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Opus Osm Video Series: If Beethoven Blogged …

Lots and lots has been written about Ludwig van Beethoven by other people. But what if Beethoven himself had been able to publish commentary on his own, world-wide ‘blog’? Opus Osm, in cooperation with pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, has created If Beethoven Blogged,several short videos which originally aired here in spring 2014. The young French pianist, who studied at the Prague Conservatory, has recorded a new CD, Beethoven: Evolutions. It features…

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Magazine: Backstage with the French Horn

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, until we arrive at what seems to be an old-timers’ canteen, where the musicians line up to get their lunches of fried cheese and other Czech specials. My tea companion, Kateřina Javůrková (22), opened the Mar…

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Magazine: The Bogus Oboe

What is it about oboe players and their obsession with reeds? Just ahead of the 2nd Jarmila Novotná Festival, Gonazalo X. Ruiz explains. Mr Ruiz performs as principal oboist and concerto soloist for leading period-instrument groups in the US, and performs widely in Europe. He’s considered an expert in historical reed-making techniques. And he’s bringing his oboe back to the Czech Republic for concerts Sept 6-8 at the 2nd annual…

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ffff and More Make Meaning

A Prague Composer/Pianist Explains How Gorecki Made Lerchenmusik In the mid-1980s Polish composer Henryk Górecki (1933-2010) composed and revised a 45-minute European minimalist chamber work in three movements. Lerchenmusik for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, Opus 53 was the incredible result, and lucky listeners at the Contempuls 2012 Music Festival heard it beautifully performed by the MoEns ensemble Nov 16 in Prague. It’s almost impossible to describe Lerchenmusik adequately in mere…

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Magazine: About Šmok

Magazine: About Šmok – A Personal Essay A packed theatre greeted Pavel Šmok Oct 20 when his “creation,” the Prague Chamber Ballet, presented excerpts from six of his choreographies. The occasion marked his 85th birthday on Oct 22. Stars from all over the dance universe, television, and other media were there to applaud his lifelong work as an internationally known choreographer and dancer, actor and pedagogue, revered at home as…

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Magazine: O Šmokovi

O Šmokovi Vyprodané divadlo přivítalo 20. října Pavla Šmoka během provedení výběru z jeho choreografií v podání jeho „výtvoru“ – Pražského komorního baletu. Tato událost proběhla na počest jeho 85. narozenin, které slaví 22. října. Hvězdy ze světa tance, televize a dalších médií přišly, aby ocenily celoživotní kariéru světoznámého choreografa, tanečníka, herce a pedagoga, uznávaného jak u nás, tak v zahraničí. Já však profesora Šmoka znám především jako přítele. Když jsem poprvé přijela…

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Reporting from the Metro

Reporting from the Metro: Not-Quite Underground Music Despite some hazards, listeners declare the first-ever music in the metro day a success. “It’s wonderful. It doesn’t happen so much,” Radek smiles. He’s leaning over the steel railing above the Budějovicka metro station, watching the guitar quartet performing below. He’s joined a small crowd that has stopped for a moment to listen to the music students from the Jaroslav Ježek conservatory perform…

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Beauty in the Eye of the Photographer

Beauty In the Eye of the Photographer You see his work all over Prague these days – on large posters in the metro, at tram stops, in front of the National Theatre, even supersized on the sides of trams. Yet you may not stop to think how these beautiful posters for Sleeping Beauty traveled from an original idea in a photographer’s mind all the way to their ultimate destination –…

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Thursday, September 22, 2011:Up Close, Personal

Dvořáks Up Close and Personal It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. And Anna has only a heavy sun parasol and a folding fan to help her keep cool. She’s wearing long cotton stockings, a couple of short petticoats, and knee-length shorts under a floor-length hoop that’s covered by a heavy cotton skirt with train. The long-sleeved, heavy cotton jacket is buttoned up to her throat,…

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Monday, August 1, 2011: Dress Rehearsal!

Backstage at Dress Rehearsal “What else?” Veronika Iblová sighs, hands on hips, looking around at the tangle of girls in leotards, jeans, leopard costumes, or dressed as butterflies. The director of the VIP International School of Ballet is doing makeup for the dance school’s final production in its first year of operation. Mrs Iblová grabs a tube of lipstick and dabs it on the lower lip of a teenage girl…

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Bands, on the Run

From Auschwitz to Australia, Rudolf Pekárek never let history stop the music By Zuzana Sklenková The Prague Symphony Orchestra, or FOK (for “Film, Opera, Koncert”), started off as the idea of just one man, Rudolf Pekárek (1900-1974). He was not only a music organizer and oboe player, but also a conductor. Although he was the founder of one of the foremost classical music ensembles in Prague, his name is not…

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A Sound Start

Music as an Endearment for Future Mothers By Baia Dzagnidze In the half-dark, small hall of Josef Suk in The Rudolfinum, where the small stage is lighted only with one chandelier and blue lights line the walls, future mothers gather to listen to the concert designed especially for them. The sound of the ocean, with a picture of birds on the slideshow screen, makes you relaxed and prepares you for…

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Conductors: CEOs in a Tux

Another in the Series Music & Leadership, the Relationship between Music and Business We’ve all seen conductors doing their job. But apart from waving their hands in the air, what are they really up to? The conductor may appear on concert promotions, CD covers, television — but he doesn’t make a sound. His true power is his ability to make other people powerful. He must be effective in enabling musicians…

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