Karel Kryl is considered by many to be the greatest Czech folk singer ever to have lived. He was the voice of a generation, with this song - ‘Bratříčku, zavírej vrátka’ - becoming an anthem of protest against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Kryl, who died 15 years ago this week, continues to enjoy a massive popularity in this country. One of the first people to spot his talent was DJ and music critic Jiří Černý:
My guest for today’s One on One is violin virtuoso Václav Hudeček. Originally a child prodigy, Hudeček played London’s Royal Albert Hall when just fifteen years of age. In the 1960s, Hudeček became something of a violin-playing sex-symbol, selling out stadiums all over Czechoslovakia. In more recent years, he has set up a summer violin academy to encourage young talent in Luhačovice. He is currently touring the world as part of the Czech EU presidency, presenting Czech music and culture abroad. When I met him recently, I asked him how he got involved
This week Czech Books talks to a popular bookman about town, Miroslav Peraica. Miroslav is originally from Croatia but has worked in the book trade in Prague for well over a decade and is now involved in running three of the city's English language bookshops. Over the years his interest in literature has led him to become involved in a variety, or as he puts it, a "mosaic", of cultural ventures, from organising film shows, hosting lectures, editing a literary magazine, and, most recently, setting up a publishing house to translate contemporary
Prague is currently hosting an exhibition reflecting the impact of Tibet’s culture on the rest of the world, particularly on the Czech Republic. The exhibition called Tibet in our mind shows traditional Tibetan art as well as Tibet-inspired works by Czech artists. We asked the exhibition’s curator Zuzana Ondomišiová to tell us what’s on display and why Czechs are so fascinated by all things Tibetan.
These are fine times for the arts in Prague. The Czech capital is receiving a great deal of attention thanks to the EU presidency, and one of the ways the Prague municipal government is availing itself of the opportunity is by taking various art projects under its wing. Indeed, there are so many things vying for notice, from comic book exhibits to Andy Warhol’s motion pictures, that one tends to lose track of them all. The project we're looking at today however is bringing something slightly different to Prague’s gothic squares and murky alleys:
How do you imagine the soundtrack to an exhibition called ‘Decadence’ would sound? Czech musicians Monika Načeva and David Cajthaml were asked to create just that – a piece of modern music to accompany an exhibit dedicated to the excesses of the fin de siecle. So what did they do? They produced an 18-minute reworking of Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘la decadanse’. The vinyl was launched in Prague on Tuesday, Rosie Johnston was there:
Jan Novák left Kolín in Communist Czechoslovakia a teenager in 1969. He emigrated with his parents to Chicago, where he studied and started to chronicle Czech life in the Windy City. In more recent years he has written screenplays for Miloš Forman, and a prize-winning fictional biography of fellow Czech-Americans, Josef and Ctirad Mašín. He is settled back in Prague for the medium-term teaching at the city’s film school, FAMU. When I met him in a café by the banks of the Vltava recently, I started by asking him about his first spell in this country,