(The) Last Summer is the title of the recently released debut LP by Prague band Cold Cold Nights. The group are led by Jakub Jirásek, who previously performed as a solo singer-songwriter under the name J, and are marked by a guitar-based sound that alternates between heavy and catchy and is always easy on the ear. And they produced one of the best Czech music videos in years for standout track Joie.
The opening concert of the 72nd Prague Spring International Music Festival, a performance of Smetana's My Country by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim, received a standing ovation and several minutes of thunderous applause on Friday. Smetana's My Country traditionally opens the highly-respected festival each year. The festival this year is offering almost 50 performances – recitals, early music concerts as well as contemporary and experimental music.
The Prague Spring international music festival gets underway on Friday at Prague's Obecní dům. The festival will traditionally open with Bedřich Smetana’s My Country, this time featuring the world famous Vienna Philharmonic. Ruth Franková spoke to the head of Prague Spring, Roman Bělor, and asked him what was on the menu for the 72nd edition of the event.
The Czech Republic does not have a stellar track record when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest: the country fielded entries for three years straight from 2007 to 2009, but then withdrew until 2015. In all, all but one in five entries failed to make it to the final. This Tuesday, jazz singer Martina Bárta will be hoping to change things, however with My Turn.
The Czech singer Martina Bárta is set to take part in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday night. The 29-year-old will be performing the song My Turn with four backing singers from the Czech vocal group Skety. If Bárta is successful, she will go through to the final on Saturday night. No Czech singer has ever won the Eurovision.
Jana Koubková is one of the country’s most versatile artists – first and foremost a Czech jazz singer, she moves effortlessly among blues and swing, through mainstream, bebop, jazz-rock, free jazz, ethno and fusion. Her latest CD –I Just Keep Walking – is a collection of twelve songs across different genres.
David Dorůžka is one of the Czech Republic’s best jazz musicians. The guitarist studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later spent time in New York and Paris. A few months ago he released his latest album, Autumn Tales. Our tour of “David Dorůžka’s Prague” begins at the Branické skály, a rocky outcrop overlooking the Vltava close to where the 37-year-old was raised in a musical household: his grandfather was the jazz expert and writer Lubomír Dorůžka, while his father Petr is a well-known music journalist.
An exhibition mapping the 60-year-long career of Czech pop idol Karel Gott will be on display on Prague’s embankment during the summer. The show, entitled “Gott, My Life” will be launched on June 8 a on a boat moored near the railway bridge at Rašínovo nábřeží. Co-organised by the National Museum, the exhibition will run until the end of September.
Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša was recently appointed one of the two principal guest conductors at London's Philharmonia Orchestra. Simultaneously, Jakub Hrůša is the Chief Conductor of Bamberg Symphony, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. I contacted him by phone in Paris, where he is currently on tour and first asked him when he became involved with music:
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