Whether it’s titans of jazz like Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Ahmad Jamal, groundbreaking composers such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley, or hip-hop legends like De La Soul, the roll-call of Strings artists includes undisputed masters of their forms. But the festival has always been equally committed to exploring the pathways opened up by these artists, and following the twists and turns that characterise the ongoing evolution of music.
Its programme has featured some of the most vital performers on the contemporary scene, from the experimental hip-hop and electronica of Shabazz Palaces and Young Fathers to the cutting-edge jazz of Robert Glasper, Brad Mehldau, and Jason Moran, to innovators of song and roots forms Lambchop and Punch Brothers.
What unites these artists is their resistance to easy classification, and the way their work weaves the influences of past and present into something coherent, new, and arresting. And much the same could be said of Strings of Autumn itself: respectful of the past, alive to the present, and with one eye on the future, the festival continues to evolve.
Just like good music.
Wayne Shorter Herbie Hancock Sonny Rollins Ahmad Jamal Brad Mehldau Robert Glasper Cassandra Wilson Charles Lloyd Jason Moran Lizz Wright Gregory Porter Bobby Mcferrin Dee Dee Bridge Water Dianne Reeves Hugh Masekela Didier Lockwood Regina Carter Quintet Steve Reich Terry Riley David Lang Julia Wolfe Michael Nyman Gavin Bryars Go Go Penguin Shabazz Palaces De La Soul Ghostpoet Chris Dave Young Fathers Lambchop Punch Brothers Chris Thile Ute Lemper Francois Couturier Quartet Chava Alberstein Yo-Yo Ma Kronos Quartet Magdalena Kožená Gil Shaham Jordi Savall Tenores Di Bitti Rabih Abou-Khalil Barbara Hannigan Phellipe Jaroussky Paul Hiller The Hilliard Ensemble Rufus Wainwright Jan Garbarek Les Arts Florissants & William Christie Daniel Hope Anne-Sofie Von Otter David & Tatjana Geringas Ian Bostridge Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment Estrella Morente Jacques Loussier Miroslav Vitouš Gary Burton Mad Sheer Khan Iva Bittová Uri Caine Ensemble Ondřej Pivec Mariza Maya Beiser Kayhan Kalhor Brooklyn Rider Avishai Cohen Sir Willard White A Filetta Charles Lloyd Kimmo Pohjonen Cameron Carpenter Ralph Towner Ars Nova Copenhagen Egberto Gismonti The Gloaming Zdeněk Liška - Marketa Lazarová Don Juan in Prague Schubert - Zimní cesta Jiří Suchý - Recitál Benjamin Britten - Řeka Summida Heiner Goebbels - Schwarz auf Weiss
Marek Vrabec founded Strings of Autumn with Martin Pechanec at Prague Castle in 1996, during the presidency of Vaclav Havel.
Vrabec is a graduate of the Fellowship Programme of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC (2008/9), where he worked under the leadership of Michael M. Kaiser. He is also a gradute of the Academy of Music in Prague (Music Management, 1998) and the Teplice conservatory (Percussion, 1991).
He has brought an impressive number of major international artists to the Czech Republic for their first appearances in the country and, aside from Strings of Autumn, has organised noteworthy events such as the Festival of Music Of Exceptional Length, which featured works by composers such as John Cage and Morton Feldman. He received the MIDEM Classical Award in 2001 for producing the album recording of J.D. Zelenka’s oratorio Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis. Vrabec brought together American singer Gregory Porter and Czech Hammond player Ondrej Pivec, a meeting which led to their collaboration on Porter’s subsequent Grammy-winning album. Similarly, Vrabec was the man behind Bobby McFerrin’s live collaborations with Dan Barta and the Czech Philharmonic.
From 2013-2018, in addition to running Strings, Marek was engaged as the Artistic Director of the classical music festival Dvorak Prague. During this time, he re-vamped the festival programme, giving it a new, distinctive format and setting standards of the highest artistic quality.
Since 2019, Vrabec has once again devoted himself fully to Strings of Autumn. He responded to the global health crisis of 2020 by creating a new festival-within-a-festival: an outdoor complement to Strings’ indoor programme, featuring top-class artists performing in some of the most breathtaking locations in Prague.
Johan Vlach, Minimax
DTP and print production
Studio Najbrt (Jonatán Kuna)
cooperating PR agency
festival sound engineer