Brno Contemporary Orchestra: A Song to the City of Stone or World Premières in the Underground Reservoir

23 May 2024, 1:00
Brno Contemporary Orchestra: A Song to the City of Stone or World Premières in the Underground Reservoir

The last concert from the Invisible City series is entitled Samá láska (Love Alone), based on the poetry collection by Jaroslav Seifert. For the first time ever, an orchestra will play in the Brno Underground Reservoir with the première featuring three compositions written specifically for this space. The pieces are by three Czech composers, Petr Hromádka, Naomi Savková and Tomáš Šenkyřík, and they will talk about music that cannot love.

"We found it fascinating that these vast and thrilling spaces, which were to be eternally filled with thirty million litres of water and never to be seen, have become such an extraordinary tourist attraction. We saw it as powerfully poetic or poeticistic, where there was also a noticeable split between the praise of factories with proletarians and the dazzling beauty of everyday life portrayed in Jaroslav Seifert's second collection," explains BCO dramaturg Viktor Pantůček.

The event as a whole will begin outside, where the opening song Underground, written by Petr Hromádka for the BCO, will be performed next to the newly renovated administrative building. It will continue below ground with the monochronic work of Lithuanian composer Justé Janulyté. This will be the Czech première of Sleeping Patterns, composed in 2022. Another commission of the evening is the in situ composition / installation Vodovjemy by Tomáš Šenkyřík, based on authentic recordings of the silence and sounds of the underground reservoirs on Žlutý kopec hill.

After the break, the reservoir will see a musical encounter between Frank Zappa and Mejla Hlavsa in the composition Plastic Meat, written by Josef Klíč for the series Please, Do Not Disturb, performed by the BCO in Brno hotels during the pandemic. So actually another world première (you can see it on YouTube). The second half of the concert centres around Kya for clarinet and seven instruments, a 1959 work by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi.

Before its refurbishment, the second of the reservoirs was overgrown with Virginia creeper roots. The BCO asked Noemi Savková to weave this intertwining of invisible life with the invisible city into her song for the City of Stone. The result was a composition entitled Virginia Creeper for ensemble, tinkling and dripping water. At the end, there will be one more short yet intense surprise prepared by Pavel Šnajdr for the BCO and the audience.

The concert will take place on 28 May 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the underground reservoir on Žlutý kopec hill. The event is standing room only. Tickets for the concert do not include admission to the tour of the other reservoirs. Tickets for that tour will be available for purchase on site from 5:30 p.m. until 6:50 p.m. The project was created in cooperation with TIC Brno and the newly opened Žlutý Kopec Underground Reservoirs.


From 5:30 p.m. tickets are available for an unguided tour of the reservoirs with an audio guide

From 7:00 p.m. concert - next to the guard house and in reservoir no. 2

LOVE ALONE from the series Invisible City

We talk about music that cannot love

Petr Hromádka - Underground (commissioned by the BCO) 18'

Justé Janulyté - Sleeping Patterns (2022) 20'

Tomáš Šenkyřík - Vodovjemy (commissioned by the BCO) 15'


Josef Klíč - Plastic Meat (composed for the BCO during the pandemic) 8'

Giacinto Scelsi - Kya (1959) 20'

Noemi Savková - Virginia Creeper (commissioned by the BCO) 15’

Brno Contemporary Orchestra conducted by Pavel Šnajdr

BCO photo archive



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