It’s not at all hard to see why Guru by Tomáš Palucha was named LP of the year for 2016 by Czech Radio’s youth and alternative station, Wave. The captivating and ambitious guitar-based record mixes up dreamy, atmospheric tracks with poppy moments, while the variety of guest vocalists (it is Palucha’s first release to feature voice) makes for a broad and highly satisfying palette.
The discovery of the remains of a Neolithic settlement on Czech soil in 2001 led to years of painstaking research. Now the results of more than 15 years of study have appeared in a surprising format – a comic book called A day in the life of a Neolithic woman. The book, which is intended primarily for schoolchildren and educators, is the work of archeologist Veronika Mikešová and illustrator Michal Puhač who merged facts and fantasy to bring us a glimpse of life in this part of the world 7,000 years ago. I spoke to the illustrator about what the
The London-based Studio deFORM, run by two young Czech designers Václav Mlynář and Jakub Pollág, has been voted the overall winner of this year’s Czech Grand Design award. The studio, which designs interiors and commercial spaces and is also active in the advertising sphere, has been awarded for its interactive game for children called Koski, and for the Zig-Zag shelf made for the Swedish studio Hem. I spoke to one of the company’s founders, Václav Mlynář, and I first asked him why they decided to study in London and eventually move there:
A lot of Czechs might not recognise Robert Polo by appearance. But many undoubtedly know the American’s rich and distinctive voice – and Dr. Bob persona – as a prominent presenter on the radio stations Metropolis, Expres and, currently, Color Music Radio. Polo is also a leading voice artist in the Czech Republic, as well as an in-demand compere of live events. When we spoke, he told me he had already been a broadcaster for some years prior to his arrival in Prague in 1994.
One of the most outstanding personalities on the Czech pop and rock scene Věra Špinarová has died at the age of 65. Dubbed the Czech Tina Turner, Špinarová recorded her first album at the age of 16. There was no one to match her for voice range and power and her incredible vitality set her apart from other artists on the Czech pop scene. In a career spanning half a century she recorded dozens of albums and gave thousands of concerts at home and abroad. Her biggest hit is: Jednoho dne se vrátíš to the music from Once Upon a Time in the West.
Zdeněk Lukeš is one of the country’s best known architects. During the 1990s he was part of Václav Havel’s team revitalising Prague Castle and he still works in its monuments department, while as an author and journalist he has done a great deal to popularise architecture in the Czech Republic. Our tour of “Zdeněk Lukeš’s Prague” is in fact a tour of his Letná, the leafy area he has always called home. We begin with a coffee at Café Alchymista, specifically in the lovely garden in the back.
Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša has made a dream come true after being been appointed one of the two principal guest conductors at the London Philharmonia Orchestra. Hrůša, along with Santtu-Matias Rouvali from Finland, will take up their shared roles at the start of the upcoming season. They will be the first conductors to hold the post since the death of Sir Charles Mackerras in 2010.
Lubomír Brabec is one of the country’s most brilliant guitarists and many rank him among the best guitar plyers in the world. In a career spanning over four decades he has captivated audiences at home and abroad, and recorded around 30 CDs. Critics have high praise for his immaculate technique as well as his inventive and original approach to music. Lubomír Brabec's many recordings include works by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Janáček and Prokofiev, but also Spanish music and hits by McCartney. In 1997 he became the first musician in the world to perform
Next week, books in the Czech Republic will have their moment in the media limelight. Czech Television will be screening a glitzy awards ceremony for this country’s best-known literary awards, the Magnesia Litera. Over the last sixteen years the awards have helped to draw attention to writers, poets, translators and publishers. There are no less than nine different categories, helping to give the awards ceremony a flavour of the Oscars – a deliberate strategy of Magnesia Litera’s media-savvy founder, Pavel Mandys. He came into the studio to talk