Prague Proms International Music Festival 2018
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Not Your Average Proms
This year it’s from July 1st to July 19th. The Prague Proms International Music Festival started in 2005 but, don’t think of it as being like the English Proms with a hall full of flag waving university students. It’s a summer music festival format almost like a meeting of the Prague Jazz Festival with the Prague Spring Music Festival. Every year in July (it clips June or August depending on the start date) sees the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (CNSO) host a series of performances. The CNSO has been around since 1993, has toured internationally and worked with many well known artists and musicians.
Unlike the Prague Jazz Festival and the Prague Spring Music Festival, the Prague Proms is a much smaller affair with less than 20 performances (mostly evenings) but it does bring something different to the Prague summer music scene. For example, I love the Smetana Hall, largest Classical Concert Hall in the city, stunning decor inside and out but can I sit through 2 or 3 hours of classical music? I’m afraid not. So it was great to see that one of my musical loves, Big Band Jazz was part of the Prague Proms last year (2017) and playing at the Smetana Hall (I got tickets).
Venues can change from year to year but the Smetana Hall for both Classical Music and Jazz performances seems to be a firm part of the Prague Proms. The Jazz part is also now linked with the Občanská Plovárna which is a floating dock between the Manes and Cechuv Bridges. Great riverside location but it means the number of available tickets is reduced as it’s not a big place. During the Prague Proms they form their own “Loop Jazz Club”. This is not an actual club and can have members of the CNSO playing or it invites a group. This year at Občanská Plovárna they’ve invited the popular local band “Pragason” that features Cuban Mambo and Salsa (you can often find them on the Jazz circuit especially Jazz Dock).
The other main Classical Music venues are the “Dum U Hybernu” at Republic Square and the Lichtenstein Palace on the Lesser Town Square.
The Mercedes Forum is also a venue for the Prague Proms but just note that this is out at Chodov so to get there you’ll need to drive, take a taxi or go by metro and accept a 20 minute walk.
Check the Prague Proms website for details.