Obliged to close their doors to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, a wide range of Czech cultural, historical and religious institutions have begun offering an extended range of virtual tours and online programmes. Among the latest to do so is the magnificent St Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc – which is developing a 3D virtual reality tour with English-language commentary – while the annual Prague Spring international music festival, whose programme, of course, needs no translation, will broadcast live.
For the first time in its history the Prague Spring International Music
Festival will be held on-line.
Approximately ten concerts will be streamed on the festival’s web page and a number of selected concerts will be broadcast by Czech Radio and Czech Television, the festivals spokesman Pavel Trojan told reporters.
The 75th Prague Spring International Music Festival was due to open on May 7th and offer audiences 53 concerts altogether.
In view of the volatile situation the festival’s management opted for an alternative format so that even in this difficult situation music can bring people hope, the festival’s director Roman Bělor said.
The first public performance of Vltava, one of the best known pieces by Bedřich Smetana, took place 145 years ago today. The famous composition, also known by its English title The Moldau, is part of a cycle of six symphonic poems, entitled Má Vlast or My Country. Its premiere took place on April 4, 1875.
Prague City Council, in cooperation with ticket portal GoOut, have launched a new initiative to support theatres, concert halls, clubs and other venues closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. As of April 1, people can buy a symbolic ticket for a non-existent show to help save their favourite culture venues.
Impacted like so many others by coronavirus-related restrictions, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra has found a new way to reach audiences. It is relaying live video streams of concerts on Facebook twice a week, with the second in the series of 25 due for Friday at 20:00. I discussed the special project with orchestra director Jakub Čížek.
Tom Kotik is an artist and curator whose work often explores the intersection of sound and vision, as well as a musician with the band Sportsman’s Paradise. As New York comes under terrible pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, the Prague-born, Brooklyn-based Kotik discusses his latest projects and more in this interview from the Czech Center New York series Artists That Never Give Up in the City That Never Sleeps.
Czech artists and people from the cultural sphere have been looking for ways to boost public morale in the face of the coronavirus epidemic. Those artists who saw their concerts cancelled are streaming them from their homes, actors have recorded video spots broadcast on television telling people not to lose faith, while galleries are offering viewings of their exhibitions online to the millions stuck at home for an unspecified period of time.
She was one of the biggest stars on the Czechoslovak music scene during the 1960s and 1970s. Known for her three and a half octave soprano voice and down to earth character, Eva Pilarova remained a popular personality and singer until the day she died, aged 80, on March 14, 2020. With the ongoing coronavirus epidemic a public goodbye with the her has not been possible. However, that does not prevent us from playing Mrs Pilarová's greatest hits.
Jazz is alive and well in the Czech lands. A total of 46 records in the genre were released here in 2019, even more than in the previous year. Spoilt for choice, our public radio sister station Český rozhlas Jazz has managed to pick one as album of the year: “Čekání na Toma” (or Waiting for Tom) by the Vilém Spilka Quartet.
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