Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma opened the eighth annual Dvořák Prague international music festival at Prague’s Rudolfinum on Monday night. The world renowned musician, accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with Jiří Bělohlávek at the helm, received a standing ovation for his performance of Dvořák’s famous B minor cello concerto. We spoke to the head of artistic planning for the festival, Guy Borg, about this year’s event.
There are few sports as physically and psychologically demanding as mountaineering, requiring remarkable commitment, readiness, and experience. In mountain climbing, Radek Jaroš is a legend, the only Czech who has completed the Crown of the Himalayas: conquering all 14 of the world’s tallest peaks – all above 8,000 metres.
Many of those who grew up in the late 1970s and 1980s in the West well remember the golden age of arcade video games: 8-bit and later 16-bit graphics and excellent sound that was the apex of electronic gaming and game design then. Since 2011, anyone in the Czech Republic wishing to experience what it was like can do so easily - at the the Arcade Museum in Červený Újezd just outside of Prague.
John Mucha is the grandson of the famous Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha and president of the Alphonse Mucha Foundation. Last week he visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his latest project –a Mucha exhibition at the Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth and ambitious plans to open a Mucha museum in Paris. I first asked him to tell us more about the exhibition at Russell-Cotes.
Zdeněk Lyčka has just been made acting director of the Czech Centres, a network of institutes that promote Czech culture on the international stage. Mr. Lyčka, who is 57, himself headed the Czech Centre in Stockholm at the end of the 1990s and has also served as Czech ambassador to Denmark. When we spoke, I asked him how much independence the 22 Czech Centres around the world enjoy – do they have to coordinate every step with Prague, or do they have a lot of room to do their own thing?
Prague dance outfit Ohm Square have been around since the mid-1990s when they made a splash as purveyors or live drum’n’bass and breakbeat and featured on some of the era’s most memorable Czech movie soundtracks. Last year the group, now slimmed down to the duo of Charlie One (Charlotte Fairman) and Jan 2 (Jan Čechtický), returned after a long absence with the LP A Curious Place Between Souls and Atoms on leading local indie label Starcastic.
In this week’s Czech Life my guest is Pavlína O’Toole, the Czech-American author of a new book called Čas robinsonů. The novel the story of an expatriate in the US struggling to escape domestic violence. A website of the same name also exists to help people trapped in abusive and dangerous relationships, to try and show that, with courage, there is a way out.