Divadlo X10 is located in the basement of the former Art Industry Building. Inspired by German Werkbund, this seven-storey functionalist building was built as the administrative and exhibition centre of The Central Federation of Czechoslovak Industry, which served an important function as organiser of events representing Czechoslovak works at home and abroad. The construction of the building was completed in 1936 by the architect Oldřich Starý. Its design involved many notable persons, such as Josef Gočár, Rudolf Stockar, and painters and graphic designers František Kysela and Vratislav Hugo Brunner.
Forum Karlín is a multi-functional hall located in Karlín, a progressive neighbourhood near Prague city centre. It was built on the former grounds of a historical steam boiler factory, which was operational throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1908. Forum Karlín was designed by the world-renowned Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, who said: “Forum Karlín is a unique industrial building. My job was to emphasize the uniqueness of this impressive place and sensitively modify its industrial origins. The project successfully accentuates the beauty of Karlín’s historical and industrial heritage.”
Previous Strings of Autumn concerts at the venue include Steve Reich, the live performance of Zdeněl Liška’s score for the film Marketa Lazarová, and Julia Wolfe’s oratorio Athracite Fields.
This year, it’s the turn of Laura Mvula to take to the Forum Karlín stage.
The Convent of Saint Agnes is considered to be the first gothic building not only in Prague, but in wider Bohemia. It was founded by King Wenceslas I. in 1233 or 1234, but the original idea came from his sister Agnes. She was the Mother Superior of the Order of Clarisses which she brought to Bohemia, and the convent was intended to be the residence of that order. The site of the convent was originally an infirmary. The Order of Clarisses was an offshot branch of the Order of Franciscans, which is why the convent was sometimes referred to as Prague Assisi. Agnes was canonized in 1989.
The convent will this year host two concerts by jazz pianist Fred Hersch – one solo, the other with his trio.
Foto: Ralph Towner in the Convent of Saint Agnes, Strings of Autumn 2017
Rudolfinum is one the most important neo-renaissance buildings in the Czech Republic. It was conceived as a multi-purpose cultural centre which emphasized its contem European significance. Designed by eminent Czech architects Josef Zítek and Josef Schulz, it became a cultural centre combining exhibition rooms with concert halls and a museum. The grand opening took place on 24 January 1885 in the presence of Crown Prince Rudolf, in whose honuour the building was named. In 1896, the first ever concert of the Czech Philharmonic took place in the main concert hall of Rudolfinum, conducted by composer Antonín Dvořák, after whom the hall is named.
Strings of Autumn has put on numerous concerts here, among them Cassandra Wilson, Daniel Hope, Brad Mehldau, Ahmad Jamal, Charles Lloyd, Lizz Wright, Hugh Masekela and many more.
This year, the festival will stage concerts by two major artists at the venue: Jiří Suchý and Charles Lloyd.
The DOX Centre is a dynamic cultural platform and a space for bringing together different approaches and trends in the arts. Its independence from state institutions enables it to put on an eclectic programme with international scope.
DOX is an outstanding example of contemporary architecture. This internationally recognized project involving the transformation of an old factory into a multi-functional space is the work of architect Ivan Kroupa. In 2008, DOX was nominated for the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award. The prestigious Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture includes it among the best 1000 architectural projects of the last ten years. Over 3000 m2 of exhibition space are supplemented by a café, a bookshop, and a design shop.
In 2018, DOX was expanded to include a state-of-the-art multipurpose hall called DOX+, which was designed by the architectural studio Petr Hájek Architekti. DOX+ is primarily used for staged performance – theatre, dance, music, and film. It has become an important venue on the Prague concert scene, in particular for fans of contemporary music.
At this year’s Strings of Autumn, American composer Michael Gordon will personally present a selection of his works for small ensembles.
La Fabrika is a cultural centre in the heart of the Holešovice district of Prague. This unique complex was created by converting several buildings of an old factory site which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The renovation and redesign was handled by the KAVA Studio. The industrial history of the complex provides La Fabrika with a particular charm and spirit. The renovation of Studio 2 was completed in 2012. Even before its completion, this former factory had hosted alternative site-specific projects that made use of the rawness and somewhat shabby appearance of this deteriorating building. The wooden beams of the ceiling structure and other unique industrial elements of the original design were preserved during the renovation.
In previous years of Strings of Autumn, organist Ondřej Pivec and folk artist Jiří Slavík have performed at the venue.
This year, JACK Quartet will bring its singular interpretation of composer Iannnis Xenakis’s mind-blowing string quartets to La Fabrika.
The construction of Lucerna Palace was realized by MSc Vácslav Havel, the grandfather of former Czech president Václav Havel. The Palace was originally intended to be an ice rink, but that idea was abandoned once it was established that the dimensions of the building were not appropriate. At the time it was built, the palace notable for being one of the first reinforced concrete buildings in Prague, as well as for its original glass-roofed passageway. The design of palace in general is inspired by Art Nouveau on the one hand, and modernism on the other.
The probable author of its west façade was the architect Osvald Polívka (1859–1931), who desigend the façades of some of Vácslav Havel’s other buildings (Haštalská Street 6 and 8, Vězeňská Street 4, V Kolkovně Street 5 and 7, Myslíkova Street 4, Rašín’s Riverbank 70 a 78), but all of these buildings were sold by Havel in order to fund the construction of Lucerna Palace in 1905. The core of the palace is the Lucerna Grand Hall which takes up three storeys and can accommodate 2500 concert-goers. Since it was built, Lucerna Palace has become a significant cultural and social centre of the Czech capital.