Film music in the spotlight at Prague Proms festival

Danny Elfman, Sandy Cameron, John Mauceri, photo: Jan Malý,

The Prague Proms international music festival gets underway in Prague on Wednesday with a concert at the city’s Municipal House. The concert will feature the US composer, singer and songwriter Dany Elfman, who is known mainly for his collaboration with director Tim Burton. I spoke to Jan Vítek, one of the festival organizers, and I first asked him to tell me more about the opening event:

Danny Elfman,  Sandy Cameron,  John Mauceri,  photo: Jan Malý,
“The opening concert belongs among the three concerts of film music which are the highlights of this years’ festival. Danny Elfman will this time present a world premiere of the violin concerto commissioned by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

“The concert will be performed by Sandy Cameron and I can tell you that Dany Elfman is very proud of bringing this concerto to Prague. Last time when he was here year, the National Symphony Orchestra only played his films scores but this time he is bringing a piece which has nothing to do with the films. But of course in the second half of the concert there will also be some film music, since the Czech audience is waiting for.”

Another artist who is returning to Prague Proms is the New York based artist Ute Lemper. What is she bringing this time?

“This time she is bringing her programme called Paris Paris. The programme brings works of Paris cabaret, such as Edith Piaf, and it is inspired by the 20th century French music.”

What are among the other highlights of this year’ edition of Prague Proms? What are you personally looking forward to?

Ute Lemper,  photo: Steffen Thalemann
“I think what will be interesting is another film music concert featuring Vladimir Cosma. He is a Romanian-born composer, who mainly wrote his scores in France, where he lived. His music accompanied films starring Gerard Depardieu, Louis de Funes or Jean Paul Belmondo and they very popular here in the Czech Republic.

“Other highlights of course include the Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. The members of the big band are the so-called recording artists based in Los Angeles. This will be a really highly professional performance of one of the most famous and one of the best big bands on this planet.

“There will also be a very interesting singer on the programme. Her name is Denise Donatelli and she is a multi-Grammy nominated jazz vocalist. This concert will also be very interesting as it will also feature Bobby Shew on the trumpet and especially Denis Mackerel on drums.

The international music festival Prague Proms starts on Wednesday and will continue until July 19.