The Václav Havel Library was initially set up in 2004 just after President Havel ended his final term of office. The idea was that it would become a focal point for Havel’s legacy, bringing together material connected with his life and work and with the principles that Havel embraced as playwright, dissident and president. But where does the library go now that Václav Havel has died? David Vaughan talks to Martin Palouš, who took over as director of the library just a few months before Havel’s death in December.
American jazz trumpet player Laco Deczi - born in Czechoslovakia – needs little introduction, especially for anyone familiar with the world of jazz. At 73, Deczi hasn’t let up one bit – most recently playing a month-long tour in his homeland. Despite a busy schedule, Laco took time off to come to Radio Prague’ studio; in this week’s Arts he discusses everything from life in New York to his spring tour.
In Sunday Music Show, you have a chance to follow the career of Petr Váša, one of the most original figures of the Czech musical scene. From his early days of avant-garde rock to his ‘physical poetry’, Petr Váša has explored some of the lesser known corners of popular music with his energetic, disquieting and sometimes rather eccentric creations.
It was almost two years ago that then-fresh graduate Nina Mainerová set out with a colleague to open a professional architectural studio. But soon after their launch, the bills piled up and they were forced to modify their plans. First, they began offering preparatory classes for students applying to university; then they extended their workshops to include drawing and painting.
March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and to mark the occasion organisers from Opona, a non-profit NGO, have helped put together an exhibition, screening and concert to take place on Wednesday afternoon and evening at Prague’s Lucerna. Several notable Czech artists, including Ester Kočičková Xindl X, and the Tap Tap are taking part.
Leoš Válka is one of the founders of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague’s Holešovice district, which in just a few years has become one of the most important institutions of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. Válka has a perhaps surprising background for such a significant figure in the Czech art world: for several years he ran a firm in Australia doing maintenance work on high-rise buildings.
This week's Sunday Music Show takes a well-earned look at Sylvie Bodorová, one of the main figures of Czech modern classical music for the last 30 years. Her compositions have been performed on every continent in that time, including Antarctica. She is one of few female composers whose work is a staple of classical musical festivals the world over and is featured on more than two dozen albums.
You will probably not have heard of Gross Sarne, Brande, Blechhammer or Schatzlar, but these are places that should be remembered. They were all Nazi slave labour camps in World War Two. The last on that list, Schatzlar, or Žacléř as it is known in Czech, was in what is now the Czech Republic, in the part of north-eastern Bohemia annexed by the German Reich in 1938. Few people in this country, even among the inhabitants of Žacléř itself, know that the camp even existed, but a new book should help to put that right. The daughter of one of the survivors
It’s not every film student that gets his premiere at the International film festival in Berlin, to be sure, but such was the fortune of Olmo Omerzu, a FAMU graduate from Ljubljana, Slovenia, and our guest in this week’s Arts. His graduate film called A Night Too Young (Příliš mladá noc) had its world premiere in the Forum section of the Berlinale, which generally selects highly original, highly provocative works. A Night Too Young is both of those things: a story of a party of three consternated adults, shared by two twelve-year-old boys, who have
Czechoslovakia’s communist authorities kept a tight control of all aspects of life, including the arts, and of course, rock music. Only officially sanctioned artists were allowed to perform publicly or record albums. But some people had the courage to defy the system and organize illegal concerts. In 1985, a group of rock fans in Brno staged an illegal concert by the legendary singer Nico whose recording, only now, is about to be released on vinyl.