A Spring cycle of concerts of classical music, is organized by Institute for Czech-American Relations a newly founded not-for profit organization. Festival is taking place annually in dozens of locations all around the Czech Republic, presenting mostly young American and Czech performers. In addition, the festival features master classes, lectures, and movie screenings.
The uniqueness of this project consists in bringing first-rate performers to smaller cities and towns. During the first ten years of existence, the festival presented events in more than 50 locations and each year several new venues are added. Its mission is to enrich cultural life outside of large urban centers, to facilitate personal encounters between the participating artists and local Czech audiences, and, in a general sense, to promote the ideas of freedom and democracy, the cornerstones of American history. This very personal, friendly aspect of the American Spring is greatly appreciated by all the concerned.The festival hosts mostly young musicians at the beginning of their careers, but occasionally features well established personalities, such as Dan Tepfer in 2015, whose composition Algorithmic Transform was performed by the Band of Castle Guards and the Police of the CR, and two celebrated jazzmen in 2014, Jiří Stivín and Czech-American Miroslav Vitouš. The program also includes concerts of large student symphonic orchestras and choirs performed in prestigious concert halls.
The festival has inspired many new musical and cultural undertakings, including more than a dozen international tours of individual artists who came to know each other during the festival. Several compositions were written and dedicated to the American Spring, such as the The View from Orohena by Dan Tepfer, a concerto for symphonic wind band and improvising piano, which was performed at the Prague Castle in 2010. Dan Tepfer has been hailed as one of the most formidable jazz musicians on the international stage and in 2014 received “Charles Ives Fellowship” from the American Academy of Arts & Letters for two compositions, one of them The View. Another composition dedicated to the American Spring, a suite for the band and a piano four-hand by Joan DeVee Dixon, entitled Americana, was presented at the Prague Castle in May 2014. A few years ago, the composer, organist, and pianist Joan DeVee Dixon discovered several forgotten manuscripts by Antonín Dvořák’s teacher Antonín Liehmann, and presented his works both in this country and the United States. The reception was enthusiastic everywhere.
To date, the American Spring has developed into a center of an ever-growing network of artists, musical and other cultural associations and agencies, local governmental offices, and supporters in both the countries involved. Partners of the festival include the US Embassy in Prague, The Band of Castle Guards and the Police of the CR, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, the American Pianists Association, and the American Friends of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. We cooperate closely with the Czech Radio and a number of periodicals.