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Bram Heemskerk

Music course in the Czech Republic

September 14, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Last summer I followed a music course in the Czech Republich in a little city, Bechyne, 100 km under Prague (

I made one hour of raw material, including a few interviews (never done it before, so I found it scary, because I do not speak easy and fluent). I have made the movie above in the hope that it gives a representative impression. Personally the most important thing was I could check off the 1st violin concerto of Czech composer Foerster, a piece that I would play normally for the first and last in my life, because it is so terrible unknown. Fragments thereof to the end of the film. Also a rare Czech piece is Fairytale [Pohádka in Czech], an orchestral piece, by Josef Suk which differs from the iron (Czech) repertoire as the 7th, 8th, 9th Symphony by Dvorak, which I already have played for 2 or 3 times. Josef Suk was also married to the eldest daughter of Dvorak. This music course gives the opportunity to play such special and good Czech music. Even in the Czech Republic the 1th violinconcerto of Josef Bohuslav Foerster is not well known.
Apart from well known non-Czech composers for chamber music also special chamber music of Czech as Josef Suk and Martinu was played.
Unfortunately I do not have film images of the great-grandson of Antonin Dvorak with the same surname, who was invited to that course, because he lived nearby. He said he was construction worker, a  very different job than his grandfather Antronin Dvorak, who was son of a butcher, I thought.
We also played Dvorak  ouverture op.62 My Home, rarely played in concerthalls. On this melody the Czech national anthem is based.
Here some photo's:

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on September 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Thanks it is so interesting!!!


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on September 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

 Wow nice video and I take note of this place...  if ever I have a job that allows me to travel a bit(I'm still just a student so i know nothing precise yet about that), I want to go there!!!!!!  Is this a unique concept to Czech republic?  As I saw, seems to me that anyone with a correct amateur level can go there??? (Are they requirements, audition or anyone that pay to go there is accepted)   However what a nice trip to do for a musician!!!   (I just hope they have places where you can practice as you wish and lockers for instruments : )

Thanks for having made this video!   (what a motivation and great trip idea)


From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on September 15, 2009 at 3:35 PM

There are no auditions and if you pay you can go if there is place and the organiser/ conductor thinks you have enough level, but the sooner you pay before for 1 march, the bigger the chance you can be a participant.

"Is this a unique concept to Czech republic?"  Perhaps, but the organiser and most participants are from the Netherlands (the teachers/tutors are from the Czech Republic, mostly Prague). Soon there will be 2 repeatconcerts for 2 courses in the Netherlands with most of the students of those 2 courses but of course without the delegation from Japan and the USA and other countries, because it is too expensive to travel again that far. The Czech violinsoloist Petr Bernasek (and tutor/teacher of chambermusic during the course) of the 1th violinconcerto of Foerster will travel to the Netherlands from Prague.

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on September 15, 2009 at 5:16 PM

ok I see.  Thanks! 


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