Interviews

International success and Czech quartet tradition – both refer to the ensemble that was named after composer Pavel Haas. The Pavel Haas Quartet received its first BBC Music Magazine Award a few days ago for a recording of quartets by Bedřich Smetana, and it collects awards of the Gramophone Magazine almost systematically. The Concentus Moraviae Festival was also an important topic of the interview. This year, it was thematically devoted primarily to the string quartet and Beethoven, and the Pavel Haas Quartet is the residential ensemble this year.  more

The band Minach with actress and chanson singer Mariana Chmelařová. Album Out Of The Blue(s) with the Indigo String Quartet. Cooperation with another singer-actress Andrea Buršová. Songs for theatrical performances. New acoustic music for the KK Band (with mandolin player Martin Krajíček). Albums of folk and "speech therapy" songs for children. The book Drakouni. The TV show Hýbánky. Albums for piano solos. This is – by no means exhaustive – a list of activities of the pianist and composer Zdeněk Král from Brno. We met on the occasion of the release of his new piano album, Nahá, but we obviously did not stop there.  more

Roman Dragoun, one of our best rock singers and keyboardists, will celebrate his 60th birthday on 8 April. On that occasion, he released a new album called Samota (Solitude), continuing his long-standing collaboration with lyricist Milan Princ. The solo CD is, however, only one of many current activities of the musician whose life took him from his hometown of Písek to Brno.  more

The Liška – Malina – Nejtek group caught the attention of the Artistic Director of the JazzFestBrno Festival Vilém Spilka as soon as he heard about it: "I actually bought a pig in a poke. I made arrangements with them a long time ago and I did not even know how they sounded. I did not care whether it would be bluegrass, or new age. "The debut album has already seen the light of day, and the visitors to this year's festival will also hear the trio live.  more

Find an unused, forgotten factory, write a concert customised to it and go elsewhere. The project Ztichlé budovy (Quiet Buildings) was founded by several students of art schools in Brno, the first year performed in the hall of the former MEZ factory in Židenice. This year, they will return once again, but next time they should be moving on. We talked to several members of the creative and organisational community in the Zastávka Café in Židenice about the beginnings, present and future of Ztichlé budovy. We got to talk to Anna Laborová, Petra Čtveráčková, Kristýna Uhrová, Magdalena Dostálová and Filip Dufka. This year, the MEZ building will be full of music on 28 April.  more

The string quartet Nostalgia Quartet was founded a quarter century ago by the players of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra but they focus on jazz. We talked about the history and present of the ensemble with its founding member, violoncellist Radan Vach. The current line-up consists of Jakub Výborný (first violin), Bohumír Strnad (second violin) and Otakar Salajka (viola).  more

Chris Corner released the album Metanoia within his solo project IAMX last autumn. On his tour, he will stop at the Fléda Club in Brno next week. We talked the day before the release of the new EP and video North Star.  more

He has been playing the violin since childhood, he toured the entire world with Ida Kelarová. Violinist Milan Horváth is in charge of the jazz band The Harmonic Play and a dulcimer band. With the first one, they will accompany the screening of the silent film Bewitching Eyes in the Moravian Library. And they will also release a new album in the Museum of Roma Culture on 7 April.  more

The ongoing Itch My Ha Ha Ha Festival focuses on music ranging from electronic experiments to rap and contemporary pop. The deformator of tape loops William Basinski, energetic Young Fathers and the lone singing preacher Richard Youngs found their place in the programme. The common denominator for the various performers could be that their performances resemble a musical ceremony. That may be another reason why the band Ospalý pohyb led by Slovak composer Martin Burlas fits so naturally into the festival programme. Their performance was part of an art birthday celebration on 17 January.  more

The Powder Her Face opera will premiere on Friday in the Brno Reduta Theatre. The love life and divorce of the Duchess of Argyll is, however, not the essential topic of the work by British composer Thomas Adès. Composer and chief conductor of the Janáček Opera Marko Ivanović is in charge of the musical arrangement of the first production of Adès' opera on the Czech scene. We talked not only about the work itself, but also about the music of Thomas Adès and performing contemporary operas on the Brno scene. And we also touched on the Excursions of Mr. Brouček directed by Jan Švankmajer.  more

Music accompanies people in the folk tradition from birth to death, in all ritual and personal contexts. An anthology of Moravian folk music started to be released four years ago. It was intended to provide a complete picture of folklore as it can be really experienced in Moravia. Two parts were added to the first five parts this autumn. Six of the current seven albums were compiled by music publicist Helena Bretfeldová.  more

