Ostrava, August 23, 2017 – Tomorrow, Ostrava becomes the place to be for new music enthusiasts from around the world. From August 24 until September 2, the Moravian-Silesian metropolis hosts Ostrava Days, an internationally unique festival that forms an integral part of modern music developments in the 21st century.
The festival starts on Thursday at Hlubina Colliery with Open Space, a performance that features compositions by young Ostrava Days Institute composers and pairs Ostravská Banda with analogue-projection maestro Jan Kulka and Ian Mikyska electronics. Later that evening, St Wenceslas Church in the center of the city welcomes virtuoso Berlin violist Nikolau Schilerf with the Czech premiere of Boris Guckelsberger Requiem.
A particularly remarkable event of this years festival is the debut of ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra, a unique symphonic ensemble founded especially for Ostrava Days. ONO comprises 106 performer from 21 countries and successful rehearsals have already been going on for several days under the guidance of the project driving force Petr Kotík and other conductors. In the course of the ten-day festival, ONO is not just set to perform well-known masterpieces of contemporary music, but also tens of world premieres; many of the new works have the potential to go down in music history.
Other festival highlight include the Czech premiere of Miroslav Srnka opera Make No Noise. Srnka is a major figure of the international contemporary music scene: South Pole, his work written for Bavarian State Opera, featured superb performances by Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson and brought him international renown. Another novel feature of this year Ostrava Days is that the festival orchestras will find residence in the giant Triple Hall Karolina and the Old Bathrooms of Hlubina Colliery. Other venues include St Wenceslas Church, Cooltour at Černá louka, Janáček Conservatory or Antonín Dvořák Theater.
For complete program, see www.newmusicostrava.cz/en/ostrava-days. Tickets available from GoOut.net include festival passes for all 22 events (August 24 – September 2) or individual tickets in the CZK 100–300 price range.
Ostrava Days is a globally unique bi-annual festival of new and experimental music, attended by an international audience and featuring an international array of musicians. This year, in the course of ten days, the festival and its Ostravská Banda orchestra will offer 22 concerts and 106 compositions (including 30 world premieres and 56 Czech premieres). The festival features orchestral compositions and contemporary opera, sound installations and electronic music marathon, virtuoso solo performances and experimental performance art, bringing renowned composers and guests from abroad and hosting its events at industrial venues or clubs as well as churches. Within the framework of the festival, Ostrava Days Institute also provides an international working environment for composers and musicians under the supervision of artists from around the world. Ostrava Days are the only chance to hear, within just a few days, pieces by avant-garde greats like John Cage, Edgar Varèse or Morton Feldman. Composers who will attend the festival include Richard Ayres, Bernhard Lang, Kate Soper, Phill Niblock or Jennifer Walshe; performances of compositions of Salvatore Sciarrino or Olga Neuwirth are not to be missed. Czech composers will be represented by Pavel Zemek Novák, Petr Bakla, Michal Rataj, Petr Cígler or above-mentioned Miroslav Srnka.
The festival is organized by Ostrava Center for New Music. On the eve of Ostrava Days, composer and tireless modern-music champion Petr Kotík,OCNM driving force and leading figure, will receive Czech Music Council award for his relentless contributions to new music; previous recipients of the award include Sir Charles Mackerras, Jiří Bělohlávek or director David Poutney.
“With sixteen years of hard work, we have made Ostrava one of the capitals of contemporary music, facilitating unique cross-generational meetings among musicians, composers and visitors. For three weeks, the abnormal musical conditions – those by which we find ourselves surrounded nowadays – give way to a normal environment, meaning an environment primarily concerned with the art of its era,” says Petr Kotík, defining the mission and fundamental idea of the festival.