The main line of the festival’s dramaturgy will be commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. There will be performances of music by Czech and Slovak composers, whose works were received to acclaim on stages around the world, thereby contributing to the formation of the modern cultural image of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic abroad. In connection with this, we will be commemorating Bohuslav Martinů, Josef Suk, Klement Slavický, Pavel Bořkovec, Miloslav Kabeláč, and Eugen Suchoň, as well as representatives of the younger generation of composers including Michal Nejtek, Ondřej Adámek, Lukáš Sommer, and Marko Ivanović.
The Czechoslovak accent will also be reflected in the programmes of the opening and closing concerts. The Czech Philharmonic with be performing Smetana’s Má vlast with the conductor Tomáš Netopil, and the Slovak Philharmonic with its new music director James Judd will appear at the concluding concert. That programme will present an interesting dialogue between two classics of Czech and Slovak music of the twentieth century – Eugen Suchoň and Leoš Janáček. In many ways, the importance of the Psalm of the Subcarpathian Land in the shaping of Slovak cultural identity is similar to the importance of Smetana’s Má vlast (My Country) to the unique Czech identity.
Prague Spring will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, whose European debut took place at the very first annual Prague Spring (1946). The American conductor Keith Lockhart will be leading the Czech Philharmonic and top musical theatre singers from London in selections from Bernstein’s great Broadway musicals. Under the baton of Tomáš Brauner there will be a performance of Bernstein’s monumental Third Symphony. That concert will also be devoted to celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.
The festival program is available here.