The Prague Spring International Music Festival is a permanent showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world. The first festival was held under the patronage of Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš, and its organizing committee was made up of important figures in Czech musical life. In that year, 1946, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, and was therefore given the highest honor: to appear on all the orchestral concerts. Such musicians as Karel Ančerl , Leonard Bernstein, Sir Adrian Boult, Rudolf Firkušný , Jaroslav Krombholc , Rafael Kubelík, Moura Lympany, Yevgeny Mravinski , Charles Munch, Ginette Neveu, Jarmila Novotná , Lev Oborin, David Oistrakh and Jan Panenka have won enthusiastic ovations on the Prague Spring Festival stage. Since 1952 the festival has opened with Bedřich Smetana´s cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast (My Country), and it closes with the ninth symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven.
The festival commemorates important musical anniversaries by including works by the composers concerned on its programs, and presents Czech as well as world premieres of compositions by contemporary authors. Artists and orchestras of the highest quality are invited to perform here. At least a few of the inexhaustible galaxy of stars who have appeared at the festival should be named: Sviatoslav Richter, Lorin Maazel, Herbert von Karajan, Mstislav Rostropovich, Boris Pergamenschikow, Lucia Popp, Kim Borg, Sir Colin Davis, Maurice André, Dmitri Sitkovecki, Leonid Kogan, Paul Klecki, Gustav Leonhardt, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Alfred Brendel, Heinrich Schiff, Leopold Stokowski, Arthur Honegger, Arthur Rubinstein...
The Prague Spring is one of the few festivals in the world to show an interest in young performers. The Prague Spring Competition was established just one year after the festival itself, and is held each year in various instrumental sections. In 1957 it became a founding member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, headquartered in Geneva.
Thus the Prague Spring Festival has been a prestigious showcase for world musical life and its latest trends since its very beginnings.
Last updated: 05-23-2005 14:33:49