Prague Proms 2018 Introduction
Dear Friends, it’s that time of year once again when we have the honour of unveiling the details of this summer’s international Prague Proms festival musical offer. And you’ll be pleased to hear we will be sticking to our tried and tested dramaturgical recipe enriched with highly acclaimed artists and a carefully selected programme.
The festival kicks off in March 2018 with a performance by Czech band Pražský výběr – who, on this occasion, will be delivering a somewhat unconventional concert featuring symphonic arrangements of their greatest hits; hence the name The Pražský výběr Symphony.
Mascagni’s Messa di Gloria is scheduled as the first concert in June, with Marcello Rota leading the CNSO and the Kühn Mixed Choir featuring the outstanding solo tenor Petr Nekoranec and bass baritone Boris Prýgl. This will be followed by a classic concert featuring the Swedish trombonist, composer and conductor Christian Lindberg. A household name in the Czech Republic, his expansive discography, phenomenal mastery of instruments and impressive conductor experience just go to show the scope of his exceptional talent.
Since the festival has a holiday and relaxed vibe about it, we thought it fitting to place jazz in the limelight this year. Unlike in previous event years which have played host to a range of prominent vocalists, for 2018 we’ve decided to opt for a slightly greater instrumental focus. That’s not to say you’ll have to miss out on some incredible singers too, though. American star and studio artist, popular with the critics for many years now, we’re proud to announce that the American star and studio artist from Los Angeles Monica Mancini will be making an appearance in an evening which will pay tribute to her father, the legendary Henry Mancini. She has been singing since the age of 14, having collaborated with the likes of Quincy Jones, Plácido Domingo and Michael Jackson during that time. We also have the privilege of welcoming Kurt Elling, regarded by some as the world’s foremost jazz vocalist. Whether you agree or not, a Grammy award plus thirteen award nominations certainly does suggest a stellar artist and a real treat for us to savour. Maybe some of you recall his impeccable performance in Žofín Garden at the 2012 Prague Proms?
And now onto the instrumental part. Keyboard fans will be overjoyed by our decision to invite the great jazz-rock pianist Chick Corea who has collaborated with a great many artists including a joint recording with Miles Davis. Other talented musicians scheduled to perform include the critically acclaimed Chris Brubeck along with his fantastic colleagues, plus the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, paradoxically relatively unknown in the Czech Republic, yet proclaimed as an “orchestra known from Singapore to New York.” All top calibre I’m sure you’ll agree.
Cirque is the name of a new show being brought to Prague by our old Austrian caricaturists and outstanding artists – the septet Mnozil Brass. As part of our strict adherence to the principles of blending genres, when it came to local artists, we decided on folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Lubomír Tichý. Never heard of him? Don’t be afraid, he’s no newcomer to the scene and you most probably know him better as Xavier Baumaxa – the nickname he’s used since launching his career. Should you be a fan of church music featuring brass and organs, why not head to the St. Barbara Church in Kutná Hora, where one of the Proms concerts is taking place. It promises to be a refreshing addition to the programme and something you won’t want to miss out on in subsequent years.
Meanwhile the Kalkant project will offer up an opportunity for our youngest generation of Czech virtuosos to shine. These artists will be performing live at a concert held in the Lichtenstein Palace.
Thinking back to shows such as the Orchestra Rehearsal at the Vinohrady Theatre, Leoše aneb Nevěrně Tvou at Archa, it’s not hard to spot that Prague Proms chooses music-themed shows deliberately. This year we have gone with Brian at the Dejvice Theatre.
In keeping with tradition, the festival will be brought to a close with our twenty-first Hollywood night, led once again under the baton of the legendary wizard Carl Davis. And for all those who go weak at the knees for film music are in for a treat with our unique Ennio Morricone concert at the Smetana Hall.