Classical Music in Prague
The city of Prague is blessed with classical music, at every corner and turn there is a poster announcing this or that concert. Usually with the likes of Mozart, Dvořák or Smetana on the bill, a concert is a great thing to experience in this lovely city.
In terms of venues, besides the impromptu concerts organized in every church, cathedral, concert hall and open square, the city of Prague offers two large established opera houses, with four major orchestras.
During Prague’s annual Spring Festival there is even more to offer than at other times of the year. The Prague Spring International Music Festival is a permanent showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world. Since 1952 the festival has opened with Bedřich Smetana´s cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast (My Country), and it closes with the ninth symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Here is a list of the best venues for classical music in Prague:
Estates Theatre – Stavovské divaldo, Ovocný trh 1, Staré Město, Prague 1, Tel: +420 224 228 503. This is where Mozart first conducted the opera Don Giovanni on October 29, 1787. Originally dubbed Count Nostitz’s theatre – after the aristocrat who was responsible for its construction – the building later become the Royal Provincial German Theatre. Now they produce ballet/theatre presentations and regular operas (including Don Giovanni).
Municipal House (Obecní Dům) – Náměstí Republiky 5, Praha 1, Staré Město, Tel: +420 222 002 101, Fax: +420 222 002 100. Considered by many to be the finest example of Art Nouveau architecture in Prague, the Obecní Dům is a first-rate concert venue. Home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra and offers lots of Strauss, Mozart and Brahms, as well as works by Mendelssohn, Wagner and Dvořák.
The National Theatre (Národni divadlo) – Národní 2, Praha 1, Nové Město. – This theatre boasts an interior created by some of the finest Czech painters and sculptors, featuring an impressive foyer. Now focusing largely upon Czech opera with works by Smetana and Dvořák, other European composers such as Bizet, Verdi and Puccini are also featured.
Rudolfinum – Alšovo nábřeži 12, Praha 1, Staré Mēsto. The Rudolfinum is widely acknowledged as being Prague’s premier concert hall. Concerts are held in the Dvořák Hall as part of the Prague Spring Music Festival, while the venue is also the official home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. The great performances and cheap ticket prices make this a popular venue, and there is an art gallery in the top of the theater.
State Opera House (Státní Opera) – Wilsonova 4, Praha 1, Nové Mēsto, Tel: +420 224 227 266. – Prague’s opera house opened its doors to the public in 1888 as a German theater, and for almost 50 years it put on German language shows by R. Strauss, Mahler, Seidl and Klemperer. Recently (in 1992), it became the State Opera House, and now offers works by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Dukas and J. Strauss and more. The richly decorated neo-roccoco style is definitely a thing to see while in Prague.
Generally, the classical music experience here isn’t going to set you back like in London or New York. The best seats at the Prague State Opera House are around 15 dollars US, and other venues offer performances for as low as two dollars at times.
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