A treat in store at this year's anniversary Prague Spring festival


Traditional Indian sitar music is not the sort of sound you would expect at a festival traditionally associated with European classical music, but this year's "Prague Spring" international music festival will be different. The festival, which starts on May 12th, is celebrating its 60th birthday and among the artists from all over the world will be the famous Indian musician, Anoushka Shankar. She is the daughter of the legendary sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar - who in the 60s even played with the Beatles. As Prague Spring director Roman Belor says, there will also be much more besides, at the Czech Republic's top music festival.

Roman Belor
"I would say that there is a reason to come to the Prague Spring each year. Nevertheless this year we have a splendid list of foreign guests and there is also a representative list of top Czech artists. But something new is the fact that the opening concerts are doubled. My Country - Ma vlast - by Bedrich Smetana is going to be played by the London Symphony Orchestra which at the moment may be the best British orchestra. It's is a kind of tribute to Smetana's musical heritage and we are very proud to have this representative orchestra as a festival opener.

"Among the list of prestigious guests I would mention Alfred Brendel. And the final concert is going to be played by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Marriss Jansons, another leading world orchestra.

"There is a list of about 60 concerts and musical projects. So people can choose the music they like. We are not limited to just classical music. We also have jazz music at the festival, ethno music and some alternative music projects.

"We have dedicated the festival program to the compositions of Czech composer Joseph Suk, whose the representative of the early modern or late romantic Czech music; a personality who wasn't sometimes esteemed in the past but is now played worldwide and the Czech festival has to reflect his music and a lot of our festival's program include the compositions of this composer."

Among other famous performers there will also be the German opera singer Mathias Goerne, the soprano Anne Sophie von Otter and the Czech mezzo soprano Dagmar Peckova.

The festival takes place as usual from the 12th of May till the 4th of June. If you have any questions or would like to book tickets, you can find more at www.festival.cz.