Juan Diego Flórez stars at Český Krumlov international music festival

Juan Diego Flórez, photo: Peruvian Foreign Ministry, CC BY-SA 2.0

The annual International Festival of Music gets under way on Friday in the picturesque south Bohemian town of Český Krumlov. Over the next three weeks, people will have the chance to see some of the biggest stars of classical and jazz music, including Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez or flamenco guitarist Carlos Piñana. The festival, now in its 25th year, will take place in several venues around the town, including its magnificent chateau.

Juan Diego Flórez, photo: Peruvian Foreign Ministry, CC BY-SA 2.0
Peruvian singer Juan Diego Flórez will be the biggest star of this year’s International Music Festival in Český Krumlov, which celebrates 25 years of its existence. The tenor, who has appeared on all the leading opera stages in the world, will perform at the festival’s opening concert at the Brewery Garden on Saturday night, along with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.

But the festival will actually get under way a day earlier, with a special programme marking its 25th anniversary. Mirka Štípková is the festival’s spokeswoman:

“The festival will open on Friday night with a multi-media show called Vivat Musica which will guide the viewers through the festival’s past and offer a glimpse into the future. The program will take place on the southern terraces of the chateau above the River Vltava and people can watch it from the opposite bank.”

To mark the special occasion, the organizers have also invited musicians, who have taken part in its previous editions. One of them will be the phenomenal trumpet player and ten-time Grammy Awards winner Arturo Sandoval, who will stage two performances this year - a European premiere of his Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, accompanied by South Czech Philharmonic, and a jazz concert with the CBC Big Band.

Among those returning to Krumlov will also be the brilliant flamenco guitarist Carlos Piñana, known for merging flamenco with other music styles. This time he will appear with a project called Flamenco Symphony, accompanied by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc. Conductor Jan Kučera will be in charge of the concert:

Carlos Piñana, photo: archive of the festival
"Carlos Piñana is a great guy and an incredible guitar player. He is also in charge of the music arrangements for the symphonic orchestra, which shows the scope of his musical talent. We will be playing his own compositions and his arrangements of Spanish folk melodies and the programme will be accompanied by dance. Maise Márquez, the dancer, is absolutely terrific and when you see her, you will understand she really is a woman who can put her foot down.”

The International Festival of Music in Český Krumlov will close on August 6 with a spectacular performance of Carl Orff's cantata Carmina Burana, featuring the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and soloists Natalia Roman and Roger Isaacs, accompanied by the Kühn Choir of Prague and Czech Philharmonic Children's Choir.