Zdenek Macal was born 71 years ago in the Czech Republic's second city of Brno. He achieved success rapidly, first conducting the Czech Philharmonic in 1966 at the age of 30. With the Soviet invasion two years later he fled the country, but quickly found his feet abroad, serving as chief conductor of the Cologne Radio Orchestra and then beginning a hugely successful career in the United States. His time as musical director of the Milwaukee Symphony and the New Jersey Symphony, saw both orchestras blossom, with the maestro showing a good head for
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will reach a conclusion on Saturday night, with the presentation of the festival's Crystal Globe awards at the grand finale at the town's Thermal hotel. So, what films in competition at the 42nd Karlovy Vary look like the most likely contenders to take the prizes this year? Ian Willoughby has been there all week, and has the answer...
Prague's famous Charles Bridge celebrates its 650th anniversary on Sunday. One of the oldest and certainly one of the most beautiful bridges in Europe, this ancient artery across the Vltava river links Prague's Lesser Town with the Old Town on the right bank and was vital to the development of the Czech capital.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is in full swing in the west Bohemian town. By the time it ends on Saturday evening, thousands of mostly young viewers will have seen over 250 films. They will also have had the rare chance to see or even meet some of the makers of those pictures, with many actors and directors attending the screenings of their films, in some cases holding discussions with the audience.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the biggest cultural and social events in the Czech Republic. The 42nd Karlovy Vary got underway in the pretty spa town on Friday evening, with the Oscar-winning Hollywood star Renee Zellweger perhaps the biggest name ascending the red carpet at the Thermal hotel for the official opening. Ian Willoughby was at the glitzy ceremony. Radio Prague's Rosie Johnston spoke to him over the phone and begun by asking about the gala opening ceremony.
Czech-born Zuzana Brejcha is an Austrian filmmaker whose latest project "Gypsy Tears"( Romane Apsa)was screened at a Prague art cinema this week. The two-hour+ documentary was Brejcha's first outing as a director - after 25 years in editing - and she admits her project had a far greater impact on her life than she ever expected. Gypsy Tears is a complex portrait of several Romany families living in an extremely poor settlement in eastern Slovakia, where living conditions leave much to be desired.
The Canadian conductor Kerry Stratton has worked with several leading Czech orchestras and made numerous recordings of Czech classical music. He was recently honoured for his dedication to Czech music, when he received an award from the Czech Foreign Ministry. I spoke to Kerry Stratton at the awards ceremony, and first asked him how a Canadian came to be work with so many Czech orchestras.
What do the following have in common? An Australian film from 1906 called "The Story of the Kelly Gang". The South African court papers from case No. 253/1963 against "Nelson Mandela and others". And the Bayeux Tapestry. Can't guess? Well, they all feature on a UNESCO list of important historical documents, and for the first time, two entries from the Czech Republic have been added to that list.