You know that culture has been stood on its head when the hot spot of the week is Výstaviště. Still, no complaints. Rooftop events are all the rage at the moment, and for drinking and dancing while enjoying great views, it would be hard to top Křižík’s Pavilion, where a three-day party gets underway on Friday. And Lucerna Music Bar is relocating to Výstaviště in a big way, building a new outdoor concert facility where Czech bands will play through August. J.A.R. inaugurates the venue with three nights of rockin’ revelry starting on Tuesday.
Now that audiences are being allowed back in concert halls – albeit in limited numbers – the classical community is doing its best to squeeze in a few performances before taking its traditional summer break. Conductor Pietari Inkinen is bidding farewell to the Prague Symphony Orchestra with music from the Old and New Worlds on Tuesday, and Collegium 1704 is offering an evening of spiritual renewal at St. Anne’s Church on Wednesday. With a surfeit of talented players ready to set bows to strings again, the Czech Philharmonic is continuing its chamber music series through August.
Prague’s resident modern music ensemble, the Berg Orchestra, is back in action with a concert at DOX featuring a very entertaining piece by Korean composer Unsuk Chin. Opera continues to flourish online, this week with a special gala from European opera houses and Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. And don’t forget that the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera offer free streams of full productions almost every day.
It’s also a good week for jazz, with expat organist Ondřej Pivec in town and reuniting his Organic Quartet for two nights at Jazz Dock. Milan Svoboda is also back at the keyboard leading his quartet, on Monday at Jazz Dock and Tuesday at U Staré Paní.
Some of the most interesting developments in culture this week happened off the schedule. When Švandovo divadlo put BLACK LIVES MATTER on its marquee, the theater got a ton of negative feedback. The comment “I hope you go bankrupt” drew 437 likes on its Facebook page, offering a disturbing reminder that racism knows no boundaries. Švandovo is closed during July and August, but will reopen in September with many productions offering English supertitles. Keep it in mind, the brave folks there deserve our support.
And a big round of applause to Strings of Autumn (Struny podzimu), which responded to the uncertainties of the new season with courage and creativity. Organizers divided the festival into two parts, offering concerts outside in September and indoors in November. Israeli jazz bass player Avishai Cohen is reprising his “Gently Disturbed” project on September 11 (the venue will be announced in a few weeks), and on September 19 British violinist Daniel Hope will be playing with the Epoque Quartet on a floating stage on the Vltava. That’s entertainment!
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Funk and R&B Spotlight
Get in a cold sweat with James Brown (pictured at top), Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic and more
OperaVision Summer Gala
Star singers bring light and life back to the stages of Europe’s leading opera houses
Milan Svoboda Quartet at Jazz Dock
The Czech jazz master takes a break from his big band to offer more intimate music
Lucerna Music Bar Outdoors: J.A.R.
The club is moving to Výstaviště for the summer, starting with the veteran Czech rockers
Berg Orchestra: Gougalon (Scenes from a Street Theater)
Prague’s premier modern music ensemble returns with colorful international flair
Prague Symphony Orchestra: From the New World
A creative pairing of Dvořák’s symphonic masterpiece with a cultural touchstone from Finland
Benjamin Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The British composer’s musical treatment of Shakespeare’s romantic romp
Ondřej Pivec at Jazz Dock
Back in town, the hip organist reunites his Organic Quartet for two nights
The country’s best Baroque ensemble serves up a sweet program of Bach, Vivaldi and Handel
Roxy: Smack One
The club reopens and cleans out the cobwebs with a jumpin’ night of hip hop
Tanec Praha: Duets
A participatory production gives audience members a chance to create their own choreography
Czech Philharmonic Summer Concert Series: Czech Philharmonic Sextet
Six players from the country’s flagship orchestra offer an easy-on-the-ears program
Rooftop Audio Zoo
Dance till you drop at this three-day party atop Křižík’s pavilion in Výstaviště
Czech Philharmonic Summer Concert Series: Czech Philharmonic Virtuosi
A quartet of the orchestra’s younger members mix some Dvořák classics with tasty solos and duets
Góbéfest: Góbé at Home
A lively music and dance festival offers viewers a deep dive into Transylvanian culture