Ostrava, August 29, 2017 – Ostrava Days have successfully entered their second half. Day after day, the eventful program continues to confirm that the festival is an internationally unique project and plays an integral part in the history of modern music in this century. Upcoming highlights include Radical Past, a concert that will pair Ostravská banda with ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra: under Petr Kotík and Bruno Ferrandis, the two ensembles will pay tribute to modern music pioneers of the last hundred years, performing compositions by Morton Feldman, Richard Strauss, Charles Ives, Rudolf Komorous, Jan Rychlík, Petr Kotík, Philip Glass and John Cage. Friday, September 1, brings another major event, the Czech premiere of Make No Noise, an opera by Czech composer Miroslav Srnka with libretto by Tom Holloway, who drew inspiration from Isabel Coixet film The Secret Life of Words. Conducted by Joseph Trafton, Ostravská banda will be joined by an international cast of star soloists (led by Measha Brueggergosman and Holger Falk) and by Ostrava artists Jiří Nekvasil (director), David Bazika (stage design), Marta Roszkopfová (costume design) and Otakar Mlčoch (sound design).
Other unique events include the first Czech performance by Momenta Quartet (New York) featuring guest pianist Joseph Kubera, Salvatore Sciarrino madrigals performed by Neue Vocalsolisten (Stuttgart) or contemporary music of the West Coast of Canada. The festival is run by Ostrava Center for New Music with its head and driving force Petr Kotík, composer, conductor, flautist and indefatigable champion of modern music.
For the first time this year, the festival orchestras reside at 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/. Tickets available from GoOut.net (CZK 100–300 per concert).
This year festival is particularly remarkable for the debut of ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra, a unique symphonic ensemble founded especially for Ostrava Days. ONO comprises 106 performer from 21 countries; since before the start of the festival, rehearsals have been going on under the guidance of the project initiator Petr Kotík and other conductors. Besides well-known masterpieces of contemporary music, the rehearsed pieces include tens of world premieres, with many of the new pieces having the potential to go down in music history. ONO debut at Triple Hall Karolina on August 28, 2017, has been a major turning point in the history of Ostrava Days – the birth of a unique symphony orchestra for contemporary music. ONO will also bring the festival to its conclusion: on September 2, joined by Ostravská banda, it will perform five pieces by the festival composers-in-residence, as well as famous works by Edgar Varèse or Olga Neuwirth and a world premiere of Bernhard Lang composition written especially for Ostrava and inspired by Leoš Janáček.
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 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. 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. Ostrava Days visitors also have the chance to meet composer George Lewis or his Czech colleagues Petr Bakla, Pavel Zemek Novák or above-mentioned Miroslav Srnka.