The Year of Czech Music is an extraordinary cultural event.
This event takes place on the Czech cultural scene whenever the year ends with the numeral 4. Explore what musical pearls the Czech Republic will offer to its visitors.
Outstanding singers, bands adored by stadiums, chamber artists with velvet voices, all of this you can see and above all hear live in Prague and in other cities. What can you look forward to in 2014? Since 1924, it has regularly commemorated the eminent figures of Czech music, especially classical composers Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884), Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) and Leoš Janáček (1854–1928). The program traditionally opens with a series of New Year’s concerts, which take place concurrently in several cities in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Classical music has always had a home in Czech culture
This can be seen in the number of festivals and concerts ready to go. The international music festival Prague Spring was begun in 1946 and has been accompanied by illustrious names since its inception – Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Pavarotti and Magdalena Kožená. This year’s festival will take place from May 12th to June 2nd as part of the Year of Czech Music and offer primarily the works of Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák.
The opera festival Smetana’s Litomyšl is the second-largest music festival in the Czech Republic after Prague Spring and likewise among the largest Czech classical music festivals. You can look forward to a proper dose of good opera from June 13th to July 6th in the wings of Litomyšl Château, a Renaissance pearl of Eastern Bohemia.
Popular music for everyone
Already on February 9th, Ennio Morricone, a musical genius of the 20th century appeared in Prague with the iconic songs from the movies Once Upon a Time in the West or Mission. Morricone conducted the Symphony Orchestra in a concert accompanied by vocal soloists.
The modern O2 Arena will be bursting at the seams in 2014. After 11 years Robbie Williams is coming back to Prague! On April 26th he will perform here his new studio album Swings Both Ways.
Justin Timberlake will follow him only a couple of days later, on June 3rd to be specific.
Summer festivals not only for young people
The draw of summer music festivals is their diversity and relaxing atmosphere. The largest Czech rock festival Rock for People takes place in Hradec Králové on the first weekend in July.
Between July 17th and 20th, the center of Ostrava will become a large concert venue for the 13th time thanks to the festival Colours of Ostrava. Last year the biggest stars of the festival were the bands Sigur Rós, The xx and The Knife.
Between July 17th and August 17th the tenth annual Castles CZ Music Festival will fill eight castles in Bohemia and Moravia with music. Expect no less than fun for the entire family and a lesson of history.
Summertime in the Czech Republic reverberates with one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe! The Bohemia Jazz Fest, which DownBeat magazine lists as one of the world’s most important cultural events, was founded in 2005 by acclaimed jazz guitarist Rudy Linka. From July 7th to July 20th, 2014, thousands of people gather on the historic squares of Czech cities to see and hear the world´s greatest jazz performers – for free!
Autumn offers an extraordinary musical experience full of the most diverse jazz styles!
The International Jazz Festival which celebrates its 36th year will be held in the legendary jazz club Reduta in Prague. It was here that American president Bill Clinton played on his visit to Prague!
Where to go for other jazz festivals? How about Hradec Králové, where the Jazz Goes to Town international jazz festival takes place in mid-October. Jazz Without Borders festival visits Plzeň and many other towns in the area between September and October 2014. For more than twenty years now the AghaRTA Prague Jazz Festival held in spring and autumn at a variety of venues across Prague. The autumn schedule will include concerts by saxophonist Joshua Redman, funk legend Maceo Parker and drummer Magnus Öström’s group from the E.S.T. Esbjorn Swenson Trio.