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Compared to previous editions, the Prague Spring gave a lot of space to contemporary music. The work of contemporary composers both Czech and international was presented both at purely "new music" concerts by specialised ensembles (For Large Ensemble, Part D by Lubos Mrkvicka performed by Klangforum Wien or Ondrej Adamek's gripping Karakuri performed by Prague Modern), as well as on the grand stages in the company of canonical works from centuries past (e.g. Michal Nejtek's Ultramarine at the Warsaw Philharmonic concert).

New music fans certainly came into their own, though other listeners--as is often the case--seemed to have arrived expecting a different concert, and so exited prematurely. It will certainly be interesting to observe how the festival will continue down this path of "modernising" the repertoire. As concerns new compositions premiered on other occasions, I personally was deeply struck by Miroslav Pudlak's concerto for Luigi Russolo's century-old intonarumori and by Narcissus for cello and orchestra by Jan Ryant Drizal.

As for contemporary opera, Ivan Acher's Sternenhoch garnered generally positive reactions. It is a setting of the expressionist-grotesque romanetto The Sufferings of Prince Sternenhoch (Utrpeni knizete Sternenhocha) by the solitary Czech philosopher Ladislav Klima, who worked mostly in the first half of the 20th century (see our interview with composer Ivan Acher on pages 2-7). Another successful production was Alles klappt by Ondrej Adamek, premiered at the Munich Biennale (see the text by Susanne Kass on pages 17-21).

24 March 2018, Theater Hagen, Hagen, Germany. Leos Janacek: The Cunning Little Vixen (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Mascha Porzgen, music director: Joseph Trafton. Following performances: 29 Mar, 8, 13, 18 and 27 Apr, 12, 16 and 26 May, 24 Jun 2018.

28 and 29 March 2018, St Anna's Church, Ceske Budejovice. Lukas Sommer: Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra (world premiere). Vilem Veverka--oboe, South Czech philharmonic, conductor: Jan Talich. 31 March 2018, Landestheater Linz, Linz, Austria. Hans Krasa: Brundibar (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Hermann Schneider, music director: Martin Braun. Following performances: 2, 8, 12, 15, 17, 19, 24 and 29 Apr, 3, 7, 18, 27 and 28 May 2018.

1 April 2018, Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurt. Leos Janacek: From the House of the Dead (premiere of a new production). Directed by: David Hermann, music director: Tito Ceccherini. Following performances: 6, 8, 12, 15, 21, 27 and 29 Apr 2018.

7 April 2018, New Stage of the National Theatre in Prague, Prague. Ivan Acher: Sternenhoch (world premiere). Directed by: Michal Docekal, music director: Petr Kofron. Following performances: 12 Apr, 13 May and 24 Jun 2018.

9 April 2018, Studio Hrdinu, Prague. Miroslav Pudlak: Intonarumori Concerto for Howler, Sraper, Crackler and Orchestra (world premiere). Opening Performance Orchestra, BERG Orchestra, conductor: Peter Vrabel. 16 April 2018, Salle Cortot, Paris. Krystof Maratka: Bachorky--fables pastorales (world premiere). Michel Lethiec--clarinet, Karine Lethiec--viola, Krystof Maratka--piano and folk instruments.

19 April 2018, State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Bohuslav Martinu: The Greek Passion (Russian premiere). Directed by: Thaddeus Strassberger, music director: Oliver von Dohnanyi.

Following performances: 20, 21 and 22 Apr 2018.

25 April 2018, Smetana Hall, Municipal House, Prague. Violin Gala. Special concert for the 60th anniversary of the Kocian Violin Competition. Lukas Sommer: Gala Violin (world premiere). Pavel Sporcl, Stefan Milenkovic, Josef Spacek, Bohuslav Matousek, Pavel Hula, Pavel Eret, Leos Cepicky, Petr Matejak--violin, Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, conductor: Jessica Cottis.

25 April 2018, St Anna's Church, Ceske Budejovice. Roman Pallas: Spring Hymn, Petr Hanzlik: Anima mea (world premieres). Karolina Berkova--mezzosoprano (2), South Czech Philharmonic, conductor: Jan Talich.

