About The Festival

Dear Prague Proms Festival Fans,

Even though we’ve barely had chance to properly digest our most treasured memories from this year’s festival, and debates regarding how this year’s “Proms” could be improved upon are still in full swing, we’ve decided it’s time to get stuck into organising the 2016 festival programme. And I’m confident that, with our broad offering, there’ll be something to cater for all tastes − and what we’re about to share certainly backs up this statement. It goes without saying that we’ll be presenting you with the full and detailed programme well before launching the season, but for now here’s a sneak preview into some of the great artists lined up for the forthcoming season.

The first of these artists is Edita Gruberova! Yes, we’re talking about none other than Edita the Great or rather “La Santa di Bratislava” − the queen of coloratura and bel canto. We’re delighted to report that the star has accepted the invitation to perform at our festival. This is one definitely not to miss so make a note of the date 28.6.2016 when she’ll be performing at our favourite venue inside Prague’s Municipal House accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of talented compatriot Peter Valentovič.

In stark stylistic contrast to this, yet no less renowned in terms of vocal originality and infectious charm, we’ll have the privilege of welcoming five-time Grammy award winner and leading exponent of jazz and R&B styles Dianne Reeves. Her last 3 consecutive albums have scooped up the highly prestigious Best jazz vocal album, most recently in 2015 for “Beautiful Life”. The main idea behind it is that “Life is beautiful, and I wanted to celebrate that which is too often overlooked“. We’ll have the chance to hear her perform on 24.6.2016 at the same location. Dianne will be bringing along an ensemble of musicians, all of whom will be accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. For all die-hard fans, we can tell you that, aside from a bowl of pecan and almonds, Dianne and her crew have requested we offer up good old Czech beer and failing that, Samuel Adams or Boston Lager.

Perhaps the most appealing of the three vocalists we’d like to share with you today is the “Queen of African Music” Angélique Kidjo. Famous for her wonderfully exotic appearance and outstanding vocals, not to mention her activism and campaigning in Africa, including her native country of Benin, Kidjo will be performing on 13th July 2016. Aside from jazz, soul, reggae and latino, the phenomenal singer much lauded for her own compositions also draws inspiration from local genres such as Afropop, Caribbean zouk and Congolese rumba. She has recorded a range of world famous hits including Gershwin’s “Summertime” Ravel’s “Bolero”, “WoodooChild” by Jimi Hendrix and “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones.  In addition to several African languages (including her native Fon and Yoruba), she sings in English and French and is known for creating her own language by incorporating a range of mixed expressions into her lyrics. Her civic and political activities are geared towards addressing the dismal social status of African women and children who are frequently subjected to violence and poverty. She holds honorary doctorates from Yale University, Berklee College of Music plus Middlebury College and is an occasional correspondent for the New York Times.

Text: Jan Hodousek