The Ostrava Center for New Music, which was established in 1999 on the initiative of Petr Kotík, is systematically developing its activities. Perhaps even to the surprise of colleagues familiar with our circumstances. From the point of view of the concert, the creation of the Ostrava Days – a three-week creative meeting of young composers with established personalities in the field at the Institute with a generously conceived Ostrava festival (since 2001), followed by the creation of its own orchestral associations – first the Ostrava bandy (2005) and then the project Ostrava New Orchestra, is essential (ONO), composed of 85 musicians from Europe and the USA. The Ostrava Center for New Music has thus created a certain motivated informal environment of its own, which has become inspiring and welcoming for the young generation, even though as an independent organization and project it still has to fight for financial resources.
In Prague, after a long time, it finally found a friendly partner in the Contemporary Art Center DOX, which is also close to Petar Kotík in connecting types of art and searching for and responding to interesting social topics. In addition, the multifunctional hall of DOX is also acoustically successful for performing contemporary music. DOX also provides facilities for personal meetings.
The Essential Youth project brought five young European composers an important creative opportunity, which is undoubtedly the performance of an orchestral work. In this consistent approach, the project is unique and probably not the last in the plans of the Ostrava Center for New Music. The choice of composers was up to Petar Kotík, who, according to his own words, was oriented based on previous experience during creative courses in Ostrava: "I worked with all five composers as part of the three-week Ostrava Days Institute and festival, with many more than once. All of them are serious, focused on the composition, none of them tries to make an impression and succeed in a calculated way or by pandering to what they like. And this gives hope that there is something more in their compositions than the sound itself, that it is an authentic manifestation of the creators of the new generation," as he expressed in the concert program.
The dramaturgical harmony is a bit of a "non-random accident", resulting from the choice of the composers' personality types - according to the organizers, not from the dramaturgical targeting of the order, since they received the pieces relatively shortly before the event and had no idea what the composers would come up with. It could also be something unexpected considering the previous work, because these are young creators who can test the means of expression. It is admirable how in a short period of weeks the 80-year-old Petr Kotík is able to rehearse new compositions, each with its own specifics, with the project orchestra Ostrava New Orchestra.
Lenka Dohnalová, OperaPlus | the whole article (in Czech) can be read here >>>