The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is to perform in Taiwan from Saturday through Tuesday next week, with its artistic planning director saying the performances of Antonin Dvorak’s From the New World symphony would be “the best congratulations to Taiwan” as it marks its National Day on Monday next week.
The orchestra has been banned from China after Prague in 2019 cut sister-city ties with Beijing, after the Chinese capital did not heed Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib’s request to remove the requirement that Prague recognize Beijing’s “one China” principle from the sister-city deal.
Orchestra director Katerina Kalistova and artistic planning director Ales Drenik last month said being banned in China means that Asia tours are less lucrative.
Photo courtesy of KHAM Inc
However, the orchestra is seeking to expand its tours to other countries in the region, as it remains uncertain whether Beijing might ever lift the ban, they told Chinese-language media.
Founded in 1994, the orchestra quickly built up its international reputation and has become one of the leading orchestras in the world.
Kalistova said most founding members are still with the orchestra, ensuring the good chemistry among musicians.
Photo: Screen grab from video call
Aside from focusing on classical pieces by internationally renowned composers such as Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, the orchestra seeks to bring the Czech Republic’s music legacy to the world.
The performances in Taiwan were originally planned for 2020, but they were postponed to this year due to travel curbs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kalistova said she was determined to bring the performances to Taiwan after she, together with Hrib, visited the country for the first time two years ago.
She was impressed by the friendliness of Taiwanese, she added.
Drenik said that the orchestra is to play two different programs in Taiwan — one featuring Czech, Slovak and Russian pieces, such as Dvorak’s From the New World, the overture of Bedrich Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2; and the other featuring pieces that the orchestra is most famous for, such as Beethoven’s Egmont and Symphony No. 7, and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20.
Principal guest conductor Leos Svarovsky and pianist Andrew von Oeyen are to join the performances at National Concert Hall in Taipei on Saturday, National Taichung Theater on Sunday, Pingtung County Performing Arts Center on Monday next week and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts on Tuesday next week.
Further information can be found at kham.com.tw.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
TWO RISKIEST SPOTS: People living in Taitung County received 20 earthquake alerts over the past 12 months, while Hualien County placed second with 17 alerts Taitung County residents received national earthquake alerts on their mobile phones more frequently over the past year than people in other parts of Taiwan, Central Weather Bureau data showed. Between Nov. 20 last year and Nov. 20, Taitung residents topped other administrative regions with 20 earthquake alerts. They were followed by Hualien County residents who received 17 alerts and Chiayi County residents who received 11, the bureau said. Residents in Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties did not receive a single earthquake alert, it said. The bureau shared the data on Facebook for the first time since the government connected the earthquake warning