The Jewish Museum in Prague is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, with a year-long programme of concerts, theatre performances and exhibitions. The events will celebrate the centuries of Jewish life in the Czech Lands, and the substantial cultural contribution of the Jewish community, a community which was decimated by the Holocaust. Rob Cameron spoke to Leo Pavlat, director of the Jewish Museum.
In this week's edition of the Arts, Rob Cameron pays a visit to the Prague studio of Slovak-born multi-instrumentalist Swetja. Born in the Slovak town of Banska Bystrice, Swetja is now based in the Czech Republic, where he composes and performs music on dozens of instruments. Swetja is best known for his work with an ancient Slovak wind instrument called the fujara, and in 2002 won first prize in the prestigious USA Songwriting Competition.
2006 is "The Year of Mozart". The composer was born 250 years ago, and numerous concerts, festivals, exhibitions and celebrations are due to kick-off around Europe, most notably in Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. Organisers here, in cooperation with City Hall, Czech Radio, and Czech TV, have put together an ambitious project including concerts, live broadcasts, films and exhibitions that will be held throughout the year. Read the details on Mozart Prague 2006.
If you are a lover of ballet, then on Wednesday evening Prague will be the place to be. The State Opera will be hosting a star-studded international ballet gala, featuring twenty top dancers from around the world. They include stars of the Paris Opera, the New York City Ballet, the Berlin State Opera, or the Bolshoi in Moscow, to name just a few, and most have never danced in Prague before. The gala will include classics like Tchaikovsky, but there will also be more modern and experimental work. David Vaughan spoke to the director of the project
This week the Czech Republic is marking the 20th anniversary of the death of poet Jaroslav Seifert, the only Czech Nobel Prize winner for literature. An ardent communist in his youth, Seifert later fell from favour with the post-war communist authorities and was blacklisted several times, finally after signing the Charter 77 human rights manifesto. When in 1984, Jaroslav Seifert was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the communist authorities begrudgingly published his works again, albeit in a censored version. But 16 years after the fall
A procession of Three Kings - a re-enactment of the journey of the Three Wise Men to visit the infant Jesus - annually marks the end of the Christmas festivities in Prague. The event, which has an eleven year tradition, was the brainchild of a Spanish priest and missionary who came to Prague 13 years ago. Priest Alberto Geraldo aimed to bring a spiritual note to a holiday that has become increasingly consumer driven and, at the same time, to help the needy.
This weekend, the halls of Prague's House of Culture in the district of Smichov will resonate with the sound of wind music. For the 10th year, some of Europe's best amateur music ensembles are flocking to the city to take part in the International Festival of Wind Orchestras. Join me and one of the organisers, Barbora Sladkova, as we discuss the festival and the tradition of wind orchestras in the Czech Republic.
For fifteen years now the Museum of Romany culture in the Czech Republic's second city of Brno has been mapping the rich, but sometimes tragic and often misunderstood history of the Romany minority here in the Czech lands. Today the Roma are Europe's largest minority, but their life and traditions remain little known to many Europeans. Also in the wake of the Holocaust, and with forced assimilation in the second half of the 20th century, many Roma themselves have lost contact with their roots and traditions. But as the museum shows, Roma have reason
The Czech Philharmonic is one of the world's finest orchestras. It has been around for an unbelievable 110 years - its first conductor being none other than the famous Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. The Czech Philharmonic are marking the anniversary with a special concert, held at exactly the same location as 110 years ago, its home, the Prague Rudolfinum concert hall, under the baton of chief-conductor Zdenek Macal.