Day 4: YPSO Does Prague

Since we arrived in Prague on Thursday, we have been admiring the castle on the hill and today we conquered the mountain!  Our coaches carried us to the jewel of the Czech Republic, Prague Castle whose fabulous vistas and stunning examples of architectural beauty saved it from ruin in WWII.

We observed the ribs of tremendous St. Vitus Cathedral and some of us even trekked up 287 steps in the tower opposite to take a closer examination of the gothic spires.

Of all the cities in the world, Prague is perhaps one of the most passionate about music. We could not stroll a block before we heard a lovely melody wafting through the air.

Prague Castle had no formal gardens, rather its Paradise Garden was a performance venue perched on a rocky cliff so its music could travel further afield.  We caught a few modern pieces by the Dutch Police Ensemble who were visiting this week.

On our way down the hill, we encountered the Golden Alley, a small mews street that housed the royal craftsmen back in the day.  How charming!     After grabbing a quick bite for lunch, we walked across the Charles Bridge over the Vltava River to the Rudolfinium for a rehearsal with our hosts from the Benda Orchestra.  They are a kind and talented group of musicians.  Ada who very generously loaned us a family heirloom instrument for a performance, bid us a fond adieu asking all of us to return some day to play together again.

Dvorak Hall is a beautiful facility with very subtle and yet grand artistic touches.  After an intensive rehearsal, our YPSO musicians dined in the lobby’s grand cafe with the Benda Orchestra.

In their concert attire, they would fit in a Seurat painting or be coveted guests at Jay Gatsby’s next soiree!

Concert-goers comprised family and friends as well as local fans.  Many were heard saying that we “burned the house down” after two standing ovations and warm hoots and hollers.  One thing is for certain, we made some lovely acquaintances in Prague and lasting memories.

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4 Responses to Day 4: YPSO Does Prague

  1. SherryW says:

    Thanks, Shelley, for keeping us all up to date with all the tour excitement. It’s much appreciated by those of us who are following along at home. Keep up the good work!

  2. Yvette says:

    Thank you posting the updates and pictures… It makes us less “kid sick”…

  3. Maureen Rhodin says:

    The performance was incredible (the kids have been working hard and it shows); the acoustic unbelievable; the ceiling mesmerizing…an amazing evening of music in an amazing venue. This photo is a valuale commodity–we were not allowed to take photos in the Rudolfinum. Will photos or a recording be available for this performance? Would love to get copies. If you were “naughty” and snapped a pic, can I get a copy? 🙂

    • ypso says:

      Hello Maureen,

      I was able to hide between the columns and take a bunch of pictures that I’ll upload once we return, since internet connection is not much better in Vienna than it was in Prague.

      Also, I’ve made an audio recording of the concert. I’d love to convert it into a slideshow (i.e. play the recording and accompany it by the pictures of our musicians (possibly with panning, zoom in/out, fade in/out)), but I might not have enough time to do it myself.

      I know some parents tried to do video recording, but it is not clear how much they were able to record. Most probably it is a very static picture that is not much better than just a photograph.


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