With Ash Wednesday, which this year fell on 14/2, ended for us the period of revelry linked to it – parades, feasts and other forms of entertainment. The four-week period of Lent has begun, culminating in the celebration of Easter. The last few days before Ash Wednesday are the time of masopust, fašank, vostatek and končiny. These are all Czech local names for traditional processions and costumed celebrations. The festivities have a very long tradition of celebrating the solstice, predating Christianity and reaching far back into antiquity. They take place in various forms throughout Europe. In South Moravia there are several places where the folk tradition of the celebration of fašank has become famous thanks to its specific form. The best known of these is the village of Strání, where for the whole weekend until Tuesday’s burial of basses a Festival of Masopust Traditions takes place.
The theme of this year’s Moravian Autumn festival is Revolution – evolution… ®evolution…. And as in previous years there will in addition be another philharmonic festival, the Exposition of New Music. This has the theme NEW ®EVOLUTION. During Moravian Autumn there will be performances from Accademia Bizantina, the Ensemble Berlin Prague, and the pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Greilsammer and Steffen Schleiermacher. The loudest composition in the history of the world will be heard – the Symphony of Sirens by Arseny Avraamov, as well as the world premiere of the new composition by Marek Kopelent with his personal participation and concerts for children.
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.
The three musketeers in fact numbered four. In the same way 3fo3 (which reads as “three fotři” – a play on words since ‘fotr’ is an unflattering term for father) is made up of four members. To the founding members of Bombarďák, Michal Dalecký, Jiří Jelínek and Filip Nebřenský, Matěj Pospíšil was added as a kind of d’Artagnan. However otherwise everything has stayed the same. Bombarďák – or rather the lyricist Jiří Jelínek – speaks to kids with a dynamic language full of fashionable and modern expressions. In the space of very brief songs (on average under two minutes) they are able to tell humorous tales full of wordplay and situational humour. One song follows on from another, mostly upbeat, with speaking as well as singing, on the borders of song and theatrical sketch, but all fitting together well.
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.
Brno is now one of the 180 cities from around the world that belongs to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Only some three dozen of these are focused on music. After Prague it is the second city in the Czech Republic to be accepted into this network. The awarded title recognises the work of artists, people working in culture, the diversity of genres and cooperation with the surrounding region.
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.
The new family comedy Jak jsem se ztratil aneb Malá vánoční povídka (How I Got Lost or a Little Christmas Story) bets on more than just a music flashback to the sweet early 1960s. The Brno National Theatre has been playing it since its weekend premiere. A seven-member band directly on stage forms the audio and narrative backdrop to the sentimental journey back in time. Older folks will emotionally reflect on the sweet "sixties", while those younger will discover this decade. And that is what the new production of director Martin Františák bets on.
Artists from the Brno national Theatre enjoyed the first applause of the new season in the open air. Just like last year, the largest Moravian theatre opened in the sun-warmed piazzetta in front of Janáček Theatre. The large temporary stage on the outdoor staircase of the opera house was dominated by soloists of the opera and ballet, as well as the opera orchestra and chorus. The large space in front of Janáček Theatre was again filled with hundreds of standing spectators. According to the data available to the theatre, the number of visitors, who stopped by to see the more than two-hour-long tasting of existing and planned productions of the opera and ballet at the Brno National Theatre exceeded 1,000. The weather and the mood of future visitors corresponded to the programme in all aspects: the remarks by the theatre director Martin Glaser and all three artistic leaders (Mário Radačovský for balet, Jiří Heřman for opera and Martin Františák for theatre) were concise and factually informative. The above quartet always introduced individual blocks with examples of productions.
Songwriter and guitarist František Chaloupka switches between rock, contemporary and classical music and other genres. Besides that, he founded the Guitar Institute in 2014. We talked about guitar instruction tailored to students. And about the directions in which the Institute could develop further.
Nearly 100 performances will take place in 25 blocks over the weekend during the first year of the multi-genre Brno Music Marathon festival. Concerts, happenings, performances and workshops led by prominent musicians transform the city into one big music scene. The festival is a pilot project of the Brno – Music Friendly City project.
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.