In this week’s Sunday Music show we present the outstanding Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček who recently won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition for young musicians in Brussels with a breath-taking performance of Sergei Rachmaninov. A child prodigy, Vondráček gave his first concert at the age of four, went on his first international tour at the age of 10 and performed in Carnegie Hall at sixteen. Today he is a recognized musician who has given over a thousand concerts in 27 countries around the world.
The London Czech Centre was instrumental in a recent project highlighting the industrial and cultural heritage of Ostrava in the east of the country. Entitled Stories from Ostrava – From Industry to Culture, it includes a short film called D.O.V by two students of architecture and an exhibition of photographs by photographer Viktor Kolář. Together, the present a unique glimpse for British audiences into another side of the Czech Republic – one beyond the medieval bridge and castle of the Czech capital.
The Dancing House Gallery in Prague has just opened an exhibition called Retro of the 70s and 80s, depicting the way of life of the common people and the communist elite in the last two decades of communism. The exhibition is extremely realistic – giving visitors a powerful throwback as they walk into the typical 70’s living room, shop or holiday scene. I went along and was given a tour by one of the organizers, Nikola Lörinczová.
If you’re in Prague on Thursday night and see a lot of serious discussions and gesticulations, it might not just be about Czech football chances in Euro 2016. There is a French connection though, and the Czech capital is in fact hosting its first ever philosophy night with events and discussions planned until the very early hours.
The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, is to declare September 28 to be “Václav Havel Day”, according to the Czech Consulate in the American city. Numerous events are to surround the roughly three-day commemoration, including performances of Havel’s plays and the unveiling of a bust of the late Czech president.
Churches and other religious sites across the Czech Republic will open their doors to the public this weekend for the annual Night of Open Churches festival. The event, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, offers a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of places which are usually closed to the general public. This year, you can board a special ‘spiritual tram’ or try your hand at ringing a church bell as part of the festival offer.
This Saturday a Czech artist living in the UK is set to revive an ancient British custom in a suburb of Birmingham. Tereza Bušková will lead hundreds of people in “clipping the church”, which centres on the formation of an outward-facing ring around a place of worship. Bušková will add a Czech flavour to the event, decorating the church with ornate Bohemian pastries that will also be carried in a procession. On the line from England, the artist discussed the unusual project.
Most tourists visiting the Czech capital converge on just a few spots in the city, crowding the streets along the so-called Royal Route that leads from through the Old Town Square to Charles Bridge – missing out on many other interesting places that Prague has to offer. Now, city councillors from the district Prague 7 have decided to change that. Last week they announced their plan to become the city’s new cultural district with an alternative to the Royal Route.