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17 November – Velvet Revolution Concert

Celebrating democracy, freedom and non-violence: Czech Philharmonic commemorates the Velvet Revolution.

  • Czech Philharmonic | Copyright: © Petra Hajska

    Czech Philharmonic © Petra Hajska

  • Czech Philharmonic | Copyright: © Petra Hajska

    Czech Philharmonic © Petra Hajska

  • Semyon Bychkov | Copyright: © Marco Borggreve

    Semyon Bychkov © Marco Borggreve

A series of non-violent events in 1989 changed the course of a nation: The Velvet Revolution took place over a period of less than 6 weeks, starting on 17 November. It brought 41 years of one-party communist dictatorship to an end and replaced it with a freely and democratically elected government.
To celebrate this occasion, the Czech Philharmonic has created a unique concert series: The Velvet Revolution Concerts

For the first year, the Czech Philharmonic will present Má vlast under Chief Conductor and Music Director Semyon Bychkov, a work which is more closely associated with the history of the Orchestra than perhaps any other work. Indeed, Smetana’s six symphonic poems have long been a potent symbol of the Czech Philharmonic’s extraordinary and proud history: it first performed Má vlast in a brewery in Smíchov in 1901 and it was chosen for its first-ever live broadcast in 1925. While Václav Talich programmed Má vlast as an act of defiance during the Nazi occupation, Rafael Kubelík conducted the work in 1945 for a “concert of thanks” for the newly liberated Czechoslovakia. It was also Kubelík’s work of choice to perform with the Czech Philharmonic in 1990 after his return to his homeland after 42 years of exile.

This year, Semyon Bychkov will lead the Orchestra in another historical performance of Ma vlást at a time of great uncertainty in a united Europe within which the global pandemic has built new borders.

The programme will be broadcast live on Czech TV.
Soon available for TV and VOD distribution.

Recording location Rudolfinum, Prague
Recording date 17 November 2020
Duration approx. 80'
Production Company Czech Philharmonic
English title of music work Bedřich Smetana: Má vlast (My Homeland)
Orchestra / Band Czech Philharmonic
Conductor Semyon Bychkov

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