Today the design team made up of Tomasz Konior (POL), Yasuhisa Toyota (US) and Petr Hrůša (Czech Republic) and the representatives of the city of Brno signed a contract for the design documentation for a building permit and the design documentation for the second stage of the Janáček Cultural Centre. This will be the new concert hall that for decades Brno has been waiting for.
Ensemble Opera Diversa has prepared an advent programme of contemporary religious music for Euroradio Christmas Music Day. There will be performances of the works O antifony for baritone and strings and the Magnificat for choir and strings by their court composer Ondřej Kyas and the Sonata da Chiesa by Peter Graham. The concert will be conducted by Gabriela Tardonová, with the baritone Roman Hoza, the Ensemble Opera Diversa orchestra and the Ensemble Versus choir performing.
Magdalena Kožená, patroness of the Concentus Moraviae festival, today will take the stage of Brno’s Boby Centre with Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers. This benefit concert for the festival will jointly promote the songs of Cole Porter and at the same time invite us to the next year. The event will also include the christening of the Cole Porter CD with songs which will be performed by Kožená and Havelka’s Melody Makers in a premiere as part of this year’s Concentus Moraviae festival.
It will soon be six year since the death of President Václav Havel. The Sokol Brno I Symphony Orchestra in cooperation with the Theatre Goose on a String will be following up on last year’s event, the Czech Christmas Mass by J. J. Ryba with the subtitle "Hej Václave" (“Hey, Václav”). The orchestra is looking for musicians who want to be part of the event this year.
Nagata Acoustics America, Konior Studio and Architekti Hrůša & spol., Atelier Brno. This team looks like it will be the supplier of project documentation for a building permit and project documentation for the above-ground parts of the Janáček Cultural Centre. This is a new concert hall that will be a base for the Brno Philharmonic. The expert commission today recommended the contracting authorities that they choose this team.
The Czech premiere of the composition Meditation – to the Victims of the Tsunami 11/3 by Toshio Hosokawa will take place today and tomorrow in Besední Dům. The work is a reaction to the results of a natural catastrophe which struck the north-east coast of Japan in 2011. The Brno Philharmonic and Vilém Veverka will perform under the leadership of Alexander Liebreich.
Music-lovers in Brno like to remember the visit Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made to the city at the turn of 1767-68. The theme of the third subscription concert of the Brno Philharmonic from the cycle The Philharmonic at Home I was however the composer’s visit to Prague. And this was not without reason. Prague has an indisputable place in the professional career of the most significant representative of Viennese classicism. To go with the chosen theme the programme creators chose important milestones in the composer’s output that were linked to Prague and its inhabitants. The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Alexander Liebreich and the pianist was Saleem Ashkar.
Brno is a city full of contrasts. A short walk through its centre reveals curious contrasts: the Rozkvět passage next to the House of the Lords of Lipá or the Omega department store inserted into the historic centre are clear examples. The Brno Philharmonic also bases its musical production on the contrast of old with new. More than once I have praised the fresh programmes of the concerts, which go for contrasting musical works and present combinations of compositions which are rarely heard alongside each other. In the case of the concert entitled Romantic Fairy Tales of 24 January however the programme was down to earth. There were no sudden dissonances or odd instrumental combinations and the musical language did not depart from the moderately conventional. However we do not have only the contrasts of old and new, known and unknown, but unfortunately also between quality and its absence and not last between interesting and dull.
If you went to the Brno Philharmonic’s New Year Concert expecting a serious, rigorous celebration, with measured and distinguished entertainment, most probably you left extremely disappointed. In your frustration you may have complained and muttered: what was this conducting dance creation, why did they clap to the rhythm of the Radetzky March and primarily – why were we made to sing? And the programme! Last year at least there was Smetana, but this year? Just waltzes and polkas, operettas and whipped cream! If you are not a bitter grouch, it is likely that along with the Brno Philharmonic you danced into 2018 with ease and sprightliness.
The programme of the third Sunday of Advent from the orchestra of the Ensemble Opera Diversa with the help of their sister body – the choir Ensemble Versus – was marked by modern contemporary creations. In the Convent of the Merciful Brethren they performed the works O antifony for baritone and strings and the Magnificat and choir and strings from the ensemble’s court composer Ondřej Kyas and the Sonata da chiesa by the composer Jaroslav Štastný-Pokorný, written under his artistic pseudonym of Peter Graham. The soloist for the evening was the baritone Roman Hoza, while the performance was conducted by Gabriela Tardonová. The concert was broadcast live by Czech Radio Vltava and other stations in the Euroradio network. In this way the music was heard by listeners in Spain, Saarland, Estonia, Sweden, Portugal, Hessen, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Slovenia and it was broadcast by the BBC.
Pavel Šporcl’s new and first Christmas album Christmas on the Blue Violin, with traditional and less well-known carols, came out at the end of the November. At the same time as the CD is coming on to the market Pavel Šporcl is setting out on a tour of the Czech Republic with the same name. He will be coming to Brno on 11 December together with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, the soprano Jana Šrejma Kačírková and the Czech boys’ choir Boni pueri. The programme (of which not much could be found out ahead of time) and the venue for the concert in the Boby Centre hinted at quite a spectacular and challenging production with many question marks and potential pitfalls. And it should be said right at the outset that precisely because of this the concert cannot really be evaluated artistically.
An interview between Kateřina Bajo, the main coordinator for the membership of Prague as a city of literature in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and David Dittrich, main coordinator for the membership of Brno as a city of music in the same network. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was set up in 2004 and its main aim is to support cooperation and international cooperation and creativity. Now it brings together 180 member cities from 72 countries from around the world. The cities fall into 7 creative areas – literature, music, design, film, gastronomy, traditional crafts and media. A city applying for membership in the network has to fulfil very strict criteria, and it must be supported not only by the commission of experts but also by all the member cities.
Yesterday the biggest hall of the Brno Exhibition Centre – Pavilion P – was filled with an audience of a thousand. The premiere of the ballet West Side Story was completely sold out. The performance was given by the National Theatre Brno, the author of the original concept and also the original choreography is Jerome Robbins, the libretto is by Arthur Laurents, the music from Leonard Bernstein and the song lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The Brno performance of this world-famous musical was directed by Mário Radačovský, who also created the choreography for this new production. The sets were designed by Marek Hollý and the costumes by Alexandra Grusková. The lighting design was by Tomáš Morávek while the projection was directed by Jan Fuksa and Martin Svobodník.
Původní komorní opera Jsem kněžna bláznů měla premiéru v brněnské Redutě. Autorkami operní novinky, která mapuje soukromý i tvůrčí život první české spisovatelky Boženy Němcové, se staly skladatelka Lenka Nota a dokumentaristka Olga Sommerová. Libreto vzniklo na základě Němcové korespondence, básní Františka Halase, Vladimíra Holana a Františka Pavlíčka. Novou operu představil Ensemble Opera Diversa v Mozartově v pátek 17. listopadu.
The last concert of the 49th Moravian Autumn International Music Festival took place on Saturday 28 October. Immediately before its fiftieth anniversary the festival chose as an overarching theme ®evolution and the inevitability of progress. For a month signs and posters in Brno have called out to passers-by and attracted them to this ambitious spectacle. After a quick look at the programme, it was clear that the pivotal musical works this year will be primarily innovative achievements of the first half of the 20th century seasoned with the musical delicacy that is early music.