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Tony Ackerman attended Harvard University, studied classical guitar in Italy for many years, and received a Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His performing career as a guitarist has spanned over 40 years and many musical styles, including jazz, modern avant-garde art music, and American roots styles. After receiving an IREX grant to study Czech contemporary music in 1983, Ackerman remained in Prague, creating an original acoustic duo with the Czech jazz pianist Martin Kratochvil, combining the sounds of his 7-string guitar with Kratochvil’s adventurous explorations on the grand piano. The duo, which has expanded to include multi-ethnic percussionist Imram Musa Zangi, has recorded nine albums and performed thousands of concerts in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Ackerman has taught music theory and history at UC Santa Barbara, and was music teacher and chair of the Fine Arts Department at the International School of Prague from 1985-2012. During this time he also taught Aural Comprehension at the NYU Prague campus (2006), and gives frequent lectures to visiting American university groups about Czech music, focusing on the underground music scene during the Communist 1980s.
Josef Ager has been a lecturer in German at the University of Economics in Prague since 1991 and has taught German at NYU Prague since the Fall of 1998. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Vienna.
Currently the Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security at the Foreign Ministry in Prague, Václav Bartuška was also the Czech Commissioner General at EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (1994-95) and a Marshall Fellow in 1999.
Bartuška graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in 1992. As a student there, he was among those who started the strike in November 1989; the result of which--to the suprise of everyone--was the peaceful overthrow of Communism (the so-called Velvet revolution). Because of his previous experience with the Secret Police, Bartuška was elected as the students’ representative to the parliamentary committee which oversaw the investigation of the Communist Party security apparatus. He then published his first book, Polojasno, which sold 230,000 copies and made him independent enough to spend most of the 1990’s travelling, writing three more books and basically avoiding any serious work.
Veronika Bednarova is a senior reporter and editor for the contemporary Czech cultural and international affairs magazine Reflex.
She spent two years (2012-2014) as the managing editor of the Czech monthly Esprit and two years (2010-2012) as the senior reporter of the weekly magazine Pátek (Friday), both published by Lidové noviny, the most influential Czech daily newspaper known for its high-quality editorial supplements.
Prior to joining Lidove noviny, she worked for 9 years as an international reporter for Reflex magazíne.
Bednarova specializes in cultural and foreign affairs. She has been reporting regularly from the U.S, the U.K and South Africa. She wrote a book feature on Silicon Valley, covered the situation in the Iraqi city of Basra, and wrote a travel column Somewhere in Africa while living in South Africa. She was awarded the 1st Ringier 2002 Award for the Best Cover Story of the Year (covering the 9/11 events in New York), and the 1st Ringier 2005 and 2009 Awards for covering the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.
After receiving her Master‘s Degree from Charles University, Bednarova spent two years (1999-2001) at New York University in New York as a Fulbright Scholar, earning a Master’s degree in Arts Management. While there, she worked for the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts.
Since 2002, she works as editor-in-chief of the Czech-English Festival Dailies at the annual International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. During her career, Bednarova has interviewed many internationally known personalities (the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, actors Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Harvey Keitel, Antonio Banderas, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, the film directors Milos Forman, Woody Allen and many others).
She has been teaching at NYU Prague since January 2006. In 2006, she also published a book of her successful travel stories, My American Beauty.
Jan Bernard is a professor of Film History and Theory at the Academy of Dramatic Arts (FAMU) in Prague. The former Dean of the Film School at FAMU, Bernard has Ph.D., Doc and CsC degrees in Film from Charles University. He is the author of several books on film and theatre.
Karolina Bubleová Berková graduated from the Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of René Tuček. On the basis of a scholarship awarded by the Italian Cultural Institute Berková she completed singing studies in the first half of 2001 at the Conservatorio di Giuseppe Verdi in Milan in Italy (Prof. Stelia Doz, Prof. Sonia Turchetta).In 1997, Berková won the International Singing Competition of Ema Destinn and in 2001 the was the laureate of the International Singing Competition of Antonín Dvořák in Karlovy Vary.
Among her most significant successes are: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro – tour with the National Theatre in Japan; Leoš Janáček: The Diary of a Vanished Man – Paris, France; in May 2004, she represented the Czech Republic at the Berlin gala concert of singers from the ten countries entering the European Union accompanied by the Berliner Symphoniker orchestra conducted by Lior Shambadal; in September 2004, she appeared with the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimír Válek in Mahler's 4th Symphony and in November 2004, she gave concerts of religious music in Israel. In 2005, she interpreted the mezzosoprano part in the oratorium Ecce Homo by Jan Hanuš during the Prague Spring Festival. Since 2010, she has become a guest soloist for educational recital programs held by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra production in Rudolfinum. A solo recital together with harpist Laura Caramellino in Milano, Italy, has crowned their co-operation in May 2011.
