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The second year of the multi-genre festival Brno Music Marathon is approaching. The biggest summer festival in Brno will welcome dozens of international participants. Space will be given to various musical genres within the festival, from Balkan Brass bands via classical chamber and orchestral, jazz, folk, world music, rock, groups for children all the way to off-street busking. The musical programme will be supplemented by three performances of the new circus Collectif Malunés, street theatre, a magician and an acrobatic helium balloon.
The Baroque theatre festival Moravský Parnas Johanna Georga Gettnera (The Moravian Parnassus of Johann Georg Gettner) commemorates the theatre tradition in Mikulov, which in earlier times was one of central Europe’s centres of theatre. The festival programme will include performances of plays, lectures and shows by comedians in the square.
Today the 13th Znojmo Music Festival begins, dedicated to the Lutheran period. As part of today’s ceremonial opening concert the patron of the festival Pavel Šporcl will be performing along with the pianist Petr Jiříkovský with the Janáček Chamber Orchestra. The festival programme also offers appearances by the baroque orchestra Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Tour de varhany with Martin Jakubíček and the Story of Christ, which was created as a stage depiction of the works of Heinrich Schütz.
This year Festival Ibérica will also be presenting Ibero-American culture in a variety of forms. Aside from the open air gala concert of Flamenco masters the programme offers creative workshops, a gastronomic fiesta in the city centre, film showings and an exhibition of photographs from Columbia. Alba Molina and Alba Heredia will be appearing.
From 16 September to 19 December the twelfth year of Jazz Brno will be taking place in the Stará Pekárna club in Brno. It will offer not only modern jazz but also fusion, funk and a solid chunk of blues. The festival opens on Saturday 16 September with a concert by the American blues musician Linwood Taylor, who will be performing in Brno as part of a larger Czech tour. We asked him a number of questions on the telephone.
At Folk Holidays 2017 in Náměšt nad Oslavou two significant groups from Denmark are appearing, among others. On Monday July 24 it will be the instrumental ensemble Dreamers’ Circus and on Thursday 27 July the quartet Nordens Tone. This is made up of three jazz musicians (piano, double bass and saxophone) and the singer Jullie Hjetland, who sings in eight different Nordic languages. And it was with her that we spoke by telephone.
After a gap of five years the lyricist and singer Lada Šimíčková and the composer and musician (or songwriter) Ivo Cicvárek have brought out their second joint album. Thus the collection Hotel v tiché ulici (Hotel in a Quiet Street) from 2012 has not remained a one-off project. Taking the second album as the proverbial touchstone, the duo has passed with flying colours. Five years is plenty of time for putting together new material and the songs that made their way into the final selection and now have a chance to become public despite the name of the album.
Birthdays, and not just those on stage, bring a need to look back. In the case of London’s Placebo this is the case twice over, because they returned in Brno to songs that they have long avoided playing live. They kept their promise and at the Brno Exhibition Centre they gave a two-hour cross-section show.
The brilliant Moravian cimbalom player Dalibor Štrunc (1966) came from a folk environment in Wallachia and after graduating from the Brno Conservatory had a number of musical engagements – from classical through folk to being a member for many years of Hana and Petr Ulrych’s group Javory. It is an unbelievable twenty-five years since he formed the group Cimbal Classic, in which he began to make use of his song-writing as well as musical skills. In that time Cimbal Classic has become a fixture on our folk scene. This year they are celebrating their anniversary with a new CD and a tour.
The unique event ZUŠ Open will present on Tuesday May 30 up to a thousand musical, dance, theatre and artistic performances in 280 Bohemian, Moravian and Silesian towns and cities. Brno also will have an exceptionally rich programme tomorrow, culminating in a joint vocal performance of children with Magdalena Kožená on Moravian Square and a celebratory concert of the Mozart’s Children Festival in Besední dům together with the Brno Philharmonic. The Brno event is part of Brno’s candidacy for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of music.
Rossini’s penultimate opera Le comte Ory was in its time seen as highly immoral slapstick. In the new Brno production, performed in the historic building of the Mahen Theatre, it is actually a hilarious farce. Lenka Flory stands behind its directorial and artistic form, providing not only the needed humour and momentum, but also thanks to its basis in the world of contemporary dance also unusual movement.
This year the Beseda u Bigbítu (BuB) festival celebrates its quarter century and to mark this milestone it has added a little warm-up in the shape of an evening concert in Kabinet Múz called Beseda night. It gives a foretaste of this year’s Tasov and the evening will be introduced by the Šumperk-Brno group Acute Dose. Last year’s wind brought in the group Please The Trees and the composer and DJ Václav Čásenský aka Atrey.