Tag: Miroslav Setnička

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…

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…

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…

Holiday Greetings from Opus Osm

Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season from Opus Osm! The holiday decorations are up on Old Town Square; Christmas markets are bustling with shoppers on squares throughout Prague; and Christmas concerts and performances are glittering on stages throughout the capital city and the whole country. So at this time Opus Osm is taking a break to wish everyone a happy, joyful Christmas holiday and the best for 2014! We…

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…

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…

To Play from Memory? – Or Not?

Ever wondered why some pianists play from memory, and others always use the sheet music? Pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont shares an insider’s thoughts on the question. For years, I’ve been hearing colleagues ask me why I was always playing the piano from memory, even when I could have the score in front of my eyes. In his last years, Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter used the music and convincingly spoke about it….

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…

Prague Spring’s November Mini-Festival

The venerable Prague Spring International Music Festival inaugurates the first autumn Rudolf Firkušný Piano Festival Nov 24-30. Rudolf Firkušný is still ranked as one of the greatest 20th-century pianists, and this Prague Spring festival’s “supplemental” festival is a tribute to him. Four concerts will span only one week, but feature some of the finest pianists in the world — Emanuel Ax (US), Nov 24; Dénes Várjon (Hungary), Nov 26; and…

Lessons from a Master

World-renown pianist Garrick Ohlsson gives four Prague students a one-on-one private piano lesson – in front of 175 people. If you took piano lessons as a kid, but somehow never made it past Book III, you probably still remember your teacher’s instructions: “Sit up straight! Curve your fingers! No, no, you have to use your little finger there! Don’t look at your fingers, look at the notes! –And keep your…

A Little Tuesday Night Music

It has been 150 years since the foremost Czech artists, musicians, and scientists started the Czech Artists’ Association, whose primary purpose was to elevate and promote Czech arts within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Mozart would be proud. The Association (Umělecká Beseda) continues today, and in honor of this Tuesday get-together tradition, this year the Prague Spring festival programmed two evenings of contemporary Czech music. Concerts at St. Agnes Convent Tues, May…