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The Commitments, Part 5: Michaela’s ‘One of the Best’

In this part of Opus Osm’s first-person series, Conservatory flute student Michaela Blažková describes how a classical music ‘star’ is a role model for her, influencing her commitment to the study of music. Česká verze je dole. Michaela Blažková, Prague Flute, Second Year I met Philippe Bernold at his concerts which were last September in Prague and Plzeň. He was playing wonderfully, like always. My professor, Jan Ostrý, was a student of…

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Backstage with the French Horn

This is the beginning of the full article about French horn laureate Kateřina Javůrková. You can find the full article in our “Magazine” section — click on the black tab at the top of the page. This is a different kind of Rudolfinum than you know from its glittering concert hall. We’re passing through the employees’ entrance of the Czech Philharmonic orchestra … Kateřina Javůrková guides me through the corridors,…

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Mysliveček, Gluck, & Genaux

Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux earns a standing ovation for her Mar 18 concert with Collegium 1704. “Perhaps at no other time were there so many celebrated musicians from the Czech lands living outside of their homeland as in the 18th century,” begin the program notes from this extraordinary concert in Collegium 1704′s “Baroque Opera Stars” series. And the program this evening mainly features works by two ‘ex-pat’ Bohemians, Josef Mysliveček (born…

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Building ‘Beat’

We’re the judges, watching critically from the single row of plush red and gold chairs, surrounded by mirrors. But this isn’t a star-search event; it’s the creating of Beat, the Prague Chamber Ballet’s world premiere. We’re watching six Prague Chamber Ballet dancers glide across the shiny studio floor. From our row of seats, guest co-choreographer Uri Ivgi nods in tiny movements to the electronic beat; his partner choreographer Johan Greben…

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The Commitments, Part 4: Roxana’s 3 Critical Strings

. Think “conservatory” and you probably think of student musicians. But what about their instruments? Roxana Hädler tells us about the first-in-the-world harp she plays. Česká verze je dole. Roxana Hädler, Prague via Deggendorf, Germany 2nd Year, Harp Last summer I took part in a harp workshop in Santuario di Crea, about 150km from Milan. This workshop included a visit to the Salvi Harp factory. Salvi Harps is one of…

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Czech National Ballet ‘Symphony II’ to Premiere

Following is the beginning of an article on the Czech National Ballet’s newest premiere, Symphony II. You can find the full article, provided for our readers by the Czech National Ballet, by clicking the black “Re:Source” tab at the top of any page. 2014 is the Year of Czech Music, to which we aim to respond with this production. It bears the title Czech Ballet Symphony II and links up…

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Muses at the Mozarteum

An extraordinary concert at the Mozarteum brings together architecture, art, literature, and of course, beautiful music — by a composer with a “difficult” reputation. Prague’s Mozarteum was the setting Mar 15 for a concert evoking several muses. Mozarteum, built in the geometric modernist style in 1913 as a publishing house, first inaugurated its concert hall with an appearance by Emmy Destinn, according to music historian/speaker Dr Vlasta Reittererová. But this…

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‘Mozart in Prague’

A new book — in English — about Mozart and his connections to Prague explains Mozart’s many connections to Prague, including, but not limited to, his creation of the opera Don Giovanni. This is the opening of our review of Mozart in Prague. You can read the entire review by clicking on the black “Re:Source” tab at the top of this page. American musicologist Dr Daniel E Freeman has repeated…

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The Commitments, Part 3: ‘How I Write Music’

It’s easy to think all Prague Conservatory students want to be musicians playing an instrument. In the 3d part of our series we go into the classroom to discover how a music student learns the art of composing. Daria Moiseeva, Karlovy Vary Composition, First Year Ceská verze je dole. I have composed from an early age. Year after year I improve my skills. My main inspiration are composers from the…

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The Commitments, Part 2: Hana & a Royal Instrument

It’s easy to think all Prague Conservatory students must be geniuses on a straight path to musical stardom. In the second part of this first-person, Opus Osmseries we go into the classroom to learn in more detail how a first-year Conservatory student feels about a “royal” instrument. Česká verze je dole. Hana Mikulová, Turnov French Horn, First Year The French horn is a really wonderful brass musical instrument. I’ve played…

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Making Thoughts Audible

In a Prague concert Mar 1, Czech composer Vlastislav Matoušek introduced a beautiful ensemble of shakuhachi players. … Shaku-what-i players? What exactly is a shakuhachi? It’s simply a flute using air in a vertical column. But it’s difficult to create tones on the shakuhachi because it is not suitable for rapid movements. On the contrary, it is very well fit for music understood as spiritual discipline. It produces a lot…

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The Commitments, Part 1: Jakub’s Dream

It’s easy to think all Prague Conservatory students must be geniuses on a straight path to musical stardom. In this first-person, Opus Osm series we go into the classroom to discover the winding, sometimes bumpy path these students have already committed to on their journey. Česká verze je dole. Jakub Rojko, Dvůr Králové nad Labem French Horn, First Year It all started in the second class when I wanted to…

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Young Careers: Encores for Martin Klusák

We first reported on composer Martin Klusák in 2012. Here he updates us on his latest world premieres and a possibly difficult, important decision he’ll have to make soon. The young, very busy composer starts by telling Opus Osm about four of his concerts, all taking place within the short time between the end of November and the beginning of this month. November 28 saw the premiere of his Orion…

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Homage to a Star Teacher

Why is it that many stars become teachers of their art after they retire from the high stakes game of live theatre and opera? No doubt there are many reasons to take up teaching, but perhaps the most obvious is that teaching offers a way for performers to continue their own art through the performances of their students. It is through students that voice and opera teachers enjoy new successes…

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Young Careers: Jiří Kabát’s Many Careers

Opus Osm last reported on viola musician Jiří Kabát in 2011 when he was premiering some new compositions. Since then, he’s graduated from Prague Conservatory in composition, studied at a university in Scotland, begun work as an arranger, and made his debut as a conductor! “Conducting started more or less just as a way for me to make my own music, if needed,” Jiří Kabát tells Opus Osm. “But after…

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Music that Echoes in the Silence

‘Music from Silence’ will echo in The Czech Museum of Music’s enclosed courtyard concert hall at two intriguing Clarinet Factory concerts. “Music from Silence (Hudba z Ticha)” is simply “the short version of ‘the most beautiful music comes just from silence,’” Music Factory clarinetist Jindřich Pavliš tells Opus Osm. “We’re preparing a site-specific performance where the space is one of the most important players. This space a has very long…

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