In this special programme, we meet the Academy Award-winning musician Markéta Irglová and, for an unusual perspective on her success, her father, Marek Irgl. As well as the impact of her Oscar win in 2008, the subjects discussed include Markéta’s beginnings in music, how bandmate and ex Glen Hansard has influenced her career, the writing of “Falling Slowly”, her new solo project, and distance and family ties.
A few days ago David Vaughan went to meet the Slavíčci – or Nightingales – one of Prague’s best-known children’s choirs. He talked to members of the choir about the rich tradition of Czech Christmas music, about why you might find yourself sharing your bath with a carp in the days before Christmas Eve, and what it’s like to sing beneath the towering Gothic vaults of Saint Vitus’ Cathedral. And, of course, the choir also brings us some of the best loved Czech carols, recorded especially for Radio Prague. That and more, in Radio Prague’s special Christmas
The late Václav Havel is now being remembered as a great statesman and human rights advocate. But he was also a prominent literary figure. In fact, before he became an opposition leader in communist Czechoslovakia, he was already established playwright whose plays appeared on stages worldwide. Václav Havel’s literary agent Jitka Sloupová, from the Aura Pont agency, talks about what inspired his dramas that quickly gained acclaim both at home and abroad.
What happens when five women poets writing in five different languages meet on the edge of a Hungarian lake? As we find out now in Czech Books, the experience can offer rich insights into what different languages and cultures have in common, and where they differ. David Vaughan talks to the poet Kateřina Rudčenková.
It has been a good year for Czech jazz legend Emil Viklický, beginning with a Presidential Medal of Merit and ending with the release of two new albums, one in Germany called “Spring Awakening” and another in Japan, where he plays regularly, called Kafka on the Shore, a Tribute to Haruki Murakami. In the first part of a wide-ranging interview with the pianist we began by talking about his English, which he told me he originally picked up from his black fellow musicians in the 1970…
Back in the mid 1990s Tomáš Zilvar quickly moved from putting together DIY fanzines to publishing glossy titles like Tripmag and XMAG, magazines that were focused on electronic music at a time when that genre was really taking off among young Czechs. Today Zilvar, who is still in his early 30s, has two jobs: running the Prague office of the hip New York-based magazine and website Vice; and offering digitalisation services to Czech media outlets and authors keen to enter the age of e-readers.
In today’s Sunday Music Show we will feature the greatest hits by the Czech pop-music composer Karel Mareš who died last month at the age of 84. A composer, lyricists, pianist, screenplay writer, theatre and film director, theatre manager as well as an occasional actor, this inconspicuous “man at the back” had a significant influence on the development of Czech popular music of the 1960s.