For more than 75 years the Prague Spring International Music Festival has ranked among the top cultural events in the Czech Republic. This presentation of the world's best musicians, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles is somewhat of a phenomenon as it has survived the political upheavals and dramatic cultural changes in the seven decades of its existence. This is mostly thanks to its audience, who always appreciated and today still appreciates the true artistic quality on display.
The origins of the Prague Spring Festival are connected with the first celebrations marking the end of World War II and since then it has been attracting fans of music and first-class performers. Leonard Bernstein, later to become a noted conductor, made his international debut at the Prague Festival in 1946 and 1947.
There are many other famous performers, who have graced the festival, such as violinists David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin and Shlomo Mintz; pianists Sviatoslav Richter, Arthur Rubinstein and Rudolf Firkušný, along with singers Galina Vishnevskaya, who met her professional and life partner Mstislav Rostropovich at the Prague Spring Festival, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dagmar Pecková and Magdalena Kožená, Peter Schreier, Luciano Pavarotti and Peter Dvorský.
Concerts and performances held within the festival are staged throughout the whole of Prague, so apart from excellent music presentations you can relish the historical backdrops of monasteries, churches and museums. However, the main festival activities are centred on the majestic building of Rudolfinum on the bank of the River Vltava and the Municipal House, a true gem of Art Nouveau architecture.