A concert organised for an exceptional event took place on Thursday at ZUŠ PhDr. Zbyňka Mrkose (a primary school specialising in music) in Brno’s Židenice district. The event was given the title Cimbálový kolaudační concert (A Cimbalom Commissioning Concert. What exactly was being commissioned? From the title it was evident the main star of the programme was a cimbalom. This big instrument with its velvet tones was not the centre of attention by accident. The item being commissioned was a new cimbalom for the musical inventory of the previously mentioned music school. The manufacturer of the instrument was the Brno company of Všianský. The actual maker Pavel Všianský, a famous musician, also personally took part, telling the participants something about the construction of this instrument.
The musical accompaniment was provided not only by pupils at the host school but also guests from similar schools in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm and in Zlín. They are linked by the figure of their teacher Jaroslav Kneisl, who is also a skilled interpreter. He is at the Brno school only to cover for maternity leave, but despite this he has become very actively involved in events in the school. He also presented the concert with his legendary sense of humour. The godfather of the instrument was the presenter of many folk music programmes for Czech Radio Brno Jiří Kokmotos. Given that no alcohol was to be poured over the instrument he confirmed his patronage by signing the lower soundboard.
The programme of the concert was colourful and entertaining not only for the children but also the adults in the audience. Aside from folk songs the programme also included several curiosities. These included for example a mirror canon by W. A. Mozart, originally written for violin. A players’ relay with the song Kočka leze dolů (The Cat Climbs Down), in which all of the pupils were presented, from the youngest through the teacher himself. There was also a Renaissance dance, a classical duet, romantic studies and also 20th century composers, among them for example Jaromír Dadák, one of the court composers of the Czech cimbalom school. A significant contemporary composer who writes specifically for this instrument, is Jarmila Mazourová, who was unfortunately not able to take part due to health problems. However several of her often highly expressive compositions were heard. The concert provided a chance to hear the promising young cimbalom players Oliver Budík, Ondřej Honzák, Patrik Maňas, Monika Rybníčková and Matěj Čevela from the school in Brno. Appearing as guests were Pavel Mrlina from Zlín and Renata Hrabovská and Anna Strakošová from Frenštát pod Radhoštěm. At the end of the concert there was also cimbalom music from this school under Eva Chomoucká, led by Milan Balog.
The concert was performed professionally and with a very pleasant atmosphere, which could give an example to many music schools. It demonstrated that what is at first sight a practical occasion could be transformed into a musical experience.