Tag: Mary Matz

If Beethoven Blogged … (Introduction)

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, today begins If Beethoven Blogged, a short, weekly video series. The young French pianist, who studied at the Prague Conservatory, will release a new CD, Beethoven: Evolutions in early July. It features three…

The ‘Firsts’ that Last

Prima ballerina Daria Klimentová’s 25 year career first started with The National Theatre Ballet. And that’s where she gave her last Czech performance, May 15, before her retirement from dance. Tickets for her performance sold out in a mere 23 minutes. And so it was a packed house that came to see, appreciate, applaud, literally cheer, and give standing ovations to the Prague native who has danced in companies around…

Kids of Summer — and their Psalters, Harps, and Gavottes

Until only recently, Early Music was often dismissed as irrelevant. Today you can enjoy Baroque performances everywhere. And now, one festival is even bringing old music to the youngest audience — kids from 4 to 14 — and their parents. “Our aim is to maintain the high-quality musical heritage we have, and the only way to do that is to educate the audience,” says Monika Nováková. ' She’s one of…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Sing For Your — Breakfast!

What happens when young kids meet The Prague Philharmonic Choir and their guests? In the Prague Conservatory concert hall: Young kids, mostly early elementary-school age, and their parents. On the stage: Empty choir ‘risers’ (stands). Nothing happens. Where is the choir? Suddenly, “Allelujah! Allelujah!” bursts from the balcony above. The 35 voices from The Prague Philharmonic Choir (SBOR) sing the main theme from Handel’s Messiah. Startled kids twist around in…

Young Careers: Occam’s Razor

Three early-20-something dancers present their first ‘professional’ choreographies in Occam’s Razor, a new creative project by The Prague Chamber Ballet. “Definitely, there’s a need for a place for young choreographers to get a start with their own creations,” says Johana Mücková, the Prague Chamber Ballet’s public relations director. “We wanted to start something new and at the same time raise awareness about the young generation of choreographers,” she explains. And…

Patricia Goodson’s Winding Path to — Foerster

As a child, the only music Patricia Goodson heard regularly was in church. Now this solo and ensemble pianist has released the first-ever CD collection of the complete solo piano works of JB Foerster. Patricia Goodson has come a very long way. She has “arrived” on international stages, she records for Czech and western radio and television, and she teaches piano at New York University in Prague. But she comes…

Bartender, Another Rondo!

Bibi Pelič takes her violin to a Vinohrady pub for an evening of live classical music and friendly conversation. It’s 8 pm on a May night, and Zuzana is waiting for the 9 pm solo classical concert at the Bar and Books pub. She’s enjoying a glass of wine in the meantime. “I usually go to concerts in a concert hall or a club,” she says. “This concert is free;…

Mission: Possible?

In just a week, ten aspiring singers learn to sing opera, and put their voices on display in a final, public concert. … Was it possible? They range in age from nearly 50 to just 14. They sing in Czech opera choruses, or only in the shower. They have studied music for years at a conservatory, or sung and played in a rock band. But the ten came to the…

Facing the Music

Composer Aleš Březina (Toufar, Tomorrow There Will Be) says Czechs are now ready to confront some of the difficult questions of their Communist past. It seems a surge of artistic performances about the darker side of Communism in Czechoslovakia has surfaced in the past few years. The HBO film The Burning Bush recounts Jan Palach’s self-immolation in a 1969 protest. The Prague Symphony Orchestra chose the opening concert of their…

Standup Dancers

Contemporary dance group 420people premieres Mirage, a look at the similarity between standup comedians – and dancers – and people everywhere. At first glance you might think it a bit of a stretch to compare comedians and dancers. But 420people’s co-director / choreographer Václav Kuneš makes the similarities painfully clear. Most obviously, standup comedians often take frustrating, real-life situations and ‘stand them on their head’ [idiom, to use something in…

Mysliveček, Rediscovered (full article)

Book: Josef Mysliveček, ‘Il Boemo’ The Man and His Music By Daniel E. Freeman 2009, Harmonie Park Press, Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA In English; a Czech translation is currently in production. You may have noticed works by Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) gradually appearing in more repertoires both here in the Czech Republic and abroad. The importance of this old Czech composer’s modern “discovery” is clearly explained in this carefully researched and…