I first met John Tregellas just after the Velvet Revolution, when we both started working for Radio Prague at a time of huge changes in Czech society. At the time neither of us suspected that nearly two decades later we would both still be here. These days, John, who grew up in the English county of Devon, runs a successful business organizing tours in Central Europe for choirs and orchestras from all over the world. Speaking near perfect Czech, he says that he now feels every bit at home in Prague as he does in his native Britain. I went to see
A new classical music festival entitled Radio Autumn will take place in September, the director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra Jan Simon said on Thursday. Mr Simon said audiences were used to attending concerts at that time of year during the Prague Autumn festival, which no longer exists. Radio Autumn will be largely financed by the former main sponsor of Prague Autumn and will receive no funding from the Prague authorities or the culture ministry.
The Jonathan Crossley Band is what you get when you ask two Czechs and three South Africans to make a mixture of rock and jazz. The outcome is being warmly received by crowds from Prague to Pretoria. Since they formed a year and a half ago, the group has toured Europe, Africa and beyond and, on a recent trip to Johannesburg - part funded by the Czech Foreign Ministry - the band recorded its first album, called ‘Got Funk, Will Travel’.
The Plastic People of the Universe are known around the world for their refusal to comply with the Czechoslovak communist authorities throughout the 1970s and 1980s - and their particular brand of Czech psychedelic rock as well. In recent years, former band member Ivan Bierhanzl and filmmaker Keith Jones have embarked upon an ambitious project to sort through the hours and hours of historic footage of the group to make a series of DVDs dedicated to the ‘Plastici’, but not, necessarily, as you know them.
Finnish rock group Apocalyptica have threatened legal action against a fringe Czech party who set a call for a ‘final solution’ to Europe’s ‘gypsy question’ to their music in a European election campaign advert. On Monday, a spokesperson for the group’s record label said that Apocalyptica were considering filing a complaint in the next couple of days. The far-right National Party used one of the group’s songs without permission on an advert which was subsequently pulled from Czech public television last week. In a statement, the band stressed their support for ethnic minorities, human rights and the European Union.
The Catalonian musician Jordi Savall has been a major force in the promotion of early music for some forty years now and has been the key figure in bringing some ancient instruments out of the museum and back to the stage, particularly the viola da gamba. One of the star performers of this year’s Prague Spring International Music Festival, Mr Savall and his three ensembles have recorded well over a hundred records and scored a number of films, including the acclaimed 1995 film All the Mornings of the World, which won him a César award, the French
British pop group Simply Red will perform in Prague on Sunday – part of a tour which singer Mick Hucknall has said will be the band’s last. Simply Red have performed together for 25 years, with hits like Holding Back the Years, A New Flame and the new single Go Now. Czech pop group Monkey Business will open Sunday’s concert.
The Janáček’s May International Music Festival gets underway in Ostrava on Wednesday evening. The north Moravian city is the centre of the 34th Janáček’s May festival, which also takes place in six other towns in the region over a period of three weeks. The focus this year is on female vocalists. The great Czech composer Leoš Janáček was a native of the north Moravian region and died in Ostrava in 1928.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
Czech Republic bracing for wind storm Sabine
Ron Perlman: Cinema is a much bigger art-form than superhero movies represent
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery