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Prague Spring Started

Municipal Hall in Prague
Municipal Hall in Prague

Yesterday - May 12, 2009 – the 64th Prague Spring international music festival started. The Symphony Orchestra of Czech Radio (SOCR) opened it with a traditional series of symphonic poems “My Country” by Bedřich Smetana, the most prominent Czech composer who lived in the 19th century. President Vaclav Kluas accompanied with his spouse Livia was present among the other honorary visitors.

The opening morning pays tribute namely to Bedřich Smetana (1824-84) who died this day and is buried at Prague's Slavin cemetery. He was the first Czech composer who created symphonic music which was Czech to its core. He widely used Czech themes and myths as well as national dance rhythms and melodies.

The SOCR orchestra was conducted by Antoni Wit, the chief conductor of Warsaw Philharmonic, who filled the place of Neeme Jaervi due to serious and unexpected illness of the latter. Mr. Wit once performed at Prague Spring in 1974 and he also took part at the Moravian Autumn festival in 2004.

Prague Spring will last until June 3. More than 50 concerts and 8 theatre performances are scheduled to be performed both by domestic and foreign orchestras, musicians and actors including Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, US mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, Slovenian-Argentinian mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink and Czech soprano Martina Jankova currently living in Switzerland.

Photo: The Municipal Hall (Smetana Hall) in Prague, by Jialiang Gao (

Date: 13/05/2009

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