IMF Prague Spring

Festival History

logo_prazske_jaro_vertFor more than seventy years of its activity (established in spring of 1946) the Prague Spring International Music established itself as one of the most respected classical music festivals in the world. It was Rafael Kubelík, the great Czech conductor and artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic, who stand at the cradle of Prague Spring own history during the first post-WW2 year. Leonard Bernstein, who later became the world-renowned conductor, had his international debut at the festival in 1946 and 1947. International Music Competition Prague Spring, which has been a founding member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions since, forms an integral part of the festival from 1947.

Non-negligible plethora of glamorous artists who performed at Prague Spring Festivals comprise conductors-cum-composers – Arthur Honegger, Paul Hindemith, Darius Milhaud, Pierre Boulez or Hans Werner Henze and conductors Karel Ančerl, Claudio Abbado, Sir Adrian Boult, Herbert von Karajan, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Yevgeniy Mravinskiy, Charles Munch, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Leopold Stokowski.

Prague Spring is a representative array of international symphonic orchestras. Since the memorable performance of Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Herbert von Karajan in 1963, the Prague Spring Festivals repeatedly hosted also Berliner Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concertgebouwor­kest Amsterdam as well as London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic or Hallé Orchestra from Great Britain, whilst Orchestre National de France or Orchestre de Paris were the most frequently visiting guests from France.

In addition to the above-mentioned Svyatoslav Richter, Prague Spring welcomed other famous pianists, such as Artur Rubinstein, Rudolf Firkušný, Lev Oborin, Emil Gilels, Rudolf Serkin, Alfred Brendel, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli or the laureates of the prestigious International Frederyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw – Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson, Krystian Zimerman, Li Yun Di, Rafal Blechacz.

There were also the legendary violinists – David Oistrach, Yehudi Menuhin, Shlomo Mintz, Ruggiero Ricci, Josef Suk, Henryk Szeryng, and recently, for example Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Maxim Vengerov, Gil Shaham or very young American Hilary Hahn or Vilde Frang from Norway.

Gallery of grand songsters and songstresses at Prague Spring festivals involves soprano Galina Visnevska (it was right here, at our festival where in 1955 she met her partner for life and art, Mstislav Rostropovich), her colleagues Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Yelena Obraztsova, Katia Ricciarelli, Kathleen Battle, Edita Gruberova and Gabriela Beňačková, mezzo-sopranos Christa Ludwig, Jessye Norman, Brigitte Fassbaender, Anne Sofie von Otter, Bernarda Fink or both domestic prominent representatives of this voice group Dagmar Pecková and Magdalena Kožená, tenors Nicolai Gedda, Peter Schreier, Luciano Pavarotti, Peter Dvorský, Štefan Margita, baritones Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Thomas Hampson, Matthias Goerne and bassi Kim Borg, Nikolai Ghiaurov or Ruggiero Raimondi.

CONTACTS

Organiser: Pražské jaro, o.p.s.
Address: Hellichova 18, 118 00 Prague 1, Czech republic
Phone: +420 257 310 414
E-mail: info@festival.cz
http://www.festival.cz/en

Founding member of the Czech Association of Music Festivals, member since 1996.