We met with conductor Gabriela Tardonová in Kabinet Múz where the Ensemble Opera Diversa used to sometimes play in their nomadic times. However, we were not really discussing the history of one of her home ensembles. Rather, we talked about its near and more distant future. We started, of course, with Miloš Štědroň's opera Chameleon, the premiere of which is approaching. We did, however, not forget about the Young Symphony Orchestra of Brno led by Gabriela Tardonová or her own ambitions and wishes.  more

Astronautalis is almost at home both in Europe and the Czech Republic, with concert tours of the singer from Minneapolis coming to us very often. So far it does not seem that anyone would be tired of him, something unexpected can be expected on every album and at every concert. This Friday, Astronautalis will stop by at the Itch My Hahaha Festival, and then two days later in the Lucerna Music Bar in Prague.  more

The Israeli composer and double bassist Avishai Cohen is one of the jazz world's most popular musicians of today. He has stopped in the Czech Republic several times, twice at the JazzFestBrno and most recently at this year's Colours of Ostrava. At the end of November, he will perform in Brno again, but this time it is an exceptional event. The concert is part of Cohen's first tour with the symphony orchestra, so in addition to the usual trio the Brno Philharmonic will also be on the stage in Bobycentrum. Before the Brno performance, we managed to get a few modest answers to several immodest questions from Avishai Cohen.  more

The Vienna State Opera will present its first production of the Makropulos Affair. Not only that the opera of Leoš Janáček will be introduced to this famous opera house but Jakub Hrůša will conduct there for the first time as well. We met two days before the rehearsal started and apart from the upcoming production we talked about working in opera in general. But we also talked about the position of the principal conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, which Jakub Hrůša will occupy starting from next season, and about getting from Brno grammar school to a world famous career as a conductor and finally we talked a bit about dress coats and other clothes. We did not talk about the Sir Charles Mackerras Award, which Jakub Hrůša received from the Leoš Janáček Foundation, but we congratulate him nonetheless!  more

The Olomouc Baroque Festival has begun. In the local Jesuit Convent the seventh year of the festival opened with the modern premiere of the serenata Il tribunale di Giove by the Austrian composer Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf. The work was first performed at the birthday celebrations for the Prussian King Frederick the Great on 27 January 1775 and after a repeat in Wroclaw in 1777 it fell into oblivion. The Ensemble Damian decided to reverse this unfortunate fate, and led by the ensemble’s artistic director and director Tomáš Hanzlík they attempted to revive the work. Appearing in the solo roles were Leandro Lafont (Fate and Apollo), Kristýna Vylíčilová (the Genius of Europe and Minerva), Lucie Kaňková (Time and Fortune), Monika Jägerová (Jupiter) and Jakub Rousek (Mars). The costumes and backdrops were designed by the director Hanzlík.  more

The Slunce [Sun] Festival in Strážnice will be held for the twentieth time this year. Especially lovers of folk music and classical big beat have  marked the dates of 12th and 13th July in their calendars. We talked to the director of the Slunce Festival Pavel Kopřiva about the history of the festival, its top moments and hardships, as well as what this year's festival season will be like.  more

The end of the first school-holiday week was carried in the spirit of celebrations. The 7th of July in fact falls on the birthday of Alena Veselá, a prominent Brno organist and a professor at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU), who celebrated an impressive age of 96 years on that day. The concert, organised particularly for this jubilee, was also the final event of the 39th Brno Organ Festival and as a celebration of the birthday of its founder (and now patron of the whole show), it already has a strong position in the festival programme.  more

We live in a free democratic society, in which the role of the state is to create the environment and conditions for the development of creativity and creative potential, being aware that today's living art creates cultural heritage for the future.  more

Last weekend, the 74th Strážnice International Folklore Festival 2019 as well as the 37th Strážnice Children's Folklore Festival were held in the South Moravian Mecca of folklore. The biggest folklore festival in the Czech Republic enjoys great interest and it wasn't  any different this year either, despite tropical temperatures, with tens of thousands of people coming back to Strážnice again.  more

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet Jiří Orten, the company ProArt prepared a multi-genre project called Ohnice – Where the Wind Is Dancing in the former Brno penitentiary on Cejl Street. The poetic production with verses of the young poet, which reflected his hard and short life, was premiered on 25 June.  more

