Fans of contemporary art should not miss an exhibition of paintings currently on show at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava. An exhibition titled Disruptive Imagination, and subtitled Making Windows Where There Were Once Walls, shows 36 paintings by leading European contemporary artists, among them Jonathan Wateridge, Martin Eder, Tim Eitel, Robert Fekete, Michael Kunze, or Justin Mortimer.
The latest album of Martinů’s compositions by one of the Czech Republic’s leading chamber ensembles, the Smetana Trio, has received nomination for a prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award. The album, featuring the complete piano trios by Bohuslav Martinů, was released on the Supraphon label last year and has already been chosen as the magazine’s Disc of the Month in June 2016. Smetana Trio was founded back in 1936 and currently comprises pianist Jitka Čechová, violinist Jiří Vodička and cellist Jan Páleníček.
In a Europe of growing nationalism, Marie Iljašenko is a young Czech poet who defies categorization. She was born in Kiev into a family with both Ukrainian and Polish roots, but has lived in the Czech Republic since she was nine. Her poetry is in Czech, but her writing is filled with the rich influences of the languages, experiences and cultures that form part of her identity. In Czech Books, Marie Iljašenko talks to David Vaughan about the bonds between her life and work.
A new biopic exploring aspects of the life of Jan Masaryk will be the most keenly anticipated Czech-produced film at this year’s Berlinale, which gets underway in the German capital on Thursday. A Prominent Patient depicts the famous politician and diplomat at a low point as the clouds of World War II draw near.
A freshly published Czech novel reimagines episodes from the life of Jan Antonín Baťa, a Moravian business tycoon who built four cities in Brazil after being forced to flee from his native country. Markéta Pilátová’s book is based on an extensive family archive – and grew in part out of a friendship with the magnate’s granddaughter.
Antonín Dvořák’s most famous opera Rusalka is back on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The highly anticipated production of the “lyric fairy tale” about a water nymph, who wishes to become a human in order to be loved by a young prince, is only the second in the history of the Metropolitan Opera. RF has more in today’s edition of In Focus.
Lazer Viking and Sabrehart’s exuberant joint seven-track LP Flesh Cadillac was one of the more intriguing local releases of 2016. Lazer Viking is the stage name of Jakub Kaifosz, who is also in the band Wild Tides, DJs on Radio Wave and is an editor at Vice magazine. Sabrehart, meanwhile, is Prague-based English musician, composer and producer Stephen Abrehart. Polished and poppy but idiosyncratic and characterful, the collaborators’ compelling Flesh Cadillac – which perhaps surprisingly came out on BiggBoss, the Czech Republic’s premiere hip hop
Events marking the life and work of the outstanding Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal are taking place around the country on the 20th anniversary of his death. The widely-respected Czech author, whose books have been translated into 28 languages, is being recalled in exhibitions, discussions, film and TV screenings.
A new exhibition entitled ‘Fear of the Unknown’, previously shown in an earlier inception in Bratislava, opened this week at Prague’s National Technical Library, focussing on the plight of refugees and the discourse surrounding the migrant crisis. The discussion is one which has been highly-politicised and exploited not only by fringe politicians but sadly even by the political mainstream. One of the exhibition’s main aims is thus to show that hate and xenophobia are never the answer – and many of the installations make the point very effectively.