Sitting in the Basilica of St. James the Greater (‘Bazilika svatého Jakuba Většího’) in the Old Town of Prague, you will be amazed by the church’s stunning interior, with its combination of slender Gothic shapes and ornate Baroque decoration. The basilica has a truly unique atmosphere.

However, listening to the largest organ in Prague is the best experience in St. James’, and the organ festival is the perfect time to visit.


St. James’ organ

The organ itself attracts the musicians to participate in the festival. Every organist wants to play the large organ, which allows them to perform greater and more serious pieces of organ music.

The basilica’s organ was made by the famous Czech organist Abraham Starka of Loket. The instrument was already unique for its time and is admired by visitors from all over the world to this day. It is the largest organ in the Czech Republic, with 8277 sounding pipes. Its sound spectrum is comparable with a 90-person symphony orchestra.

The music performance will open with a concert called All-star Paris performed by French organist David Cassan on the 6th of August, who will play works by J. S. Bach as well as French composers Louis Vierne, César Franck, Jehan Alain, and Jean Guillou.

A series of eight recitals will conclude the festival on the 24th of September with a concert by Irena Chřibková, the St. James’ Basilica’s main organist and choir director, in honour of Otomar Kvěch. Kühn’s Mixed Choir, tenor Jaroslav Březina and harpist Lydie Härtelová will take part in the final piece. Videos of the organist playing will be projected during each concert.

The festival is held with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and the City of Prague, under the auspices of Archbishop Mons. Charles Daniel Balvo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Prague, and Hana Třeštíková, Prague City Councillor.

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