From 12 May to 4 June, the pretty Czech city of Prague comes alive to the sound of different genres of music as it celebrates its annual Prague Spring International Music Festival. Baroque Access has all the details
For three glorious weeks, classical music takes center stage in 17 concert halls in Prague during its annual Prague Spring International Music Festival. This year the city will welcome 98 different orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists from 23 different countries around the world.
Visitors to this exciting festival, which is now in its 71st year, can expect world-class performances of classical music, jazz and other types of music. The Prague Spring International Music Festival, which was established in 1946, is the oldest, most famous and largest festival in the country, and in 2016, it promises to offer an excellent mix of music, tradition and excitement.
The opening concert, held on 12 May in the Smetana Hall at the city’s Municipal House, featured the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Estonianian Paavo Järvi. This orchestra also played at the very first festival in 1946. In fact, a number of distinguished foreign and Czech musicians played in the very first festival, including famous American composer, pianist and conductor Leonard Bernstein.
This year, as is traditional, world class international orchestras will also perform, including ones from Berlin, Singapore, London and more. The highlight of the 2016 festival will be music from the Baltic countries, and it is also the start of a new three-year series that focuses on music from Spain and Latin America.
Other highlights of the Festival include a special two-hour performance by the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe, as well as the appearance of 18-year-old jazz guitarist Andreas Varady, lauded by Quincy Jones as one of the most talented musicians in the world, who will make his Prague debut on 30 May.
There will also be a special homage to Charles IV, with monastic music performed in St Agnes Convent on 18 May.
This esteemed music festival is not only a truly international event; it is regarded as very prestigious in the music world, as it combines the very best Czech musicians with elite musicians from all over the world.