cz

Prague Sounds

An open-air festival powered by Strings of Autumn

How the Prague Sounds Festival was born

The 'Prague Sounds' project came about as a reaction of the organisers of Strings of Autumn to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. They put on an open-air concert on a specially-constructed floating stage on the Vltava river in the centre of Prague for an audience on the river, embankments, bridges, and islands that surrounded it. The concert, called 'Prague Sounds: Hope for Prague,' captured the imagination of the world's media and provided proof that music, and the shared cultural experience, can provide light even in the darkest of times.

Prague Sounds: a new open-air festival powered by Strings of Autumn

In 2021, Prague Sounds expands into an open-air festival to mark the 25th anniversary of Strings of Autumn, a celebration of live music featuring artists who have written themselves into the history of the festival. The heart of Prague Sounds will again be the floating stage on the Vltava, with its panoramic backdrop of old Prague.

Floating Stage

Prague Sounds takes place on a unique, purpose-built floating stage that allows audiences the chance to enjoy world-class musicians performing before a stunning backdrop of old Prague, whether from the 1000-capacity auditorium or from the bridges, embankments, islands,and pedal boats that surround it. This special stage is constructed once a year in collaboration with the Prague river authorities.

Strings of Autumn

Since its inception in 1996, Strings of Autumn has established itself as one of the Czech Republic's major music festivals, whose wide-ranging programming illuminates the relationships between genres ranging from early and contemporary classical to jazz, hip-hop, and electronica. The festival provides its audience with unique and intimate concert-going experiences across a range of Prague venues. Over its 25-year history, Strings has presented both iconic established artists and the best of the new generation, often in their Czech Republic debuts. Respectful of the past, alive to the present, and with one eye on the future, the festival continues to develop. Check out the Strings of Autumn programme at www.strunypodzimu.cz.

Marek Vrabec

Prague Sounds is the new project of Strings of Autumn co-founder Marek Vrabec. Vrabec is a graduate of the the Fellowship Programme of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He is also a graduate of the Academy of Music in Prague in the field of music management (1998) and the Teplice Conservatory (1991, percussion). Over a quarter-century at Strings of Autumn, he has brought hundreds of international artists to Prague, many of them for their first ever performances in the Czech Republic. He brought together American singer Gregory Porter with Czech Hammond organist  Ondřej Pivec - a meeting that led to the pair collaborating on a Grammy-winning album - and paired Bobby McFerrin with the Czech Philharmonic and Dan Bárta. From 2013-18, Vrabec was Artistic Director of the Dvorak Prague festival. He responded to the challenges presented by the global pandemic in 2020 by putting on a special concert, Hope for Prague, with the British violinist Daniel Hope. The concert took place on a specially-constructed floating stage on the Vltava river, and was broadcast and streamed by TV ARTE in co-production with Czech Television, which brought it to the world's attention. The concert inspired Vrabec to make Prague Sounds a new, yearly open-air festival in the heart of the city.