About the festival

Dear guests, members of the Festival audience,

the third International Festival of Slavic Music takes place between 4 and 9 November 2019 in the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. It is again focused on themes and conceptual programmes which aim to approach the inhabitants of the local dominant metropolis of Ostrava, the wider radius of the Moravian-Silesian Region as well as international audiences. The concept of the festival targets the listeners and viewers with its presentation of quality concerts of world-class artists. It is our main goal to promote artificial art and Slavic composers‘ and artists‘ music, broadening and deepening the cultural links among nations. Allow us to present, on behalf of the organization team, the programme which ties in with several significant events, which should not go unnoticed in our region, our country and even internationally.

One of the most significant writers of the 20th century, Milan Kundera, is celebrating an important jubilee. The commemorative concert in the JUBILEES AND ANNIVERSARIES section is quite surely an artistic event of special importance for Ostrava, especially because it is happening based on the writer’s own wishes. The Departments of Music Education and Czech Language of the Ostrava University created a multi-faceted evening which reflects on Milan Kundera’s life and work. Apart from a professional lecture and readings there will also take place the world premiere of Jiří Procházka’s melodrama, based on the Monologues, or a work by Václav Kaprál – a family friend of the Kunderas, who had taught the writer piano. The participant, whose performance of a Slavic piece will impress the Jury the most, will have the opportunity to share the stage with many noteworthy artists.

The LEGENDS OF SINGING will present the central programme of the IFSM 2019 in cooperation with the outstanding Czech orchestra, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava. This will be a celebration and tribute to one of the most famous Wagnerian tenors – Josef Alois Ticháček. Born in Bohemia, this singer sang the titular or main parts in world premieres of Wagner’s Rienzi and Tannhäuser. The artist deserves a place in history due to the fact that he defined the then-emerging type of Heldentenor. Not only was he a lifelong friend of Wagner’s and the model for most of his heroic characters, but when assessing his place as a singer worldwide put him on par with Ema Destinnová or Karl Burian. His professional qualities were held in high regard by Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann, among others. Hector Berlioz wrote the Sanctus in his Requiem for him, as did Giacomo Meyerbeer with the solo parts in his opera, L’étoile du nord. The concert will he somewhat of a rediscovery of the famous yet neglected Czech. Before the concert there will be a talk with the author of Ticháček’s first source monography and the ceremonial launch of the book with the support of The Richard Wagner Society Prague and the scholarship programme of the Bayreuther Festspiele. The concert will present the Dutch Heldentenor and the Tannhäuser of Bayreuth, Frank van Aken, under the baton of the 1st Kapellmeister of the Aalto-Musiktheater and Philharmonie Essen, Robert Jindra. The evening will see an orchestra of truly Wagnerian proportions. It will be a concert of a unique magnitude in Ostrava, not only in its overall difficulty, the size of the orchestra and the participation of a world-class Heldentenor, but also due to the programme, which is only seldom performed.

In the LEGENDS OF COMPOSITION block we will focus on two of Czech most noteworthy composers of the 20th century, namely on Bohuslav Martinů and Leoš Janáček. We are very happy that the world-renowned mezzosoprano, Dagmar Pecková, will perform in a rich programme, together with the splendid pianist, Miroslav Sekera. The evening will include pieces revered and well-known as well as those less frequented. By doing so, we hope to do our part in promoting these grand figures of composition.

The Festival would not be complete without the third INTERNATIONAL SLAVIC MUSIC COMPETITION for the youth between 5 and 30 years of age. The international Jury will evaluate the performances, and there will also be a singing masterclass held by Alexandr Vovk. The participants will also have the opportunity to consult the members of the Jury, adding a pedagogical element to the competition. The Members of the Jury are international artists (Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia etc.), and the performers taking an active part in the Festival (D. Pecková, M. Sekera), which may add to the participants‘ motivation. It is our aim to deepen the interest in Slavic composers‘ music as much as artificial music in general in the pupils and students coming to us from European countries (Ukraine, Poland, Macedonia, Latvia, Italy) as well as from all over the world (Azerbaijan, China, Chile). We would like to offer them the opportunity to visit concerts of the highest standard, compare their performances in the competition with performers from other countries, as much as offer a varied programme focused on the local area and the Czech Republic (visit to the Leoš Janáček memorial and house, visit of Prague). We would like to raise the future generation of artists and help relations among nations. The whole competition will culminate the following day with the YOUNG SOLOISTS‘ CONCERT, where the best artists and winners of the competition winners will present themselves.

The tone of the FINAL CONCERT will be set by Renaissance sacred music. The Church of the Holy Ghost in Ostrava-Zábřeh will resonate with the Missa Super Undique flammatis by the Slovenian composer, Jacob Handl using the same author’s motet celebrating the then-newly elected Bishop of Olomouc, Stanislav Pavlovský. Thanks to the extraordinary event Handl‘s motet as well the mass has and extraordinary number of voices (seven) and also is of extraordinary beauty and quality. This piece will be delivered by the Ensemble Versus, led by the well-known musicologist, Vladimír Maňas.

We trust, on behalf of the festival, that the rich selection of concerts and events will allow you to choose those close to your heart. We are very much looking forward to our meetings.


On behalf of the organizing team, Lucie Kajzarová and Martin Kajzar