ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The 21st year of the Czech Touches of Music International Music festival will host an array of prominent interpreters and ensembles, for instance, conductors Marius Stravinsky (Russia/Great Britain) and Zsolt Hamar (Hungary), while among the soloists will be the Israeli clarinettist Shirley Brill, the violinist Maria Włoszczowska from Poland and Aiman Mussakhajayeva from Kazakhstan, and festival guests will also include the internationally successful soprano Simona Houda-Šaturová and the leading representatives of our youngest generation of vocalists, the soprano Patricia Janečková and the tenor Petr Nekoranec. Among the ensembles will be the Viennese boys’ choir, Wiener Sängerknaben, who will end their Christmas tour with a performance at the festival. Great stars will perform in the attractive crossover line, such as the American pianist Ethan Iverson, who is to give the premiere of his new composition in Prague and who will be accompanied in a piano duo by the leading Czech jazz pianist Emil Viklický. An extraordinary experience is promised by the concert by our leading popular singer and actress Dasha with the Moondance Orchestra and the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, and also the concert by the Czech flautist Jiří Stivín and the Jazz Q ensemble.
The international music festival Czech Touches of Music is among the seven greatest festivals of classical music in the Czech Republic. Its aim is to offer audiences valuable musical experiences while listening to top repertory compositions as well as interesting compositions that are not performed so frequently. The festival’s dramaturgy has a unique concept based primarily on classical music, namely orchestral, chamber and recital works, and ancient music. The popular series is represented by crossover concerts. The festival regularly introduces special programme projects – exclusive concerts as part of the cycles entitled Prague Castle Music, Gems of Russian Music, Music of the V4 Countries, Concert for Children and Parents, and multi-genre projects involving literature, film, the creative arts and architecture. It is the only Czech festival to have its own eponymous festival orchestra with the artistic leader, violinist Pavel Fischer. It is the festival’s long-term dramaturgical intention to look for interesting and infrequently performed music and also to present music by Czech composers of the latter half of the 20th century as well as contemporary composers, as a follow-up to the tradition of the founding personalities of modern Czech music – Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů.
The festival regularly provides opportunities for younger generations of musical interpreters and for the introduction of compositions by composers under 35 years of age, along with already renowned artists and orchestras.
The inaugural concert is held at Prague Castle on 16 December, on the occasion of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the closing concert is held on 6 January, an important date in Czech history – the anniversary of the signing of the declaration demanding autonomy for Czechs and Slovaks in 1918.
The festival is attended by more than 12 thousand music lovers every year and the Municipality considers it one of the most important festivals of classical music in Prague. It systematically combines culture with tourism, bringing attention to the history and architecture of the premises where its concerts are held, as an inseparable part of the presentation of Prague’s culture.
The late Prof. Vaclav Riedlbauch was the chairman of the dramaturgical board of the festival for many years, and Miroslav Matějka has been the festival director since its beginning, both personalities advocating Czech classical music for a long time.
The ‘Czech Touches of Music’ International Music Festival is a member of the AHF – Association of Music Festivals of the Czech Republic, and a member of the EFA – European Festivals Association.
The festival is part of the unique festival infrastructure of Czech and Prague culture and the Czech musical scene. Its international dimensions and importance for Czech musical life, its diversity and quality, outrivals most municipal and regional musical institutions and even some national institutions established by the state. In live music art, it is the bearer of the musical traditions of Czech cultural heritage and the high art of composers and interpreters. It is undoubtedly a festival of greater than regional importance which apparently helps, with its significant multiplying effects, to develop the economy and employment.
The festival is regularly partnered, supported and co-organised with the Capital of Prague, the Prague Castle Administration, the Ministry for Regional Development and the Czech Tourism agency, the Ministry of Culture and the Municipalities of Prague 1 and Prague 2.
The Festival is held under the auspices of:
Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic
Milan Štěch, Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic
Radek Vondráček, Chairman of the Parliament of the Czech Republic
Klára Dostálová, Minister for Regional Development of the Czech Republic
Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia
Jan Wolf, Councillor of the Capital of Prague
Josef Středula, Chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions
Oldřich Lomecký, Mayor of Prague 1
Jana Černochová, Mayor of Prague 2