Prague Proms 2017 Introduction
Dear fans of the Prague Proms and Czech National Symphony Orchestra, what a pleasure to present the Prague Proms festival highlights for the thirteenth year in a row. Many sceptics are careful to avoid betting on the number thirteen, but, rest assured, where we’re concerned you can only expect good surprises. In traditional Proms style we’ve put together a charming blend of classics and jazz.
The festival will kick off with a Danny Elfman concert. Yes, no other than the original composer and Oingo-Boingo rock singer who, albeit briefly, performed with the CNSO in the Czech Republic back in 2014. Such was the ovation back then, that he vowed to return with a complete programme, and luckily for us, he’s a man of his word! The wonderful John Mauceri will once again be entrusted with baton duties for the evening including introducing Sandy Cameron’s world premiere of Elfman’s violin concerto. Audience members may still recall her killer solo from Edward Scissorhands which were accompanied by some unprecedented dance moves.
Another big name on this year’s programme is the highly versatile Ute Lemper. Widely celebrated for her interpretations of Kurt Weil but also for her Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich songs, the singer rose to fame in the musicals “Chicago” and “The Blue Angel”. We’re delighted to welcome her for what promises to be a true festival gem. Vince Mendoza will be charge of concert preparations and direction.
Gordon Goodwin´s Big Phat Band will most definitely appeal to all those with a penchant for jazz in its purest form. This 18-member big band combines thirties and forties swing with contemporary musical styles such as funk and jazz-fusion – earning them several Grammy and other nominations since they started out back in 1999.
And while we’re on the topic of festival highlights, make sure to grab tickets to the star-studded concert headed by the one and only Denise Donatteli, a singer nominated several times over for her “Best Jazz Vocal Album”. She’ll be joined on stage by our good friends – the trumpeter Bobby Shew and saxophonist Eric Marienthal – plus several others including the excellent jazz performer and composer Matt Harris. And if you thought that wasn’t enough, all three will be coming together a day later for an improvised jam session in the intimate surroundings of The Loop Jazz Club at the Občanská plovárna.
Nobody could accuse of neglecting homegrown bands, either. This year we delighted to welcome one of our most prized – Michal Prokop and Framus Five.
Taking a leap to more classical plains but still on home soil, Libor Pešek fans will be delighted with the scheduled Libor Pešek´s Impressions concert. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness the highly revered local conductor share his most cherished works over the course of what can only be described as an incredibly rich career. The concert will also feature piano virtuoso Ivo Kahánek who presented the successes of his high-calibre compatriots Jaromír Jágr, Jiří Bělohlávek, Petra Kvitová, Jan Pirk and Jan Saudek in last year’s promotional video “Czechia, has Marvellous People”. Another concert dedicated to the late Zdeňek Tylšar, the outstanding horn soloist and longstanding principal horn player at the Czech Philharmonic and the CNSO, who made the Czech Horn School an international name, will involve an eclectic programme ranging from organs to brass.
Following on from last year’s incredible event, we can look forward to hearing our wonderful CNSO chamber soloists perform once again at the Lichtenštejn Palace.
Obviously film music will also be on the cards with a jam-packed evening dedicated to “Not Just a Hollywood Night.” And who better to take charge than the popular shaman of this genre than the wonderfully vivacious Carl Davis.
In a bid to keep up the suspense, we’ve got a few other surprises tucked up our sleeves which we won’t be sharing just yet. Surely it’s better fun that way, don’t you think?