A Brno Contemporary Orchestra concert will take place in the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia

23 February 2024, 1:00
A Brno Contemporary Orchestra concert will take place in the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia

The fourth instalment of the Invisible City series is entitled Ministry of Truth - based on George Orwell's novel 1984, which deals with the manipulation of the past. This time the Bruno Contemporary Orchestra will play in the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The world premiere will feature, for example, Jiří Adámek Austerlitz’s composition We Are The Power.

The twelfth season of the Brno Contemporary Orchestra is based on musical excursions to vanishing, disappearing or changing places in Brno, to wanted and unwanted memories and to places of complete oblivion. “Music can't build a better tomorrow, and fortunately even composers don't have that in their job description anymore. So, maybe that is why we do not evaluate, we do not dictate a single truth, but we juxtapose different truths, different sincerities and different incommensurable honours and above all different approaches to music and sound", explains dramaturge Viktor Pantůček. The concert will take place on February 26, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. (the main radio news broadcast from 26 February 1974 at 6:30 p.m.).

The world premiere will feature Jiří Adámek Austerlitz 's composition WE ARE THE POWER (Exorcism of the Dictator by Pussy Riot), inspired by the story of Russian activists who attempted to perform a protest song in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The rigged trial against them led to two of them being sentenced to two years in the harshest prison in Siberia. Their warnings about Vladimir Putin seem somewhat prophetic today.

John Adams' work also includes a number of politically engaged creations. His Scratchband, however, represents a kind of rebellion against the cheapness and programmatic intrusiveness of popular culture, from which he takes his energy and instrumentation, but does not give up his compositional language and interpretive virtuosity. It is a non-epigonic reaction to the "enfant terrible" of American music and culture, Frank Zappa.

In the second half of the evening, the brilliant composition "Price of Oil" by Marxist Frederic Rzewski is a searing critique of capitalist society. All this is framed by a radio broadcast from 1974 and a recording of a concert by the punk band Visací zámek from February 1984.

Absolutely useless and futile (...)", "We were very satisfied (...)" are examples of controversial reviews by people who have used the services of the ombudsman, the headquarters of whom are located in the controversial building of the former Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which was built in 1977-1979 on Údolní Street. We couldn't have found a better place for our program. Don't miss our journey backward or forward (?) in time and come at 6:30 p.m., so you don't miss the VERY INTERESTING BROADCAST from 1974," adds Pavel Šnajdr, conductor and artistic director of the BCO.


A story about music that can't build better tomorrows


The building of the former Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, now the headquarters of the Ombudsman, Údolní 39

Main radio news from 26 February 1974

Jiří Adámek Austerlitz - WE ARE THE POWER, (exorcism of the dictator by Pussy Riot), order BCO
John Adams - Scratchband (1996, rev. 1997)

Visací zámek - a recording from a live performance at Žofín in February 1984
Frederic Rzewski - The Price of Oil (1980)

Jana Vondru, Vojtech Šembera - vocals
Kateřina Císařová, Vendula Holičková and Bára Miššíková - backing vocals
Brno Contemporary Orchestra - conducted by Pavel Šnajdr

Pavel Šnajdr/ photo BCO archive



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