The new pipe organ for St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague resounded for the first time on Monday in a workshop near Barcelona, in Spain, where the instrument is being built. The pipe organ was commissioned by the Catholic Church and part of its cost, estimated at 80 million crowns, was raised in a public collection.
Band leader Ondřej Havelka, with a look straight out of Jeeves and Wooster, has just reached the age of 65. The singer, actor (he has appeared in several movies), theatre, opera and music video director and tap dancer is the most recognizable proponent of interwar jazz in the Czech Republic and has a repertoire jammed with both domestic and English-language classics. He started out in the mid-1970s with the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra before in 1995 launching a new group, Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers, with whom he continues to regularly
Flags are being flown at half-mast in the Czech Republic and public events have been toned down as Czechs observe a day of mourning for the late pop idol Karel Gott. The singer is being given a funeral with state honours, including a funeral mass at St. Vitus Cathedral, which is for invited guests only. Due to overwhelming interest from the public, people can watch the funeral mass on big screens placed outside the cathedral and Czech Television and Czech Radio will be broadcasting the event live. Karel Gott died on October 1st at the age of 80,
People from all corners of the country are streaming to Prague to pay their last respects to the deceased Czech pop legend Karel Gott, who died of leukaemia last week. Around 2pm, around 14,000 thousand passed by his coffin on public display at Žofín Palace, by mid-day Friday. The hugely popular singer is to receive a funeral with state honours, as Czechs observe a day of mourning on Saturday.
The former political regime in Czechoslovakia deemed much of Western culture “damaging” and “ideologically subversive”, but authorities struggled in particular to control the flood of foreign rock ’n’ roll and pop music. State cultural agencies and censors rarely allowed Western bands to perform here or even play their music on the airwaves. But unofficial channels filled the demand – through illegal imports, home-copying networks and ‘magnetizdat’ – do-it-yourself music. At the same time, state authorities sanctioned Western music when sung by Czech
The seventh Signal festival will again bring video mapping and light installations to the streets of Prague, every night from Thursday to Sunday. This year’s edition promises something special in the form of a piece by famous architect Eva Jiřičná, though it will also be overlapping with events linked to the funeral of singer Karel Gott. I discussed all that with Signal founder Martin Pošta, but first asked him about this year’s theme, which is revolution.
Architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimír Machonin designed some of the Czech Republic’s most distinctive modern buildings, including Prague’s Kotva department store and Hotel Thermal in Karlovy Vary. The couple’s legacy is being kept alive today by their granddaughter Marie Kordovská, who campaigns for Thermal in particular to receive sensitive treatment. The Machonins’ architecture is frequently described as Brutalist and when we met, at Kotva, I asked Kordovská if there was anything about their work that made it stand out from the genre, which
Karel Gott, the undisputed king of Czech pop music, passed away this week at the age of 80. Over the course of a career spanning nearly six decades, the celebrated showman sold tens of million of albums. Known as the “Golden Voice of Prague” at home, he was voted the country's most popular singer a record 42 times. He also had legions of fans across Europe, especially in Russia and Germany, where he was known as “The Bohemian nightingale”. We take a look back at his extraordinary musical legacy.
The popularity of disaster movies shows how people are fascinated by catastrophes, natural and otherwise. Now there’s a permanent exhibition by the City of Prague Museum called “Prague on Fire” which gives visitors a multimedia experience of the history of the city’s devastating fires. It’s located in a 17th century water tower officially called the “New Mill Water Tower” though of course it’s not new anymore.