Opera legend Plácido Domingo and bestelling author Dan Brown to headline Český Krumlov festival

The 30th year of the International Music Festival Český Krumlov welcomes Brown's 'Wild Symphony'; Domingo returns to the local stage after 10 years.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 09.06.2021 08:20 (updated on 09.06.2021)

Author Dan Brown will appear in person in Český Krumlov for the Czech premiere of Wild Symphony on July 31. The concert will mark the first event of the 2021 International Music Festival Český Krumlov. The main festival program will run from Sept. 4 to 18 and will feature opera star Plácido Domingo, violinist Leticia Moreno, pop singer Pia Toscano, and jazz legend Billy Cobham.

Brown, best known for his series of puzzle-based thrillers such as Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, is also a composer. Wild Symphony is his first orchestral work. He will read from his 2020 children's book Wild Symphony, in between the musical segments. Miran Vaupotić will conduct the South Bohemian Philharmonic. The piece had its world premiere in Zagreb, Croatia, in October 2020. That is also where an album of the music was recorded.

“My hope for Wild Symphony is to provide a fun, fresh opportunity for families, parents, children, and people of all ages to reconnect with the magical experience of classical music both in the concert hall and in the home. I hope audiences have as much fun listening as I had composing," Brown said in a press release before the world premiere.

He added that he grew up with classical music. “My parents were both musicians who chose not to have a TV, so instead I played piano, sang in choirs, and went to concerts. Music was a secret sanctuary for me as a child and helped spark my creativity and imagination,” he said.

The concert will take place in the new Festival Zone, an area in the Brewery Garden. The zone will serve as a festival center and relaxation area. Events including classical and pop concerts, and a summer film screenings, will be there daily except Monday from July 31 to Sept. 12.

"Visitors will be able to relax in deck chairs, play board games, paint, or work out to live music,” festival artistic director Gabriela Boháčová said.

The festival’s main program, originally planned for July and August, has been moved to Sept. 4–18. The 30th year of the festival will offer 16 concerts in five environments, including the festival zone.

"We will open the [main] festival with an opera gala concert, headlined by opera legend Plácido Domingo, who is returning to Český Krumlov after 10 years. His guests will be two ladies, the singers Adriana Kučerová and Štěpánka Pučálková,” festival president Jaromír Boháč said.

The gala concert in the Brewery Garden will includes arias and other sections from Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Massenet and others. Eugene Kohn will conduct the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

“The program also includes another opera gala concert. This time Adam Plachetka will perform. This year's program will also celebrate many important anniversaries and we are also planning concerts of other genres. The world jazz legend Billy Cobham will come, and the pop singer Pia Toscano will be part of the national evening dedicated to the U.S.,” Boháč said.

Visitors can also look forward to chamber music concerts and performances by young artists. ”This year, the finalists of the international TV show Virtuosos V4+ or the talented pianist Jan Čmejla will give a concert at the festival," he added.

Current program information, including ticket details, can be found on the festival website and Facebook page.

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