38th Český Krumlov Festival of Chamber Music

The festival has over the long term focused on music related to the Český Krumlov region and music favoured by the former local gentry. In the current Year of Czech Music, it also reflects anniversaries of the birth or death of renowned Czech composers. The programmes of several concerts again contain works clearly historically bound to the cultural life of Český Krumlov. The Baroque Night features the German-language singspiel Der wohltätige Derwisch, oder die Schellenkappe (The Beneficent Dervish, or The Fool’s Cap), composed to Emanuel Schikaneder’s libretto by Franz Xaver Gerl, Johann Baptist Henneberg and Benedikt Schack (Benedikt Žák), born in Mirotice, South Bohemia. Premiered in 1791 at the Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, in 1795 it was presented at the Český Krumlov Castle theatre. It is the best historically documented performance on the unique stage. Other original events featuring music connected with the local milieu are concerts of the Czech ensemble Vox Clamans (selected vocal pieces and prayers from a 15th-century manuscript collection maintained at the Český Krumlov convents) and Switzerland’s Aulos Trio (oboe trios from the Schwarzenberg music collection), who have collaborated with leading specialists in authentic performance of early music (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and others). An entirely different type of music makes up the programme of the free-to-access soirée, within which the Schwarzenberg Guard Jazzband will perform pieces from the archive of the ensemble that under this name was active in Český Krumlov between the two world wars.

Music from the interwar First Czechoslovak Republic is also on the programme of the concert to be given by Prague Rhythm Kings, who will perform American jazz smash hits of the 1920s and 1930s.

The evening in honour of Josef Suk is dedicated to music by Czech composers whose anniversaries we are commemorating this year. Works by Antonín Dvořák, Josef Suk, Leoš Janáček and F. X. Tůma will be performed by the Praga Camerata chamber orchestra. In the nocturne, the male vocal quartet Q Vox will sing choral compositions by Leoš Janáček and Pavel Křížkovský on texts of Moravian folk poetry.

Besides paying attention to famous and lesser-known composers, and accentuating Czech cultural connections, we would like to celebrate the Year of Czech Music by presenting contemporary creation. It is given scope to at a recital of the České Budějovice-born composer Lukáš Sommer, the one and only Czech guitarist to have performed a work of his own at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has invited as a guest Ivan Boreš, another guitarist and composer hailing from South-Bohemia.


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