Thursday, September 29, 2011:Will He? Or Won’t He?

With any luck, if you kiss this one it'll turn into a trombonist

Will He? Or Won’t He?

Well, will he?

Or won’t he?

That’s the burning question: Will trombonist Jiří Novotný wear a frog costume when he plays the beloved, short tune Zabák (The Frog) with the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) this Sunday afternoon?

The humorous piece, complete with a so-called “wah-wah” mute for better frog-calling, was composed by Václav Trojan (1907-1983), who became famous for his film, stage, and radio music after World War II. A graduate of The Prague Conservatory, Trojan attended masterclasses taught by Josef Suk, Vítězslav Novák, and other famous Czech musicians; composed a children’s opera; and earned several prestigious awards.

Jiří Novotný

Mr Novotný also has won several well-known awards, including the Prague Spring International Music Competition, in 1987. As a solo trombonist, he has appeared with many famous orchestras, and released several CDs. He has been a member of the Prague Symphony Orchestra since 1994.

Sunday’s program, part of a continuing series for families and children, will include several other “Trifles of the Czech Masters” – short works by Josef Suk, Antonín Dvořák, Zdeněk Fibich, Bedřich Smetana, and others.

However, none of their works (as far as is known) has ever been performed by musicians wearing the authentic “uniform” of a frog. At least not in a public concert.

So the spotlight Sunday will be on Mr Novotný. Will he wear a costume? Or won’t he?

You’ll just have to go to the concert yourself to find out the answer! – oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Jiří Novotný: Prague Symphony Orchestra

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