Prague Spring Festival - EFFE Laureate

European Festivals Association - 23 Sep 2019

The Prague Spring International Music Festival is considered the most important arts event in the Czechia.

In 1946, during the anniversary of the end of the Second World War and as part of celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Spring Festival was established at the initiative of the Czech Philharmonic’s chief conductor, Rafael Kubelík. In the second year, the Prague Spring International Music Competition was added. Subsequently the Festival, held in the heart of the formerly long-divided Europe, became a bridge between East and West. Kurt Masur had once described the festival as ‘the most important cultural link between the East and the West in the era of the Iron Curtain’.

The very first annual festival already saw the participation of a number of distinguished Czech and foreign musicians, among whom the American composer, pianist, and conductor Leonard Bernstein would win the greatest fame in the course of the following decades. Bernstein’s appearance in Prague was his overseas debut, and it is listed in his official biography as one of the most important moments of his career.

Prague Spring Prazské Jaro

Another fundamental regular project of the Festival is its support for young interpreters from all over the world in the form of the Prague Spring International Music Competition. The Competition has helped to launch the international careers of many now legendary interpreters, including Mstislav Rostropovich, James Galway, Maurice Bourgue, Natalia Gutman, and the Smetana Quartet.

The programme is usually offering around 45 concerts with a broad, colourful range of events that will captivate both fans of the full orchestral sound and those who love chamber music, followers of contemporary music and those who monitor the latest trends in the historically informed interpretation of music from past eras.

The 75th season of the festival will be at several venues in Prague including Dvořák Hall at Rudolfinum and Smetana Hall at Municipal House from May 7 until June 4, 2020. The opening concert on May 7 with Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of their new chief conductor Kirill Petrenko.

Note from the EFFE International Jury

The Prague Spring Festival was started in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War and has survived all the political upheavals since. It has been an inspiration to music lovers through all those years and to appear at it is a distinction valued hugely by composers and performers alike. In these more settled times it retains its place as one of the great annual gatherings of European art.

Prague Spring Festival

12 May 2019 - 04 Jun 2019

Prague , Czechia