Anna Cibulková — viola
Musical contact. Sometimes gentle and soothing, at other times rousing and provocative. Music has always been capable of capturing both. Let it become your trusted companion in this concert which brings us to a turbulent period in our history, filled with euphoria.
The year 1918 is dedicated to composers whose common denominator is an incredible originality despite a certain artistic isolation. Through their creative world they wrote extremely inventive, unique works which ignored the trends of the time, and which today have the effect of a glowing meteorite. A discussion on their lives and the backgrounds to the emergence of their compositions will be part of the talk on ‘T. G. Masaryk and the First Republic’ with the writer and screenwriter Pavel Kosatík, and Jan Špaček, a young, unconventional musicologist who is an expert on the interwar period and the music of Leoš Janáček.
The FAMA Quartet is one of this country’s best when it comes to interpreting contemporary Czech and international works. As a frequent guest of the Prague concert series Presence, Umělecká beseda and The Beauty of Today, it regularly presents compositions by contemporary composers, both classic works from the avant-garde and more traditional schools of the 20th century (Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Kagel, Lutosławski, Xenakis) and more modern major Czech and European composers (Adámek, Kopelent, Loudová, Pudlák, Srnka, etc.). The quartet has appeared at the festivals Prague Spring (2011, 2016), Contempuls (2008, 2010), Ostrava Days, Israel Festival in Jerusalem and Afyonkarahisar Klasik Muzik Festivali (Turkey) as well as concerts in Japan. Its members are players with leading Czech orchestras and often take up invitations to various seminars and workshops dedicated to the interpretation of contemporary music both locally (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and in Bratislava) and further afield (Romania, Turkey). They regularly record for Czech Radio.
The novelist, author of biographies, journalist and editor Pavel Kosatík started out as a lawyer and went on to work as an editor in the Československý spisovatel publishing house and as a newspaper journalist (MF Dnes, Hospodářské noviny, Reflex). Since 1996 he has been a freelancer. He made his debut with the sci-fi novel for young adults The Last Bet of Abe Korkorán. In subsequent work he has focused on non-fiction and biographies of distinctive figures in modern Czech history (Olga Havlová, Jan Masaryk, Přemysl Pitter, Pavel Tigrid, etc.). His books are based on careful research into sources and oral-history methods, and part of the reason for their popularity, aside from the appeal of the individual subjects, is Kosatík’s interesting narrative style. For his book Ferdinand Peroutka, Later Life (1938—1978) he won the ‘Tom Stoppard Prize’ and the ‘Czech Literary Fund Award’ for the best book of 2001. He wrote the screenplay for Czech Century (2013—2014), a series of television dramas which return to key events in Czech history from the perspective of their main players (directed by Robert Sedláček). In 2015 he wrote a monograph on the opera singer Jarmila Novotná.
The musicologist Jan Špaček studied a graduate of the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in the field of musicology, which he completed in 2001 with the dissertation Contexts and Methods of Research into the Work of Shostakovich with Regard to his Ballets. From 1996 to 2001 he worked as a researcher at the Jiří Mahen Library in Brno, and from 2001 to 2007 as a research assistant to John Tyrrell at the Cardiff University he was involved in looking up, transcribing and translating sources on the life and work of Leoš Janáček for the monograph Janáček — Years of a Life. Since 2005 he has been working at the Institute of Musicology at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University. His specialization is 20th-century Russian music with a focus on the life and work of Dmitri Shostakovich, whose chamber opera Antiformalisticheskiy rayok he put on in 1999 in an amateur production with his colleagues. In 2009 he founded the male choir Láska opravdivá (True Love), which he now runs. He also works as a music critic, journalist and essayist (MF Dnes, Harmonie, Hudební rozhledy, Opus musicum, Neon, Atelier).