28 April 2018, Music Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. Michal Rataj: Long Sentence I (US premiere). Del Sol String Quartet, Ben Carson--piano.

28 April 2018, Bohemian National Hall, New York, USA. Czech American Inspiration. Petr Kotik: Master-Pieces (American premiere of the final version). Directed by: Jiri Nekvasil, David Bazika, music director: Petr Kotik. S.E.M. Ensemble.

29 April 2018, Landestheater Coburg, Coburg, Germany (following the cancelled performances on April 22 and 25). Antonin Dvorak: Rusalka (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Tobias Heyder, music director: Roland Kluttig. Following performances: 4, 15, 18, 24, 26 and 31 May, 10 and 27 Jun 2018.

1 May 2018, Martinu Hall, Lichtenstein Palace, Prague. Slavomir Horinka: Pocket Guide to Bird Flight (world premiere). BERG Orchestra, conductor: Peter Vrabel.

4-7 May 2018, Royal Pump Rooms, The Parade, Leamington Spa, UK. Leamington Music Festival Weekend. Seven concerts of music by Antonin Rejcha, Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak, Leos Janacek, Josef Suk, Bohuslav Martinu, Ervin Schulhoff, Klement Slavicky and Lubos Fiser. Ensemble 360, Prazak String Quartet, Guarneri Trio, Ivan Klansky, Jana Vonaskova-Novakova, Martin Kasik, Nicholas Wearne.

5, 6 and 7 May 2018, Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park, California. Michal Rataj: Temporis for cimbalom and large orchestra (US premiere). Jan Mikusek--cimbalom, Santa Rosa Symphony, conductor: Bruno Ferrandis.

7 May 2018, Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague. Jan Ryant Drizal: Narcissus for cello and orchestra (world premiere). Tomas Jamnik--cello, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Marek Sedivy.

18 May 2018, Smetana Hall, Municipal House, Prague. Prague Spring. Michal Nejtek: Ultramarine (world premiere). Warsaw Philharmonic, conductor: Jacek Kaspszyk.

19 May 2018, Smetana Hall, Municipal House, Prague. Prague Spring. Marko Ivanovic: Little Words (world premiere of the orchestral version). Katarina Korneus--mezzosoprano, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Marko Ivanovic.

19 May 2018, Stadttheater, Konzert Theater Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Leos Janacek: Katja Kabanova (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Florentine Klepper, music director: Kevin John Edusei. Following performances: 23 and 27 May, 1, 9, 14, 16, 19 and 27 Jun 2018.

20 May 2018, CNB Hall, Prague. Prague Spring. Michal Muller: Passacaglia 1918 (world premiere). Czech Nonet.

20 May 2018, Spanish synagogue, Prague. Prague Spring. Jiri Gemrot: A Lament for Military Secretaries (world premiere). Martinu Voices, choirmaster--Lukas Vasilek.

21 May 2018, Studio Hrdinu, Fair Trade Palace, Prague. Prague Spring. Lubos Mrkvicka: For Large Ensemble, Part D (world premiere). Klangforum Wien, conductor: Bas Wiegers.

21 May 2018, Beijing Concert Hall, Beijing, China. Beijing Modern Music Festival. Jiri Kaderabek: Remote Heart II for traditional Chinese instruments' orchestra (world premiere). Suzhou Chinese Orchestra, conductor: Pang Kapang.

21 May 2018, Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich. Leos Janaacek: From the House of the Dead (premiere of a new production). Directed by: Frank Castorf, music director: Simone Young. Following performances: 26 and 30 May, 3, 5 and 8 Jun 2018.

26 May 2018, Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague. Prague Spring. Lukas Sommer: Harp Concerto (Czech premiere). Jana Bouskova--harp, PKF--Prague Philharmonia, conductor: Zbynek Muller.

27 May 2018, Gro[beta]es Haus, Altenburg, Germany. Bedrich Smetana: The Bartered Bride (premiere of a new production). Theater und Philharmonie Thuringen. Directed by: Kay Kuntze, music director: Takahiro Nagasaki. Following performances: 31 May and 17 June 2018.