The twenty-fourth season  of the Concentus Moraviae international music festival came to an end after almost a month of rich musical experiences. Musical works, thematically labelled as the Concert of Nations, guided the festival visitors around thirteen picturesque Moravian towns and gave them a taste of key musical works of (not only) European nations. All this was moreover served in the interpretation of more than twenty world-famous ensembles. With the conscious transnational, cross-border concept overreaching the Czech border, the festival organizers chose the Golden Hall of the renowned Musikverein Concert House as a suitable venue for the closing evening. The extraordinary finals of the 24th season opened thus a series of Concerts of Czech-Austrian Partnership and at the same time announced  the celebration of the festival's quarter of a century to be celebrated next year. In accordance with this symbolic overture of the concert, the main star of the festival was the patron of the festival and famous singer Magdalena Kožená, accompanied by the no less famous Collegium 1704 orchestra led by Václav Luks.  more

One of the biggest promises of the 24th Concentus Moraviae international festival was yesterday’s concert of the legendary Borodin Quartet, whose unique sound is the result not only of hard work but also collaboration with the composer Dmitri Shostakovich. This personal and interpretive trail still influences the group and is passed on to each new member. The programme took place in the library of the castle in Náměšť nad Oslavou , where in the 18th and 19th centuries it was the residence music-loving Haugwitz family. The music of Sergei Prokofiev, Joseph Haydn and Dmitri Shostakovich could be heard by the audience in a venue that was more than merely dignified.  more

In the summer months Špilberk Castle’s courtyard often resounds to the sound of music. Until September it is possible to combine a tour of the castle with a cultural experience. The organizers have tried to prepare a programme across genres that has something for everyone. Yesterday it was the turn of folk music. Despite the adverse weather the stage was dominated by the Military Art Ensemble Ondráš.  more

The last premiere of the Brno opera season for the first time ever and rather unusually combined two works. The Janáček Theatre presented the surrealist opera Three Fragments of Juliette by Bohuslav Martinů along with the small opera work The Human Voice by Francis Poulenc. The composed evening, with direction and stage design by David Radok, brought together two almost absurd worlds. And this connection was indeed remarkable dramaturgically, visually but also interpretatively.  more

The Polish ensemble Szymanowski Quartet at the Concentus Moraviae Festival presented works by their compatriots Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Moniuszko and Gražyna Bacewicz in the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Řeznovice yesterday. The concert was part of worldwide celebrations of the two-hundredth anniversary of birth of Stanisław Moniuszko, which is considered by many to be the founder of Polish national music. The evening was held under the auspices of the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Czech Republic, HE Barbara Ćwioro.  more

Visitors to concerts meet quite often with quartet compositions written by masters of European music. Haydn's string quartets are perennial stars in the repertoire of a number of ensembles and attention is also paid to works of contemporary European composers. Only exceptionally, however, can listeners take a peek into the musical cuisine of Asian or South American nations. Cuarteto Q-Arte decided to fill this blank space and dedicated itself to the works of Latin American authors. The programme, which they presented yesterday at the chateau in Slavkov u Brna (Austerlitz), consisted of works by Silvestre Revueltas, Alberto  Ginastera and Astor Piazzolla. All these three composers combine elements of domestic culture with European training and influences or impulses of different genres.  more

Why be one of the many average bands when we can be a unique band? The ten-year history of the Brno group Kupodivu could be squeezed into this motto. In 2009, saxophonist Jaroslav Pilný and keyboard player Petr Šašinka first talked about forming a band. In 2019, the band Kupodivu [Surprisingly Enough] is releasing its first full-length album. Exactly in the middle of this ten-year period, in 2014, an important change took place when the original folk band was transformed into an interesting shape with keyboards, saxophone and bass, but without a guitar. The line-up, which resembles rather jazz bands in recent years, has scored at a lot of folk festivals in recent years. Kupodivu won the Porta award for authors, the Rada Notování [Council of Notation] award, won the Moravský vrabec [Moravian Sparrow], and won second place at the Mohelnický dostavník [Mohelnice  Stagecoach]. At all these venues they performed music that rather than campfires fits into city clubs, and by far not only folk ones. The album Živočišné pudy [Animal Instincts] summarizes the band's work so far in a dignified way, underlined by the quality sound from the Zlín Studio V.  more

