BERLIN PHILHARMONIC BEGINS TO CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF CZECH MUSIC FOR THE PRAGUE SPRING

The Prague Spring International Music Festival has published a programme of the 79th edition, which will bring to five dozen concerts between 12 May and 3 June 2024. It will be a grand celebration of the Year of Czech Music and the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bedřich Smetana. The Berlin Philharmonic will kick off the Prague Spring, with two of Italy’s finest orchestras – the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra – also attending the festival. From Paris comes the unique Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, from the Netherlands Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, from Belgium the legendary Collegium Vocale Gent. New to this year’s festival is a day-long programme for young audiences called SpringTEEN, at the Forum Karlín there will be a spectacular concert with 50 simultaneous lyrical pianos. Ticket sales begin 1. 11 p.m. 2023 at 11 a.m. at festival.cz.

Every opening of the Prague Spring International Music Festival is expected with suspense, each with something special. “However, the opening concert on 12 and 13 May 2024 will go down in the history of the festival as one of the milestones,” says Pavel Trojan, director of the festival. “Smetana’s My Country will be performed by the Berlin Philharmonic. It will be done under the baton of chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, who has demonstrated many times during his rich career that he has an extremely warm relationship with Czech music,” Trojan adds.
The ambassador of the Year of Czech Music at the Prague Spring 2024 will be the conductor Jakub Hrůša, who is among the most celebrated Czech musicians of today. It also brings Czech music to the world’s stages, to the best orchestras and to the towering opera houses. This will also be the case for his concert on 18 May with the unique Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia from Rome, of which he has been principal guest conductor since 2021. Together they will play, among others, Fresky Piera della Francesca, in which Bohuslav Martinů was inspired by fine art in Arezzo, Italy.
Jakub Hrůša will also lead the concert performance of Smetana’s opera Libuše. He will lead a troupe of top soloists headed by Katerina Kněžíková and Adam Plachetka, the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Czech Philharmonic At two ceremonial evenings on 28 and 30 May. Hrůša will also be one of the keynote speakers of the conference, which the Prague Spring is preparing for the Year of Czech Music. With the participation of state leaders, economists, philosophers or entrepreneurs, there will be a discussion on the phenomenon of the Czech Republic as a great power of classical music.
The final concert on June 3 will feature the European premiere of The Superorganisms, composed by Miroslav Srnka on the joint order of the Berlin Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and the Czech Philharmonic. Composer Kryštof Mařatka is again very successful in France. So the Prague Spring invited the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to perform the world premiere of Mařatkova’s Violin Concerto alongside French music at their concert on May 27. This one bears the uncanny name sanctuary – in the depths of cave paintings, referring to the inspiration of ancient paintings preserved in caves for tens of thousands of years.
JK

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