Barrel organ players and street artists from the Czech Republic and beyond gathered in Prague earlier this month for the annual festival Flašinet žije! (The barrel organ is alive!), organised by the National Museum. I went along to talk to some of the organ grinders to learn more about the history of the mechanical instrument and their passion for it.
Czech piano maker Petrof has had its most profitable year since the global
financial crisis, earning more than 12.5 million crowns in 2018.
Petrof said 90 percent of its sales come from abroad, with its pianos sold in 65 countries worldwide, including China, which has become its largest market. Domestic sales grew 55% compared to the previous year.
The Hradec Králové-based company has been making pianos since 1864. Petrof said it hired another 50 employees in 2018 to meet demand.
Whether it is through the Entry of the Gladiators or the Florentine March, the music of 19th century composer Julius Fučík is known across the world. Although a prolific composer, with over 400 marches, polkas, and waltzes to his name, Fučík is relatively little known in his home country today. Perhaps partly, because of the fame of his nephew and namesake, who became a communist resistance icon during World War Two. In this Sunday Music Show we explore some of his most popular tracks.
A unique festival dedicated to Gustav Mahler and later Jewish composers interned by Nazi Germany in a north Bohemian ghetto gets underway this Sunday. Organised by the Eternal Hope foundation and the Terezín Composers’ Institute, the aim is to celebrate the work of brilliant composers whose lives were cut tragically short.
Jan Špidlen is the fourth generation of his family to work as a master violin maker. What are some of the secrets to crafting top class violins? And how has the industry changed in the last few decades? I discussed those questions with Špidlen surrounded by an array of traditional tools at his Prague centre workshop. But I began by asking him about the first violin he ever produced?
The 20th annual Špilberk International Music Festival gets underway on
Wednesday evening with a ‘Romantic Carnival’ performed by the Brno
Philharmonic. The open-air festival, held in the courtyard of the city’s
iconic Špilberk Castle, lasts until August 22nd.
On Thursday, the acclaimed New York band The Klezmatics will be performing traditional Jewish folk music with a modern twist. Next Wednesday, the festival pays tribute to the late director Miloš Forman, featuring music from his films, including Valmont, Loves of a Blonde, Amadeus and Hair.
The Špilberk festival closes with a joint concert of the host Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and Janoska Ensemble of Slovak and Austrian musicians.
The Moravian metropolis is hosting the 28th International Guitar Festival
Brno featuring flamenco, jazz as well as classical music.
The week-long festival offers visitors seven concerts as well as masterclasses by leading guitarists and a competition for talented musicians.
The main competition prize is a guitar by Masaki Sakurai.
Among this years’ participants are David Carmon, Ana Latorre, Maria Linnemann, Sieggfried Steingolder, Paul Galbraith, Nikita Koshkin and Marco Battaglia.
Czech award-winning singer and songwriter Lenka Dusilová has launched a new project aimed at raising funds to repair dilapidated historical landmarks in the former Sudetenland in north and west Bohemia. The four-part music and visual show, called MONUMENT / UM, features video-mapping by VJ Aeldryn. The second part of the series took place this Saturday in the medieval castle Haunštejn in Ostrov nad Ohří.
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