The festival opening “Start” on Thursday at the Hlubina Coal Mine featuring three concerts/performances in one evening. The Long Night: an 18-hour marathon of music, including FLUXUS happenings or generative opera starting on Friday in the premises of the Jiří Myron Theatre (followed by a Saturday brunch) – On Saturday afternoon, Minimarathon of electronic music will kick off at the Gallery of Fine Arts Ostrava and will last until midnight – the great orchestral opening on Sunday at the Triple Hall Karolina and the international symphonic orchestra ONO in five compositions of contemporary composers who will be present. These are but the first four days of the Ostrava Days festival which continues in the next week in the center of Ostrava, with daily concerts lasting several hours.
Currently, Ostrava Days has made its seat in the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava, which has been transformed over the last two weeks into the venue of presentations and individual consultations of experienced composers/teachers from all over the world, as well as students and graduates from European and American Universities, i.e. the Ostrava Days Institute. Starting this week, difficult rehearsals for the concerts of the festival are taking place at the Conservatory, but also at Triple Hall Karolina or at the BrickHouse in Lower Vítkovice. The rehearsal schedule is immense and intricate and is a result of complex logistics: in the shortest possible time, under maximum efforts of two hundred musicians, at various sites in Ostrava and with maximalist demands placed on specific instruments (including large percussion sets or sixth-tone harmonium) as well as electronics... All of the above is required for the successful performance of 105 compositions of contemporary composers of three generations and of artists who have aroused controversies in the twentieth century.
The First Extended Weekend at Ostrava Days
Day one – BrickHouse, Coal Mine Hlubina - Thursday 08/19 One of many commissioned works from the Swiss composer Roland Dahinden amidst compositions of the pioneers of electronic music: Alvin Curran and Frederik Rzewski. The legendary piece of Karlheinz Stockhausen from the late 60s Aus den Sieben Tagen as well as the newest works of the young generation of composers of the Institute.
Day two – Masaryk Square, Cathedral and all accessible premises of the Jiří Myron Theatre Friday-Saturday 08/20-21 Time for the 18-hour marathon – performances (with a brass band), two blocs of virtuoso solos, performances of ensembles from Prague (Cappella Mariana and famaQ), Bratislava (BraCplayers) and Zurich (Dance – Music – Lights). A four-hour generative opera of Milan Guštar for the dawn and Etudes of Bernhard Lang based on Chopinian motives (pianist Daan Vandewalle) as well as one hour long piece Why Patterns? of Morton Feldman. A spiritual piece of Wolfgang Rihm ET LUX and returns to good old avant-garde artists (Brown, Lucier, Wolff, Cage...), videos and photographs of Wolfgang Träger. One is free to stay up, dream, come, leave, return or meditate until 11 in the morning on Saturday. The celebration of the FLUXUS movement will proceed in parallel under the direction of Eric Andersen, assisted by performer Jana Orlová in the piece of
Yoko Ono. Opening Performance Orchestra and the audience itself will also participate in the program.
Day three – Gallery of Finer Arts Ostrava and the Minimarathon of Electronic music, Saturday 08/21 And the mastermind of its program Ivan Bierhanzl, who stated in FullMoon: “This marathon is not about how long you can hold your breath, but about how long you can keep listening.” Petr Válek will start the show with his bizarre installation, Tibor Szemzö will perform with his prerecorded sound tracks, microintervals will permeate the compositions of Ančerl, Ives and Wyschnegradski. The guitar effects of Ivan Manolov, sampler of Ivan Acher or synthesizer of Michal Nejtek will be heard in their project Sites of Freedom (set to the texts of Pavel Zajíček).
Day Four – The great orchestral opening at Triple Hall Karolina starting from 6 pm on Sunday 08/22 Presenting contemporary compositions for the symphonic orchestra has been one of the main reasons for the creation of Ostrava Days twenty years ago and this is still the case. The international ONO – Ostrava New Orchestra together with Ostravská banda, eight soloists and three conductors will perform new compositions of Lucie Vítková, František Chaloupka, Todd Tarantino, Christian Wolff and a piece of Petr Kotík Fragment (Czech Radio Vltava will broadcast the concert on 08/27 at 8 pm).
Ostrava Days will continue with concerts featuring original program of world and Czech premieres of contemporary compositions in the next week as well until August 28. The next press release will be published on Monday August 23, the day of the concert of Ostravská banda at Triple Hall Karolina presenting the compositions of Luboš Mrkvička, Jan Jirucha, Ana Sokolović or Miro Tóth.