Mozart loved Prague and used to visit for months at a time. Beethoven and Vivaldi also loved Prague. The Czech Republic’s premier composers, Dvorak and Smetlana were both proud Praghistas. But when you think of European classical music capitals, Vienna springs first to mind. However, I was surprised to learn that Prague has an even bigger classical music scene (at least for tourists). On any given night in Prague there are around 30 different classical concerts. Most are held in Baroque churches, concert halls or restaurants around the city and cost around 30 Euros.
With programs ranging from organ music, an evening with Gershwin, Czechia classics like Dvorak and Smetlana, and opera arias these concerts generally run for an hour and are performed by professional quartets, and the standard is world-class. It seems to be a win win for everyone – Prague gets to keep its reputation as a classical music venue and concertgoers get to view the historic churches (most of them are closed when the concert is not on). In this way Prague is able to maintain its historic buildings, which in Prague is necessary owing to the hordes of tourists. We booked our concerts online but there is a ticket office conveniently located just behind Prague’s main square. Of course, if classical music is not your jag, on any given night you can book flamenco, jazz and a special Czech genre called Black Light Theatre, a mix of mime, dance and visual tricks.
One thing is certain – you will hear a lot of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, in honour of Vivaldi’s particular fondness for Prague. For weeks afterwards it was an earworm in my head, a little reminder of my four days in Prague.