Kateřina Čapková is research fellow at the Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences. She also teaches courses at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University.
Capkova studied History and German Studies at Charles University in Prague and at the University of Vienna and in Münster (Germany). In 1998/1999, she was a visiting student at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and she spent a semester at INALCO (Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilization) in Paris in 2000. Further research stays abroad include the University in Basel (2005) and Free University in Berlin (2010/2011).
She is the author of Czechs, Germans, Jews? National Identity and the Jews of Bohemia (Berghahn Books 2012, pb 2014), which was awarded the Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2012. Her second book, Unsichere Zuflucht (co-authored with Michal Frankl) focuses on Czechoslovak refugee politics in the interwar period and the situation of German and Austrian refugees in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s (published in Czech and in German).
Capkova is currently working on a comparative study about Jewish settlements in the Czechoslovak and Polish border regions after the Second World War.
Rob Cameron is the BBC's correspondent in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, covering politics, human interest stories, arts and other issues for BBC Radio, BBC TV and BBC Online. Rob moved to Prague in 1993. He began his radio career in 1999, when he joined Radio Prague, the international service of Czech Radio, to which he remains a regular contributor. Cameron began reporting for the BBC in 2001, and became the BBC's Czech and Slovak correspondent in 2004. He has also reported for the BBC from Albania, Poland, Russia and the United States. He is currently working on a book based on a three-week journey across the Czech Republic by slow train.
William Cohn is an attorney and constitutional law scholar. He has practiced and taught law since 1993, working with clients, judges, international organizations, bar associations and scholars, lecturing and publishing extensively on issues of international jurisprudence. He has taught at Stanford University, lectured at Charles and Anglo-American Universities and taught U.S. law students studying in Prague. In 2010, he has been nominated for the Lorenzo Natali Prize by the European Commission in recognition of contribution to rule of law, human rights and democracy, and appeared as amicus curiae before the International Criminal Court in The Hague in a case of first impression under international law.
Mr. Cohn received his law degree from the University of California and his B.A. degree from Stanford University. He practiced law for a decade in California, where he was honored by the State Bar for his work and the law firm he founded was selected as a sponsor firm of the Bar Association of San Francisco. A member of the State Bar of California, he is admitted for practice in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Bill has worked on Capitol Hill, for a U.S. federal district court judge, and at the United Nations. He was invited by the Board of the J. William Fulbright Commission to assist the Commission in developing its agenda and program on the Rule of Law.
Prague-born viola player Karel Doležal studied music at the State Conservatory under professors Vincenc Zahradník and Lubomír Malý. He supplemented his artistic education by studying under distinguished professor and viola player Ladislav Černý (the Prague Quartet member) in 1972-1975. Doležal founded his own string quartet when he was twenty-four, which won the title of Laureate at the Prague Spring competition in 1975. He was awarded the silver medal at the International Festival of Young Soloist in Bordeaux, France, in 1977. He frequently performs as a soloist in many European countries and records for television and radio (including BBC and others). Doležal´s main activities are still focused on the artistic direction of, and performance with, Doležal Quartet. The ensemble has made successful tours of the United States and Japan. His role as teacher is also important: he has conducted masterclasses in Finland, in the Czech Republic as part of the Bohemia Festival, and elsewhere. He teaches at the Prague Conservatory. Many of his students are successful in their artistic careers at home and in the international context as well (they continue their careers in France, Germany, et al.). His students originate from various countries (e.g., Norway, Italy, Japan, Korea).
Since 1989, Ivana Doležalová has worked as a researcher, interpreter and co-correspondent for the Central European Office of National Public Radio and The New York Times in Prague plus for various other foreign media (BBC, Danish TV, ABC, PBS). She has also worked as a translator and moderator for Center of Independent Journalism in Prague, Czech Republic, and has translated the works of Fay Weldon, Woody Allen, Susan Sontag, Erica Jong, and Sue Grafton.
A Fulbright scholar and later visiting professor teaching media, film and literature at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and University of Washington, Seattle, US (1994-97, 1999, and 2001), Dolezalova was also invited to give talks on film, history and feminism at University of Washington, Stanford and Harvard.
Presently, she is lecturing on Czech and European Film, Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis and Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Dolezalova also writes articles, reviews and interviews for various magazines and newspapers (Respekt weekly and The Presence quarterly). She is a Juror of the International Committee of Women of Europe Award, Brussels, Belgium and President of the Czech Committee of Women of Europe Award.
