Karlovy Vary’s Hotel Thermal was recently, as it regularly is, the backdrop for Central Europe’s biggest film festival. The complex was designed, outside and in, specifically for the film festival in the West Bohemian spa town. But the controversial 1970s architectural work of the husband and wife team of Vladimír Machonin and Věra Machoninová is showing its age with its owner, the state, blowing hot and cold about its future. That has prompted the granddaughter and grandson of the architects to step in.
Czech organist Pavel Svoboda is among the winners of this years’ International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition Leipzig, Germany, one of the most prestigious events of its kind. The 28-year-old musician succeeded in competition with 27 organists from around the world and is the first Czech to win the competition in 36 years. RF has more:
Thousands of fans of extreme metal will be flocking to the Czech Republic in just a few weeks’ time for the annual Brutal Assault music festival. Established in 1996 as a small show with mainly Czech and Slovak bands, the festival gradually evolved into one of the major events of its kind, with nearly 18,000 visitors coming to last year’s 20th edition. This August, the Brutal Assault festival will again take place at an old Army Fortress in Josefov, some 130 kilometres east of Prague. Over the course of four days the festival will showcase over
For the last decade the independent label Starcastic has been releasing much of the best Czech and Slovak alternative music, including in recent times from the likes of Please the Trees, Bonus and Mayen. The man behind the label is Slovak-born Marek Čulen, a well-known figure on the Prague music scene. Ahead of events celebrating Starcastic’s 10th anniversary, I asked Čulen what had led him to establish the label back in the mid-2000s.
The annual International Festival of Music gets under way on Friday in the picturesque south Bohemian town of Český Krumlov. Over the next three weeks, people will have the chance to see some of the biggest stars of classical and jazz music, including Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez or flamenco guitarist Carlos Piñana. The festival, now in its 25th year, will take place in several venues around the town, including its magnificent chateau.
The Czech Centre in Prague is currently hosting a seminar and workshop for the winners of this year’s Susanna Roth Translating Competition. Organised by Czech Centres around Europe in cooperation with the Literary Section of the Arts and Theatre Institute, the competition is open to young translators up to 40 years of age who haven’t yet published a complete work of literature. This year, they were required to translate an extract from a novel by Anna Bolavá, called Do Tmy or Into the Dark. I caught up with one of the winners, Paddy Phillips.
The 51st edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is slowly drawing to a close, with the eight-day event due to climax with a glitzy awards ceremony on Saturday evening. What films are being tipped for the top prizes at the country’s biggest film event? And how has this year’s Karlovy Vary been in general? I put those questions to Ian Willoughby, who is at the festival in West Bohemia.