Just a few years ago a young model and singer named Iva Frühlingova captured headlines in the Czech Republic when she released her first studio album titled Litvinov, at the age of just 21. A CD with a single song in Czech and the rest in French. Frühlingova - originally from northern Bohemia, spent most of her teenage years in France. But after some six years or so, she returned to the Czech Republic. Soon, she began going out with Richard Krajco, and actor and frontman for the popular Czech band Krystof. Theirs was a relationship heavily monitored
This month, most unusually, three new CDs are being released by three generations of the same very well-known Czech family. EF Burian died almost five decades ago, but a new collection of his works has just hit the shops. His son Jan Burian (53) has just brought out a new double album, as has his son Jiri. Jiri goes by the stage name Gregory Finn and leads a rock band called Southpaw. At a joint launch of all three CDs at Prague's Archa Theatre, he told me a little about his famous grandfather.
This week sees the grand opening of the 13th annual Febiofest film festival, a regular date in the diaries of the nation's film buffs. It starts in the capital Prague, before moving on to Moravia, stopping off in Brno, Olomouc and Ostrava, before returning to Bohemia for shows in Liberec, Jihlava and Pardubice. There are 284 films being shown in this year's festival in various categories, from an Andy Warhol retrospective to a panorama of Young European Cinema. I've been finding out more from festival spokesman Pavel Sladky.
On Tuesday, Prague city councillors officially approved plans for a new pavilion to be built just within Prague's Stromovka Park. An ultra-modern structure, the building has been planned for one reason: to house a famous series of paintings created by Czech art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha, the Slav Epic. Completed in 1928, the series celebrates the mythical beginnings and legendary milestones in Slav history. Remarkably, until now the series has lacked a 'permanent' home. That will now change.
In today's One on One Jan's guest is Ewan McLaren, a Canadian who has lived in the Czech Republic since 1990. For sixteen years Ewan - trained professionally in the theatre - has worked as an actor, director, and finally producer - with such companies as Prague's Studio Ypsilon and the cutting-edge Alfred ve Dvore - The Alfred in the Courtyard Theater. In the interview, Ewan discusses not only his approach to stage performance in the Czech Republic but also his overall fascination with Czech culture. Ewan McLaren - One on One.
We are joined by two writers, Milan Kocourek and Zuzana Slobodova, to talk about their new book "Cesko-slovenska Britanie" - Czech and Slovak Britain. This is a fascinating book that profiles 22 Czechs and Slovaks, who live in Britain or have a connection with Britain, and a further 10 British people who have in some way a close link with the Czech and Slovak nations.
The Czech Republic's Design Centrum - located in Brno as well as Prague - has long promoted excellence in Czech design, issuing awards recognising new talent and running a number of programmes helping new designers break into the business. Along with those activities, the centre also regularly exhibits both professional as well as student work. A show now on at the centre highlights work by university students from the Fine Arts Academy in Bratislava in neighbouring Slovakia.
On Thursday evening, the closing ceremonies of Prague's One World documentary film festival honoured Swiss director Eric Bergkraut's film, "Coca: The Dove from Chechnya" with the Rudolf Vrba Award, for the best film in the category of Right to Know. Now in its 8th year, this year the One World festival screened 118 films from 40 different countries. During the festival Eric Bergkraut spoke to me about his film, and why he chose to feature Chechnya in his latest documentary.
The Czech Republic's art and antique auction houses certainly have a season to look forward to if this year's opening auction at the Dorotheum auction house in Prague is anything to go by. Three records were broken on Saturday. Items valued at 14 million crowns (a little over half a million US dollars) were sold for 22 million (around 900,000 US dollars), the best turnover that the country's established houses have ever witnessed.