New Year’s concerts – a tradition that never fades
The year of Czech music is an extraordinary cultural event that always takes place on the Czech cultural scene whenever the year ends in the numeral 4. It has regularly commemorated the eminent figures of Czech music since 1924, especially classical composers Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884), Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) and Leoš Janáček (1854–1928). The program traditionally opens with a series of New Year’s concerts, which take place concurrently in several cities in the Czech Republic and abroad. The highlight unfolds on January 1st at 8:00 PM with the Czech Philharmonic in Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague. Among those performing there include the mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená and violinist Josef Špaček. The Moravian Philharmonic in Olomouc will launch the Year of Czech Music with its New Year’s concert on 9 January, but you can enjoy performances by the soloists of the Moravian Theater in Olomouc.
The Czech Republic comes alive with classical music
Classical music has always had a home in Czech culture. This can be seen in the number of festivals and concerts ready to go. The international music festival Prague Spring was begun in 1946 and has been accompanied by illustrious names since its inception – Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Pavarotti and Magdalena Kožená. This year’s festival will take place from May 12th to June 2nd as part of the Year of Czech Music and offer primarily the works of Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák.
The opera festival Smetana’s Litomyšl is the second-largest music festival in the Czech Republic after Prague Spring and likewise among the largest Czech classical music festivals. You can look forward to a proper dose of good opera from June 13th to July 6th in the wings of Litomyšl Château, a Renaissance pearl of Eastern Bohemia.
Popular music for everybody
The new year will not be short of musical stars. Already on February 9th, Ennio Morricone, a musical genius of the 20th century, will appear in Prague. Can we look forward to the iconic songs from the movies Once Upon a Time in the West or Mission? Morricone will conduct the Symphony Orchestra in a concert accompanied by vocal soloists.
The modern O2 Arena will be bursting at the seams in 2014. After 11 years Robbie Williams is coming back to Prague! On April 26th he will perform here his new studio album Swings Both Ways. Justin Timberlake will follow him only a couple of days later, on June 3rd to be specific.
Summer festivals not only for young people
The draw of summer music festivals is their diversity and relaxing atmosphere. The organizers of the biggest Czech rock festival Rock for People, which traditionally takes place in Hradec Králové on the first weekend in July, say they have a ready supply of names that will draw the attention of fans and not only from the Czech Republic!
Between July 17th and 20th, the center of Ostrava – in particular Lower Vítkovice – will become a large concert venue for the 13th time thanks to the festival Colours of Ostrava. Last year the biggest stars of the festival were the bands Sigur Rós, The xx and The Knife. The organizers will certainly not reduce the imaginary bar of quality and so this year big names from jazz, world music, indie rock and alternative music will also appear.