In Brno, the second weekend of August will be in the spirit of the year 1645, when Brno was besieged by Swedish troops. The traditional historical city festival Brno Day, which commemorates the successful defence of Brno against the Swedes, will offer attractions such as a historical parade, period music, a craft fair and a reconstruction of the battle.
This year the Mendel Festival enters its 8th year. As every year, it is held to celebrate the legacy of the founder of genetics, Gregor Johann Mendel, and once again, in addition to the professional programme and the programme for children, it will also offer a musical programme, headlined by a concert of the French band the Gipsy Kings.
The programme of the 22nd JazzFestBrno is now complete. In addition to the previously announced personalities, more important names of the contemporary jazz scene have been added. These include, among others, singer Kurt Elling, drummer Simon Phillips, saxophonist Donny McCaslin, pianist Emmet Cohen, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, saxophonist Melissa Aldana, and the newly formed English-Czech trio Noble-Slavík-Clarvis to visit Brno. Also performing will be the Poogie Bell – Juraj Griglak Band, drummer Udi Shlomo, and bassist and vocalist Chris Morrissey. These artists join previously announced musicians Diana Krall, Kronos Quartet, Dave Holland, John Scofield, and Tigran Hamasyan. This year’s edition of the Brno JazzFest will offer 16 concerts during the main part of the festival over 13 nights.
The musical “Matilda” is based on the book by the English novelist Roald Dahl, published in 1988. The Brno premiere of the musical will be translated and directed by Petr Gazdík. Matilda has three alternate performers in the title role – Anna Bergerová, Maria Juráčková, and Karolina Kabele. Other roles will be played by Jiří Mach, Milan Němec, Kristýna Daňhelová, Dagmar Křížová, Alena Antalová, Johana Gazdíková, and others. The conductors of the production are Dan Kalousek and Ema Mikešková. Choreography was created by Carli Rebecca Jefferson.
The first year of the international Jewish culture festival ŠTETL FEST 2022 begins on Friday. In its content and scope it will be the biggest Jewish culture festival in the Czech Republic. The festival’s programme will offer lectures, theatre performances, guided tours and several concerts. Some of those performing will be the Avishai Cohen Trio, Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi, Graffe String Quartet or Dominika Weiss Hošková. The festival will close with the Brundibár children’s opera performed by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cantilena choir. The motto of the entire event is “Dignity in Diversity”.
The Brno City Theatre has launched the Czech premiere of the musical “Matilda” based on the famous book of the same name by Roald Dahl, one of the world’s best-selling authors. Directed by Petr Gazdík, the family show aspires to be a spectacle for the auditorium for all ages. On stage, however, it is the children who win in this demanding production, led by the lead actress Maruška Juráčková. Her performance inspires respect beyond the quantity of text, the quality of her singing, and her command of movement. To be fair, however, the children’s roles are alternated three times, and these performers have undergone the same training.
You will read in the media about the impact of coronavirus on the level of teaching in compulsory schools. There is less talk of art schools. Yet a quarter of a million children attend primary art schools (PAS). What do these bring to us and to children? What makes them special? I put these and not only these questions to Pavel Borský, cellist of Indigo Quartet (a string ensemble), programmer of the musical scene of the Brno Music Marathon Festival, teacher at the Faculty of Theatre of JAMU and at V. Kaprálové PAS Brno as well as regional coordinator of the ZUŠ Open festival. As he himself pointed out, the exact impact of distance learning on art school students is yet to be seen, but the online environment has taught many children how to communicate better using modern technology.
Ód ... The artistic name evokes singing, narration, poetry, odes… It is also a guide to pronounce the first name in Czech of the protagonist, a French singer settled in Brno, Aude Stulírová Martin. She has been living in Moravia for ten years and is an excellent Czech speaker. In that time she has co-founded a band called Šarivary as well as the theatre company of Le Cabaret Nomade. She was also active as an artistic director of the Bonjour Brno festival. Bébé Lune is her current, second album – a collection of lullabies from around the world, it was created by Ód as a result of her winning Expats for Brno, a competition seeking innovative projects. So, while the project is international in its content, it is very closely related to Brno.
Due to the impact of extraordinary measures taken because of the Covid-19 pandemic on stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries in Brno, Brno leaders and the Department of Culture of the Brno City Municipality are working intensively on a set of precautions for minimizing the damages. At the same time, communication is conducted on all levels of public administration, predominantly in collaboration with the Institut umění – Divadelní ústav [Arts and Theatre Institute], which is mapping the situation on the nationwide level. Until 22 March 2020 you can help assess the current situation by means of an online survey (the link is provided below). Further steps will be taken according to the results of the survey.
On Friday 14 February, the Sono Centre in Brno hosted a genre-diversified festival, which was also a celebration of three decades of activity of three publishing branches, which we associate with the original simple name Indies Records. Over the years, Indies Records has divided itself into three separate labels with three distinct edition catalogues – Indies MG, Indies Scope and Indies Happy Trails, which are operated by the personalities of Miloš Gruber, Milan Páleš and Jaromír Kratochvíl.
Yesterday evening at the piazzetta of the Janáček Theatre was marked by a concert to commence the 2019/2020 season of the National Theatre Brno (NdB). Promotion of the event ensured the most important thing for this music evening – hundreds of spectators who filled up the whole place. We should not forget the really wide age range, which is so much needed for future culture, especially at its lower limit (still in strollers).
As a UNESCO-listed city of music, Brno has had four festival days full of music and dance. Tens of concerts and performances with hundreds of performers took place at twenty-two music venues. Music in the streets sounded on every corner, but most attention this year was attracted by four rooms by the artist Kateřina Šedá, in which artists of different genres and nationalities took turns. Another attraction was the performances of the British Motionhouse and No Fit State Circus, who repeatedly enchanted the Náměstí Svobody Square with their acrobatic pieces and breathtaking performances. Two large stages were also set up – Dominik Stage on Dominikánské Square and Django Stage on Malinovského Square, on which appeared artists such as Jana Kirschner, Monika Bagárová, minus123minutes or Jan P. Muchow & The Antagonists. Traditionally, the festival was accompanied by the sound of barrel organs whose players met in Brno as part of their 10th international meeting. This year, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tinatin Tsereteli (Hannover) and violinist Nicola Manzan (Bologna) as artists from UNESCO partner cities of music also premiered at the Brno Music Marathon. The atmosphere of the festival is captured in the video below.
Folkové prázdniny [Folk Holidays] in Náměšť nad Oslavou is a festival standing out with its dramaturgy, structure and atmosphere. Every season has its own theme, every evening has its own theme, and even some individual performances have their own themes. The long-time programme director Michal Schmidt managed this year to excellently balance Czech premiéres and truly extraordinary projects with reappearances and sure bets. This year's theme of Folkové prázdniny was About the Soul; however, this week-long event has its soul every year.
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.
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.