A plaque will be unveiled in Prague to the Czech composer Jaromir Weinberger on the fiftieth anniversary of his death on August 8, 1967. Jaromir Weinberger is best known for his opera Švanda Dudák (Shvanda the Bagpiper). It premiered in Prague in 1929 and made him famous overnight. Švanda Dudák was the first Czech opera since Bedřich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride to be widely performed internationally. It was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1931 and the Polka and Fugue from the opera soon became a popular concert piece. Besides operas his works include orchestral and chamber music. Weinberger fled to the US in 1939 where he spent the rest of his life.
Brutal Assault, a four-day heavy metal festival held annually at an hisotric fortress complex known as Josefov in the area of Náchod, has sold out. Organisers made the announcement on Monday warning that no additional tickets would be available on-site. Last year, some 18,000 people, many of them from neighbouring Poland, attended the hard rock music festival. This year, Polish and Czech police will be cooperating to keep the peace; many roads of Josefov will be closed off to make room for parking. Brutal Assault will see some 110 acts including Czech black metal band Master’s Hammer.
Marta Kubišová is most famous for the heartrending Modlitba pro Martu (A Prayer for Marta), which became a symbol of opposition to the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia that began in 1968. But there is far more to her oeuvre. Prior to being banned for two decades, Kubišová – one of country’s top pop stars – recorded a great deal of music that reflected the spirit of the age, featuring groovy organ, fuzz guitar, cool brass, even sitar, all topped off with her belting soul voice.
The annual international music festival Colours of Ostrava, one of the biggest events of its kind in Central Europe, kicks off in the North Moravian city on Wednesday night. Among the biggest highlights of this year’s edition is the US rock band Imagine Dragons or the nine Grammy awards winner Norah Jones.
One of the biggest events of its kind in the Czech Republic, the Colours of Ostrava music festival gets underway in the north Moravian city on Wednesday. The four-day event will this year be headlined by such artists as Norah Jones, Jamiriquai and Midnight Oil. The festival, which first took place in 2002, is held at a former industrial site in Ostrava’s Vítkovice district.
The Czechoslovak music scene in the 1960s, 70s and 80s was swept by world-famous hits, which were taken over by local musicians, such as Karel Gott or Helena Vondráčková. In many cases, the audiences didn’t even know they were listening to cover versions, not being acquainted with what was going on Beyond the Iron Curtain. Here is a selection of some of the best-known Czech covers of world hits, such as those by the Beatles, Abba and Lou Reed.
Yvonne Přenosilová is a singer and radio personality whose successful music career was cut off by the 1968 Russian-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, but who remains a well-known name on the Czech music scene to this day. Whenever she appears on stage the public demands its favourite hits – Ron slzy – Shed tears and Boty proti lásce – Shoes against love. Přenosilová herself says her own favourite is Noční modlitba – Night Prayer.
The Czech Republic on Thursday marked the 602nd anniversary of the burning at stake of reformer priest Jan Hus with numerous events highlighting his legacy. Masses were celebrated around the country, among others in Jan Hus’ birthplace Husinec and at Bethlehem chapel in Prague, where the reformer priest preached. The chapel had a new bell cast in Hus’ memory on the 600th anniversary of his martyr’s death at the stake and a special installation was unveiled on the side wall of the chapel –a sign reading For the Truth which can only be seen in sunny weather –a reminder of the fact that the truth is sometimes hidden. The events linked to the anniversary included theatre performances, debates, music concerts and film screenings dedicated to the reformer priest.
Thousands of people descended on the Velehrad pilgrimage site to attend celebrations marking the 1153th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia to spread the Christian faith and lay the foundations of literacy with the Glagolitic alphabet. The celebrations opened on Tuesday evening with a charity concert within the Days of People of Goodwill. On Wednesday they culminated with a divine mass at the Velehrad Basilica celebrated by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The events at Velehrad this year include an exhibition of Byzantine icons by Bulgarian artist Stefka Nikolova, lectures and public debates.
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