The biggest public event marking the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia was a concert that filled Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The culmination of the free show came with Marta Kubišová’s rendition of A Prayer for Marta, a song that came to symbolise the 1968 invasion.
Ninety years ago to this day, on the 12th of August, 1928, Leoš Janáček, one of the most significant Czech composers, died in a hospital in Ostrava. He was brought there from his native Hukvaldy in North Moravia, where he was spending his holidays. The native region was a major inspiration for Janáček. He was interested not only in folk songs, but he also heard musical motives in the melody of the local dialect.
Oldřich Číp, a world renowned expert on short-wave radio has died at the age of 87. He was associated with radio since childhood - first as an amateur radio hobbyist and later as a staff member of Czechoslovak and Czech Radio in the departments of international broadcasting. He cooperated closely with Radio Prague for many years, presenting a popular show for DXers.
Actor and puppeteer Vít Hořejš was born in Czechoslovakia but spent most of his life in the United States, where he emigrated in his late twenties. He worked for the legendary Black Light Theatre before establishing his own Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. The group, featuring puppets and live actors, performs contemporary pieces as well as plays based on traditional Czech fairy tales.
Twenty years ago, Czech artist, graphic designer and musician Maxim Havlíček left for San Francisco with 200 dollars in his pocket and the deep-felt conviction that his destiny lay abroad; that his desire to explore – and paint – could not be truly fulfilled unless he left his homeland, perhaps forever. His reading of the Paulo Coelho novel The Alchemist proved the catalyst for that continuing artistic journey, and so Havlíček has borrowed the title for his upcoming exhibition in Prague.
Queer film festival Mezipatra returns in November, but already this week, the organization is hosting "Identity in the City," an English-language film series running parallel to Prague Pride. We spoke with Mezipatra director Pavel Bicek to learn about the weeklong event, and why his organization has endured in the Czech Republic for nearly two decades.