Prague Spring Patrons

Seven prominent figures from Czech public life have become 2018 Prague Spring patrons. By their patronage, they highlight the important role that classical music plays in their lives. “Although human reason is a remarkable tool for understanding the world, it is not the only one. To express the inexpressible or to describe the indescribable is an ability not only of poetry, but also of music,” says the psychiatrist Cyril Höschl, one of the patrons of this year’s Prague Spring.

“Listening to classical music gives me the feeling of unity, togetherness, and freedom. I close my eyes and let myself be carried away by colourful compositions,” reveals the fashion designer Liběna Rochová. The actress Hana Maciuchová professes her admiration for the performers – “the tremendous perfection of outstanding artists transcends us listeners.” The actress Vanda Hybnerová emphasises the emotional power of music: “Although I am completely musically illiterate, music means more in my life than I realise. There are stages in life that are always accompanied by music. And thanks to music, I’m able to summon memories – sometimes something absolutely specific, or at other times only the essence of something.” The youngest of the festival patrons, the thirty-year-old actress Šárka Vaculíková, grew up surrounded by music. “I recall Sunday mornings, when one could hear the piano being played in the living room, and I would be awakened from my dreams by Bedřich Smetana’s composition Pleasant Landscape. And that’s how I would describe my relationship with classical music. It has remained for me a ‘pleasant landscape’ that soothes my soul.” Among his friends, the actor Jiří Lábus is recognised as a classical music expert. “You might be surprised that an actor who usually plays cheerful roles likes classical music, but I can assure you that classical music can also be cheerful,” says Lábus, adding: “It’s incredible that a country as small as ours is a superpower in the field of music.“ The moderator Petr Vichnar also considers himself to be a lover of classical music. “I’m looking forward to Prague Spring and to the way the beautiful music and atmosphere of this unique festival can ‘wash away the dust of everyday life’, as the American jazz drummer and band leader Art Blakey puts it,” says Vichnar with a laugh.

The director Martin Suchánek has filmed a short video spot with these figures, capturing the emotional experience at a classical music concert.