Part of a 100-page personal report on the Charter 77 period written by Václav Havel is set for publication on Friday as part of events marking the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Charter 77 protest document. After being lost for many decades, the valuable text was recently discovered in the papers of another leading Chartist and friend of Havel’s, the late Zdeněk Urbánek. Michael Žantovský is the director of the Václav Havel Library, which is issuing the facsimile of the major find. He told me more about it.
Pioneers and Robots is the title of a new book focusing on the golden era of Czechoslovak illustration, which was recently released by the Paseka publishing house. Written by two graphic artists, the book offers an in-depth account of the development of visual arts in Czechoslovakia after the Communist takeover in 1948.
Václav Havel is probably the single most important figure in modern Czech history. Havel was born here in Prague and spent virtually his entire life in the capital. In this programme we will visit a number of spots in the city closely associated with the playwright, dissident and president. And for that we absolutely couldn’t have a better guide than the architect and writer Zdeněk Lukeš, who served under Havel at Prague Castle in the 1990s and in 2016 brought out the excellent guidebook Václav Havel’s Prague.
Friday night will see the premiere of a new episode of Kancelář Blaník or Blaník Office, a hugely popular political comedy series now beginning its fourth season. Broadcast on the online TV channel Stream.cz since April 2014, the show has become one of the hits contributing to the increasing popularity of internet-only television in the Czech Republic.
The Czech art market saw another record-breaking year in 2016. Although final data for the past year are not yet available, it is clear that the overall turnover at Czech auction houses will exceed one billion crowns. The favorable result was affected by a number of record-breaking sales both at Czech auctions and abroad. A painting by František Kupka broke the Czech art auction record, selling for 62 million crowns (around 2.29 million euros). Another painting by the same artist also set an international record, when it sold in Sweden for nearly
In today’s special Christmas edition of Sunday music show, we’ll be listening a live recording of a concert featuring the Moravian folk rock band Hradišťan and Spirituál kvintet, a band playing mostly American spiritual and gospel music. The album, entitled Christmas Concert, brings a mixture of spiritual, secular, classical and folk songs from across the centuries and regions, including early Czech music, songs by Czech baroque composer Adam Michna z Otradovic or Bohuslav Martinů as well as traditional American spirituals, such as such as What
Jakub Jan Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass is undoubtedly one of the symbols of Czech Christmas, along with fried carp and Christmas cookies. Composed by a small-town teacher in 1796, the pastoral mass has become the most popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written. At this time of the year it resounds in churches and concert halls across the country, but also beyond its borders. Recently, the Czech Christmas Mass premiered in Tokyo.
The legendary Fišer bookstore in Kaprova Street near the Old Town Square, which has been selling books since the 1930s, is closing down. Despite a petition with over 3,500 signatures against its closure, the owner of the space refused to extend its lease. Dozens of fans and faithful customers gathered in the bookstore on Wednesday night to say their last goodbye.
Tři oříšky pro Popelku, which literally translates as Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella, is the most popular Czech movie fairytale, watched every Christmas by all generations. Now Václav Vorlíček’s 1973 film has got a new international release, coming out as Three Wishes for Cinderella in a restored version with new subtitles and expert essays on the Second Run DVD imprint. The London company has reissued many modern Czech classics, including Marketa Lazarová by František Vláčil and Ivan Passer’s Intimate Lighting. On the phone from the UK, Second
Sunday was the fifth anniversary of the death of Václav Havel, the Czech dissident who led the Velvet Revolution and went on to spend nearly 13 years as president. But before he became a politician, Havel was, of course, a playwright, and it is just his literary work that is the focus of the book Reading Václav Havel by David S. Danaher, a Slavic Studies expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When he visited our studios recently, we discussed, among other things, Havel’s legacy and relevance today. But I first asked Danaher what had led