Museums will be involved in the Year of Czech Music
The year 2014 is full of important anniversaries. Czechs will commemorate the birth or death of several giants of classical music – Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana and Leoš Janáček. Czech museums will assuredly be a part of commemorating the anniversaries for these three most important Czech composers. They are preparing tributes to them with new special exhibitions.
Year of Czech Music
The National Museum in Prague – the Czech Museum of Music has prepared an exhibition for the Year of Czech Music 2014 on two phenomena that directly or indirectly influenced the music of composers. These are death and politics, which is to say issues that have overlapped the history of the world during certain periods.
The Czech Museum of Music is housed in Prague and offers visitors a tour of the exhibition Man - Machine - Music. This exhibition presents musical instruments as an expression of craftsmanship. In spring an exhibition on the theme of death in the arts will open here. Coming from an epic cycle of the National Museum on the phenomenon of death, the exhibition presents death as one of the strongest sources of inspiration in music and the arts in general. Through the artistic expression of death in musical notes, on the theater stage, canvas or in film, it might be possible to reach a final reconciliation with the fact that death is a part of the life of us all.
Politics and music – how do they interact?
Another exhibition being organized by the National Museum for spring is called Music and Politics and will be on display at the National Memorial in Vítkov. The exhibition acquaints visitors with the relationship that has existed between music and politics since the French Revolution to the present day. It shows in detail how music was used, influenced and even deformed by politics, and presents music as a tool of political propaganda and protest, but also as a means of forming a collective identity. The exhibition will also look at how political power has influenced the conditions in which music plays a role.
Dvořák, Smetana and their museums
The National Museum also manages another two museums. The Antonín Dvořák Museum is located in Prague’s Vinohrady and offers admirers of the composer a permanent exhibition called The Travels of Antonín Dvořák. This exhibition focuses on the travels that Dvořák undertook. The Bedřich Smetana Museum has opened its third permanent exhibition dedicated to this Litomyšl native. Since it has been accessible for 15 years, a reinstallation is planned in 2014.
A traditional Czech product – the piano
PETROF has traditionally been the largest manufacturer of pianos and grand pianos in Europe. This year it is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the factory in eastern Bohemian Hradec Králové in 1864. Today the factory is back in the hands of the Petrof family and musical instruments are still being made in the same place. In November 2013 the PETROF Museum was opened on the occasion of the anniversary. A tour of the museum can be combined with a tour of the piano production hall and must be booked in advance.