The Jerusalem Quartet is one of the world's leading quartet performers for many years and is currently one of the most cited chamber music ensembles. At the Concentus Moraviae festival, violinists Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bresler, violist Ori Kam and cellist Kyril Zlotnikov performed in the Great Chateau of Mikulov Castle with a programme stretching in time from Joseph Haydn up to Béla Bartók. The concert was held under the auspices of the Israeli Ambassador to the Czech Republic, HE Daniel Meron.  more

Man does not live by classical music alone, as the Epoque Quartet, consisting of violinists David Pokorný, Vladimír Klánský, violist Vladimír Kroupa and cellist Vít Petrášek has been convincing us for twenty years already. For their Saturday concert, staged as part of the Concentus Moraviae festival, which took place in the foyer of the Pasáž theatre in Třebíč, the musicians also invited bass clarinettist Petr Valášek, pianist Karel Košárek and percussionist Oleg Sokolov. The programme of the evening consisted entirely of works by contemporary authors flirting in their compositions not only with musical minimalism, but also with jazz and other popular genres.  more

Editorial

Znojmo Music Festival enters its 15th season this year. The programme includes concerts, opera performances, gastronomy and a programme for children. The opening concert, performed by the patron of the festival Pavel Šporcl and the PKF - Prague Philharmonia under the baton of Derek Gleeson, is dedicated to the reminder of the fall of the Iron Curtain. The culmination of the festival is the premiere of the scenic oratorio Saul by G. F. Handel. The title roles will be performed by Andreas Scholl and Adam Plachetka. The show will be directed by Tomáš Pilař.  more

The 165th anniversary of the birth of Leoš Janáček falls on today, Wednesday 3 July 2019. Janáček is one of our opera composers most frequently played abroad. TIC Brno dedicated a tram to him for his birthday this year, with the main characters from his operas graphically rendered by Brno artist Vendulka Chalánková. Janáček also has his own website, an educational trail, a memorial and an opera festival.  more

The Multi-genre festival Vaňkovka Fest this year offers concerts, an open-air cinema and stand-up performances. The month-long festival at the Galerie Vaňkovka in Brno will play host to Aneta Langerová, Dan Bárta, Lukáš Pavlásek, Ben Cristovao, Michal Pavlíček & Trio and many more.  more

The autumn program of the Fléda music club in Brno contains big names of the music world. The August visit of Jon Hopkins', who will appear at the Brno Marathon of Music festival is already at its imaginary beginning. The autumn season officially opens with a September dance party featuring GusGus from Iceland. This will be followed by concerts of Hooverphonic with a new singer, Jan Blomqvist & Band with their complete Disconnected project or the Berlin legend DJ Hell with his Zukunftmusic composition. Rockers De Staat will bring their novelty titled The Bubble Gum, Movits! their most hip-hop record so far – the double album V, Kadebostany in turn will bring their album Monumental. Last but not least, Vitalic with Rebeka Warrior will also be featured presenting their KCompromat project.  more

The album collects folklore tunes and songs from the Moravian meadows. After several years of work on the Anthology of Moravian Folk Music, the Indies Scope label decided to continue with a new series of folklore recordings called Malovaná truhla  [Painted Chest]. One of them is the album Kosecké písně [Mowers' Songs]. The album features Kubíci dulcimer music band from Horňácko, Women's Choir of Hrubá Vrbka, Chotár male choir from Horňácko and others.  more

This festival will enliven the streets in the centre of Brno throughout the summer. The programme promises a total of 53 events such as concerts, workshops, theatre performances, dance rooms or sporting events.  more

Traditionally, the beginning of the summer holidays is accompanied by the festival Boskovice – for the Jewish Quarter. This year's 27th edition will be launched by the Les Bubbey Mayse quartet from France, inspired by Klezmer and traditional Yiddish songs. The musical program also features concerts of bands such as Neurobeat, Khoiba, Kittchen & Aid Kid with Tomáš Neuwerth or Panenské plameny.  more

The upcoming production of Kde tančí vítr  [Where the Wind Is Dancing] is based on Orten's collection Ohnice. The author of the project is the Brno choreographer and director Martin Dvořák. The central character of a poet will be performed by young actor Daniel Krejčík.  more

Brno Philharmonic announces a selection procedure for the position of advance sales administrator. Starting from 1 August 2019.  more

The Kamenka Open multi-genre festival will revive the meadow in the Kamenná kolonie neighbourhood in Brno for the tenth time already. This year's guests include Funky Pappa, Jamiroquai Tribute Band and Pleasure Portable. Theatres will be represented by the Hysterie Theatre, Koráb Theatre or the Bez Pravidel Theatre.    more