The star of classical music, the American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, will perform in the open air at the Prague Sounds festival. Originally, the concert was to take place on September 4 in Rudolfinum, after an agreement with the performer, its organizers moved to a floating stage on the surface of the Vltava near Slovanský ostrov.
The date and time do not change. People who have already bought tickets to Rudolfinum will receive new tickets by e-mail. Behind the Prague Sounds event is the same team that organizes the Strings of Autumn festival in Prague every year.
Yo-Yo Ma has included the Czech capital in a list of 36 cities from six continents, where he will present Six Suites for solo cello by Johann Sebastian Bach. In the past, I played on a beach in Massachusetts, on the roof of a skyscraper in New York, or in the American National Park Acadia. According to the organizers, the concert on the Vltava surface with a panorama of historic Prague is in perfect harmony with its intention.
“The concert is a stop on the way to sharing this music with people who are also looking for consolation in times of unprecedented change. I share the music that helped shape my life in the hope of sparking a conversation about culture as a source of much-needed solutions,” says Yo-Yo. Ma, who has been working in Bach’s suites for almost 60 years.
As the concert will take place on a floating stage, it will be heard not only by thousands of paying spectators, but also by other people watching what is happening from bridges, embankments, nearby islands or from rowboats and pedal boats on the river surface.
He will use technology for the sound system that faithfully simulates the acoustics of the concert hall, the organizers promise.
Seven years ago, Yo-Yo Ma performed with pianist Kathryn Stott at the Strings of Autumn gala evening in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle. During the approximately ninety-minute recital, they presented, among others, Dvořák’s Four Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano.
Yo-Yo Ma plays a prelude from Bach’s first solo cello suite. | Video: Sony Classical
The Prague Sounds Festival takes place from 2 to 8 September in the heart of Prague on a floating stage, which, like last year, will grow on Slovanský ostrov. The event will be opened on September 2 by Jiří Suchý and the Semafor Theater Orchestra with a selection of songs mostly inspired by the water element.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Jiří Slavík will also return to the festival to tell the story of life, love and reconciliation in an author’s folklore project combining songs from the album Mateřština and the performance kRok za kRok on September 6 with the ensemble Ondráš and folk instrument player Marian Friedl.
One of today’s most influential jazz pianists, Brad Mehldau and award-winning tenor Ian Bostridge, will perform on September 7 in a joint lyric project based on Shakespeare’s and Goethe’s work, among others. The week full of returns will end on September 8 with the voice of singer Lizz Wright.