Since January 2012, the Czech Center in Berlin has a new director: Monika Štěpánová, who previously headed the Czech Center in Bucharest and is a passionate supporter of documentary film making. This year also brings some other important changes for the center. In the fall, it will reopen its gates in a different location. The new premises are in the building of Berlin’s Czech embassy. It was just a few weeks after the death of late president Václav Havel shook the entire Czech nation that Monika Štěpánová started her new position. How did she experience
The 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicked off in the west Bohemian spa town on Friday. At the opening ceremony, the British actress Helen Mirren was honoured for her contribution to world cinema. The festival, which this year again features a Czech film in the main competition, will conclude next Sunday with the handing out of the Crystal Globe awards. Radio Prague’s former reporter, Ian Willoughby is at the festival, and we asked him for an account of the happenings so far.
Today’s guest in the Arts is Czech-German composer and conductor Rudolf Mazač, who heads a big band orchestra dedicated to the works of Stan Kenton and other jazz greats. In 2004, Rudi Mazač founded Jazzový most (or Jazz Bridge) a festival bringing together international musicians in selected towns and cities in the Czech Republic and Germany. The festival returns to Prague next month. In our interview Rudi talks about line up this year as well as the initial idea behind the long-running project.
Sunday Music this week is dedicated to Joan DeVee Dixon, pianist, organist and composer from Maryland in the US who performs mainly Czech and American music. Joan frequently tours the Czech Republic and performs at the annual American Spring music festival organized by the International Dvorak Society. She has moreover composed a Czech heritage mass for the Czech expat community in Spillville, parts of which you can hear in today’s show.
Any history of Czechoslovakia’s dissident movement in the 1970s will include more than a passing reference to the writer, editor and translator Paul Wilson. Originally from Canada, he came to the country in 1967, then in his twenties, and he was to stay for ten years, eventually being expelled in 1977 for associating with dissidents and the underground music scene. Paul Wilson was back in Prague last month for the launch of a collection of his essays about this country over the last three decades. He spoke to David Vaughan.
The Semafor theatre, one of the oldest continuous traditions of modern Czech entertainment, is still putting out new performances after 53 years of existence. The latest concoction of multi-genre comedy theatre is ‘Kam se poděla Valerie?’, or ‘Where Did Valerie Go?’, which has four pre-premieres this week and next, before the real premiere in September.
Joan DeVee Dixon, pianist, organist, composer and Professor of Music at Frostburg State University in Maryland was one of the star performers at this year’ American Spring music festival organized by the International Dvorak Society. Joan, five-time recipient of the prestigious Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, is a prized musician who gives concert tours the world over, but despite a packed schedule, she has returned over and over to the Czech Republic. Earlier this week she came to the studio to talk about her music,
In 1977, a mailman, a math analyst and an actor got together to make some rather strange and wonderful music. Jablkoň, as they called the band, started off playing gigs in places around Prague that didn’t insist on specific genres. As you’ll hear in today’s Sunday Music Show, Jablkoň’s music rather defies easy explanation; a brand of distinctive folk blended with jazz, rock and more that’s often called world music. Except when it isn’t…
The Broadway production of Once, a musical based on the successful 2006 film of the same name starring Irish and Czech musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, walked away the big winner at this year’s Tony Awards. The production clinched a total of eight awards including Best Direction of a Play and Best Musical.