The Strings of Autumn were established in 1996 during the tenure of Czech President Václav Havel by the curators of music events at Prague Castle, Marek Vrabec and Martin Pechanec. In the first eight years of the festival’s existence in the castle itself, the Strings of Autumn were distinguished by original programming and exceptional concerts, such as Cecil Taylor’s recital, the Czech premiere of Michael Nyman, or Jan Garbarek’s concert with the Hilliard Ensemble.

The list of artists and projects, which the festival has introduced to the Czech Republic for the first time ever throughout its 21-year span, stands as a rare accomplishment: Brad Mehldau, Bobby McFerrin, Cecil Taylor, Gregory Porter, Cassandra Wilson, Gil Shaham, Daniel Hope, Ghostpoet, Young Fathers, Chris Thile, Jason Moran, and many others. The Strings of Autumn have also initiated new projects and productions, such as the opera Don Juan in Prague in co-production with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the theatrical rendition of Schubert’s Winter Journey at the Barrandov studios, or the live performance of Zdeněk Liška’s music to the film Markéta Lazarová. The festival systematically introduces the leading composers of today to Prague – including the likes of Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Steve Reich, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, or this year’s legendary Terry Riley. The Strings of Autumn initiate artistic encounters that can prove to be life-changing. One example among many is Gregory Porter’s acquaintance with the Czech Hammond keyboardist Ondřej Pivec, which launched their Grammy Award-winning collaboration.

The festival’s mission is to provide unique artistic experiences and broaden listeners’ horizons.

In its 22nd edition, the festival offers new premiere performances of artists the likes of Terry Riley, Egberto Gismonti, Daniel Lanois & Venetian Snares, Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, Open Mike Eagle, Lizz Wright, The Punch Brothers, and more.

Each year the festival treads the pioneering path to broader musical horizons. Every concert is a major event of its type and genre. The Strings of Autumn offer music that you will not hear anywhere else.

The president of the festival is its co-founder Marek Vrabec.

The programme director is Vilém Spilka.

The artistic board comprises Vilém Spilka (chairman), Guy Borg, and Petr Ostrouchov.



“The Strings of Autumn festival is one of Prague’s most innovative musical undertakings.”

The New York Times


“The Strings of Autumn offer musical experiments that few programmes would dare to attempt.”

Václav Havel


“The festival, which began at Prague Castle in Václav Havel’s era, can boost Czech musicians all the way to the Grammies.”

Hospodářské noviny


“The festival has established itself as a visible brand, which represents – in a good way – the status of cultural refinement.”



© Petra Hajská