28 May 2018, National Technical Museum, Prague. Prague Spring. Jan Kucera: Sundial (world premiere). Epoque Quartet.

31 May 2018, Studio Hrdinu, Fair Trade Palace, Prague. Prague Spring. Ondrej Adamek: Karakuri (Czech premiere). Shigeko Hata--soprano, Prague Modern, conductor: Baldur Bronnimann.

4 June 2018, Toverna, Prague. Petr Bakla: Statements? (Czech premiere). Bronislava Smrzova Tomanova--soprano, BERG Orchestra, conductor: Peter Vrabel.

5 June 2018, Knights Hall, Chateau, Moravsky Krumlov. Concentus Moraviae. Iva Bittova: My Midnight Pillow for voice/violin, strings and three wind instruments (world premiere). Iva Bittova, Ensemble Opera Diversa, cond. Gabriela Tardonova. Following performances: 20 Jun 2018, Reduta, Brno.

6 June 2018, Library, Chateau, Nemest nad Oslavou. Concentus Moraviae. Milos Stedron: Affetti Banalissimi for oboe, clarinet and bassoon (world premiere). Trio Aperto (Barbora Steflova--oboe, Jan Charfreitag--clarinet, Pavel Horak--bassoon).

6 June 2018, Residenz Theater, Munich, Germany. Munich Biennale. Ondrej Adamek: Alles klappt (world premiere). Direction and libretto: Katharina Schmitt, music director: Ondrej Adamek Following performances: 7, 8, 9 and 10 Jun 2018.

15 June 2018, Castle Courtyard, Litomysl. Smetana's Litomysl. Jan Kucera, Jan Ryant Drizal, Jiri Gemrot, Sylvie Bodorove: A Bohemian Pilgrim, Cantata for narrator, baritone, children's choir, mixed choir and orchestra to a libretto by Vojtech Stritesky and poems by Frantisek Hrubin, Jiri Orten, Josef Vaclav Sladek, Josef Kainar, Karel Hlavacek, Josef Hora and Jaroslav Seifert (world premiere on the centenary of the declaration of the republic). Jan Stastny--narrator, Adam Plachetka--baritone, JITRO Czech Children's Choir (choirmaster Jirf Skopal), Prague Philharmonic Choir (choirmaster Lukas Vasilek), Czech Philharmonic, conductor: Tomas Netopil.

18 June 2018, Archa Theatre, Prague. Jan Ryant Drizal: Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors (world premiere). Hidejiro Honjo--shamisen, Akihito Obama--shakuhachi.

19 June 2018, NoD, Prague. Petr Wajsar: Ping-pong for Two Soloists and a Referee (world premiere). Jindrich Pavlis, Vojtech Nydl--clarinet, Ivan Hoznedr--percussion.

19 June 2018, Assembly Hall, Chateau, Kromeriz. Forfest. Vojtech Dlask: Querelle for oboe, violoncello and piano, Lenka Nota: Trio for oboe, violoncello and piano (world premieres). Trio Opera (Barbora Steflova--oboe, Stepan Filipek--violoncello, Ondrej Olos--piano).

20 June 2018, Assembly Hall, Chateau, Kromeriz. Forfest. Pavel Mario Slezak: "Mercedes" from The Songs of Autumn (world premiere). Nao Higano--soprano, Maria Vaitova--piano.

21 June 2018, Picture Gallery, Chateau, Kromeriz. Forfest. Pavel Kopecky: Ritorni for wind trio and electroacoustics, Vojtech Dlask: Krapp trio for wind trio and electronics (world premieres). Trio Aperto (Barbora Steflova--oboe, Jan Chafreitag--clarinet, Pavel Horak--bassoon).

21 June, Villa Tugendhat, Brno. Daniel Forro: 100 Shapes of the Czech National Anthem (world premiere). Brno Contemporary Orchestra, conductor: Pavel Snajdr.

by Barbora Vackova
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Title Annotation:czech music / calendarium
Author:Vackova, Barbora
Publication:Czech Music
Article Type:Calendar
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Apr 1, 2018
Previous Article:Zdenek Liska: Revolution Behind the Silver Screen.

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