wide range of genres – from jazz and chamber music to opera and film music. The festival will also mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Czech composer Gustav Mahler.
Several hundred people turned out for Friday’s Czech Street Party in Brussels, the Czech event of the year in Belgium. A number of popular bands –including Support Lesbians, Niceland and Bek Ofis provided entertainment while visitors sampled Czech wine and beer and various regional specialties. The street party, now in its fourth year, also serves to promote Czech products and tourist destinations.
The opera ensemble of Prague’s National Theatre is preparing for the highlight of the season –the premiere of Leoš Janáček’s Kata Kabanová directed by the avant-garde American stage director Robert Wilson. The management of the national theatre said it was impressed with Wilson’s work with colour and light and hoped that his contribution would bring a new dimension to this Czech classic.
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