Tag: Mary Matz

Opus Osm Minutka: Czech Philharmonic Tells All

For three nights the Czech Philharmonic promises to ‘reveal all’ as it invites you ‘backstage’ to watch an informal onstage rehearsal. Opus Osm ‘Minutka’ (‘Little Minute’): What Happens in an Orchestra Rehearsal? Five Fast Facts about the Czech Philharmonic’s Zkouška Orchestru (Orchestra Rehearsal) — open to the public — May 5, 6, and 7, 7:30 pm, at The Rudolfinum 1 The informal presentation, led by Marek Eben interviewing Conductor Jiří…

Key Words: Shift, Fidget, and Wiggle

Try this: Put your keyboard over your left hip. Now look at your screen over your right shoulder. Hold this pose for at least 45 minutes. That’s what a typical violinist does – for several hours every day. And that doesn’t include twisting your left hand, while holding a bow in the fingers of your right. So it’s no surprise that a typical musician can develop just as many career-related…

Italian Cultural Institute Shares Its Treasures in Prague

When you think of impressive concert halls in Prague, don’t overlook the Baroque Chapel tucked away on Šporkova street in Malá Strana. The Baroque Chapel of the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague is a treasure trove of artistic beauty, offering music, art exhibitions, and more. The Italian Cultural Institute has a long history of hosting classical music concerts, usually featuring an Italian guest, often performing with Czech accompanists. For example,…

‘At Home’ with PKF’s Worldwide Chamber Series

Martina Cechová, musicologist for the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, invites listeners to learn a few tidbits and to hear composers’ works in a close-to-home atmosphere. An audience small enough to be classified “intimate” yet large enough to comfortably fill the space at the Czech Museum of Music gathers on a chilly December evening. The concert tonight is “From Bohemian Fields and Groves-The Czech Tradition of the Wind Quintet” and features…

Jakub Hrůša: How to Listen to Classical Music

Confused about classical music? Or maybe ‘apprehensive’ is a better word? Chief conductor Jakub Hrůša explains what to listen for in classical music, in this heart-to-heart interview with Opus Osm. We’re sitting in front of Jakub Hrůša’s massive desk in a sunny, spacious office at the headquarters of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia in the center of Prague. Chief conductor and music director Hrůša, an energetic, vibrant 30-something, sits comfortably…

Meet Old & New Czech Cello Works at Festival Brikcius

Festival Brikcius’ third chamber music concert series opens Nov 6 and spotlights Czech and other cello composers in five upcoming concerts. The Festival commemorates several anniversaries of the birth and deaths of these composers well-known and not-so-well-known outside the Czech Republic. So test your musical knowledge: How many of these Czech composers on the Festival Brikcius concert program do you recognize? · The headliners: Bohuslav Martinů, Antonín Dvořák, Iša Krejčí,…

Prague Chamber Ballet and 4! Quartets

This year the Prague Chamber Ballet marks 50 years since its original founding. They open the season by dancing to three classical Czech quartets, played live on stage by a fourth Czech classic, the Zemlinsky Quartet. Antonín Dvořák’s optimistic Slavonic Quartet started off the Oct 5 premiere of 3 Czech Quartets (3 Ceské Kvartety) at the Theatre of the Estates. Four male and four female dancers perform the cheerful, skillful…

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…

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…