The 69th Dvořák Festival at Nelahozeves

Celebrating the birth of world-renowned Czech composer, Antonín Dvořák, in his hometown of Nelahozeves

Antonín Dvořák was born in Nelahozeves on September 8, 1841 as the first-born son of Anna and František Dvořák, who ran a butcher's shop and inn. Dvořák spent the first twelve years of his life in Nelahozeves before leaving for nearby Zlonice in 1853. He was baptized in the Nelahozeves church of St. Andrew and received his first musical education under local cantor Josef Spitz.

The festival will take place on Sunday, September 6, 2020. The all-day event will unite the main sites of the village — Dvořák’s Birth House, St. Andrew’s Church, Nelahozeves Castle, and the Nelahozeves Park — and will offer a rich and diverse program which includes musical performances, guided tours of Dvořák's Birth House, and family-friendly activities.

One of the program’s highlights is a performance by Petr Dvořák and Ivo Kahánek in the Dvořák Birth House. Petr Dvořák, the composer's great-grandson, will speak about the Rusalka villa in Vysoká u Příbrami, the composer's summer residence. Renowned pianist Ivo Kahánek will play Dvořák's Suite in A major and excerpts from Dvořák's piano cycles Poetic Moods and Silhouettes

The Nelahozeves Park will host a special children’s program on Dvořák’s famous opera, Rusalka. The interactive art and theater workshop will offer fun crafts, including costume making, and allow students to participate in their own improvised performance of the opera.

What better way to close the day’s festivities than with a magnificent evening concert in the grand Knight's Hall of Nelahozeves Castle, where Akademie komorní hudby (Chamber Music Academy) will perform a varied repertoire that includes not only Dvořák, but also Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven (who also celebrates an important anniversary this year —250 years since his birth). The artistic director of the Academy, cellist Tomáš Jamník, will play together with scholarship holders Eliška Kukalová, Klára Lešková and Šimon Truszka

Refreshments, including wine from the Lobkowicz Roudnice Winery, will be offered all day. Nelahozeves Castle’s children’s playground and the Nelahozeves Information Center will also be open to visitors.  

Festival admission is free.

Festival Program:

10:00–17:00 | Antonín Dvořák's Birth House open to the public

10:30 | Tour of Antonín Dvořák's Birth House with a guide

11:00 | The ceremonial opening of the festival in the park next to the statue of Antonín Dvořák
Performance by the Nelahozeves Choir

11:30–13:00 | Petr Dvořák & Ivo Kahánek in the Antonín Dvořák Birth House
Speech by the composer's great-grandson accompanied by pianist Ivo Kahánek with Dvořák's Suite in A major and a selection from Dvořák's piano cycles Poetic Moods and Silhouettes

 13:00–16:00 | Children's program on Dvořák's opera, Rusalka
Art, music, games, and workshops for children and adults

14:00 | Interactive children's performance Rusalka

 15:00 | Tour of Antonín Dvořák's Birth House with a guide

 16:00 | Service with a music program in St. Andrew's Church
Lukáš Vendl (organ) and Jiří Miroslav Procházka (vocals). Arias from Dvořák's oratorio Saint Ludmila and Dvořák's Preludes and Fugues  

18:00 | Concert by Akademie komorní hudby (Chamber Music Academy) in the Knight’s Hall of Nelahozeves Castle
Antonín Dvořák's Trivia, Franz Schubert's Quartet movement in C minor and the String Trio in G major, Op. 9 No. 1 Ludwig van Beethoven performed by cellist Tomáš Jamník and AKH scholarship holders