PRAGUE SPRING is the most important classical music festival in the Czech Republic, and it has a wealth of participants from around the world. In 2014, the 69th-annual festival will be presenting fifty-one concerts at seventeen concert venues in Prague, and it will be welcoming nearly 130 orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists. The festival will encompass a number of special projects as part of the “Year of Czech Music.”
In 2014, from May 12th - June 3rd.
the festival will welcome guest stars including Lang Lang, Daniil Trifonov (winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition and of the 2011 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition), Julia Fischer (named “Artist of the Year 2007” by the prestigious British music journal Gramophone and “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2009 MIDEM Classical Awards), Andreas Scholl (the first countertenor to make an appearance at the famed Last Night of the Proms in London), Violeta Urmana (a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera in New York), Les Arts Florissants, The Hilliard Ensemble (the last chance to hear this ensemble in Prague), Simona Houda Šaturová, Roman Rabinovich (winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition), and many others.
Chamber music lovers will certainly appreciate the Weekend of Czech Chamber Music. On the last weekend in May, eleven chamber music concerts will take place at attractive Prague venues, many of which are not otherwise open to the public. The actress Hana Maciuchová, Monsignor Václav Malý, and Professor Cyril Höschl are going to be the patrons for the weekend event.
The Prague Spring festival was first held in 1946. Behind the birth of the festival during that first year of the post-war era were the great Czech conductor Rafael Kubelík, then the artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic, the pianist Rudolf Firkušný, and President Edvard Beneš. Since its founding, festival participants have included top soloists, singers, and conductors. In 1946 and 1947, Leonard Bernstein made his European debut at the festival at the start of his stellar career as a conductor and composer. Also coming to Prague each year were such Russian artists as the violin virtuoso David Oistrakh, the pianist Sviatoslav Richter, and the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, the winner of the international music competition that has been held as part of the Prague Spring festival since its second season in 1947.