I had a wonderful time at the Prague Spring Festival! A highlight was attending the final round of the International Conducting Competition. The entrants were so different and created very different sounds from the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Rudolfinum concert hall was an attraction in itself with beautiful pillars and chandeliers and much of the audience dressed in ball gowns.
I heard the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in another of their beautiful halls in the Municipal House. They played works by Sibelius, Ravel and Debussy. In the Church of SS Simon and Jude I also heard a Baroque concert featuring baroque oboe, flauto traverso and chalumeau. It was just like traveling back in time!
Prague itself is a delightful city with picturesque buildings everywhere you turn. The old town seemed to come to life in the evenings – shops and cafes not shutting till very late. I could see exactly why artists were drawn to Prague.
The ultimate highlight was on my way to Prague. I was able to hear the Berlin Philharmonic playing in their home auditorium, the Philharmonie. The programme was stellar with Stravinsky’s Petroushka and Marher’s 1st Symphony. I just loved the whole concert not wanting it to end.