Jeremy Druker is the Executive Director and one of the founders of Transitions Online (TOL), a media development organization with the mission of providing independent news and analysis in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. TOL was founded in 1999; it was the winner of the 2001 NetMedia Award for Outstanding Contribution to Online Journalism in Europe and the 2003 NetMedia Award for Best Innovation in Online Journalism.
Jeremy Druker has had his work published in US News & World Report, the Columbia Journalism Review, Oxford Analytica and Transparency International's Global Corruption Report. He is the author of the chapter on the Czech Republic in the Freedom House Books Nations in Transit.
Jeremy Druker earned an MA in International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 1997, and completed his BA at Harvard College in 1991.
Marta Fadjevickova has played the piano since childhood and sang in the Kühn children's choir when 12. She started to learn solo singing at music school, graduating as a soloist in 1997 from the Prague Conservatory under the guidance of Antonia Denygrová.She devoted further study to singing under Vlasta Hudecová, Professor of Performing Arts in Bratislava.
Since 1994 she has been engaged in the authentic interpretation of early music (performance courses led by Marius van Altena, Howard Crook, etc.). She works with ensembles Musica Florea, Ensemble Inégal, Collegium 1704 and Collegium Marianum Hipocondria, with whom she not only performed in concerts in Czech and European stages, but also recorded CDs and performed in Baroque operas.
She is a member of Collegium Vocale 1704 and since 2008 has performed with the medieval music ensemble Tiburtina Ensemble.
Alice Fiedlerová studied at the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague with Professor Boris Krajný. She has performed in Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and the USA.
In 2012, she presented her American piano solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
In 2000, Alice Fiedlerová was invited to collaborate on the "In Memory of the Czech Terezín Composers Project" as the featured performer for the opening concert. Under the sponsorship of the Hans Krása Foundation, she has also presented numerous programs of works by Terezin composers Pavel Haas, Hans Krása and Viktor Ullman. In 2001, she performed with Czech mezzo-soprano Olga Černá at the Brücken für die Zukunft Festival in Germany.
Alice Fiedlerová has collaborated with many outstanding soloists. She has worked with Yossi Arnheim, principal flutist of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Vadym Borysov, concertmaster of the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Canadian opera singer Melanie Gall, American bass-baritone Andrew Schultze of Columbia College Chicago, soprano Lynn Eustis of Boston University and tenor Brian Nedvin of Old Dominion University.
Since 2006, Alice Fiedlerová has been a featured artist for the International Dvorak Society's American Spring Festival, held each year in venues throughout the Czech Republic. She specializes in Czech piano literature for four-hands, together with American pianist Joan DeVee Dixon. Their program of Czech Dances was hosted by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Washington, DC, for the Festival of Mutual Inspirations: Antonín Dvořák in 2011.
Kristina Foerster graduated from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany with a degree in literary translation in 2008. During her undergraduate years, she also studied at the Université Lumière Lyon II, France, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She wrote her master thesis on the impossibility of translating Afro-American English into German at the University of Chicago. After receiving her MA in translation, she continued her studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) where she earned a Masters Degree in Germanic Studies in 2010. She defended her dissertation on multilingualism in literature in 2013 and is currently working on her first book publication. Her main research interest is contemporary transnational literature, and she has also worked on transnational film, Kafka and translation. Kristina began teaching in 2009 and has greatly enjoyed the opportunity to develop and teach a variety of language and literature courses.
Dr. Yasar Abu Ghosh is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Charles University, where he was the head of the department from 2009-2012. He has taught as a visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest, Ludwig Maximilians Universitat in Munich, Germany, and at Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France.
Dr. Abu Ghosh has done extensive field research on the Roma in Southern Bohemia, focusing on the quest for recognition, survival strategies, inter-group dynamics and how governmental policies have affected this minority group. He has participated in numerous conferences and currently is finishing a monograph on the subject.
Yasar Abu Ghosh earned a PhD in ethnology/social anthropology from Charles University in 2008. He studied social anthropology at the Laboratoire de Sciences Sociales ENS/EHESS in Paris. He participated in study programs at the University College London, Central European University (Budapest), and was a visiting post-graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at New York University in 1998.
Dr. Abu Ghosh was the co-founder of the Czech Association for Social Anthropology, and had been a member of the board of experts to the Government Council for Roma Community Affairs as well as an independent expert to the European Commission program “Peer Review and Assessment in Social Inclusion”. He is a member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.
American pianist Patricia Goodson is active as a solo recitalist and chamber musician throughout Europe and North America. Her playing, praised by critics as 'powerful and seductive' and 'breathtakingly virtuosic' has been featured on radio (NPR, BBC, Czech Radio and others) and television (US, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic). Her solo CD of contemporary American music, 'Strange Attractors', for Albany Records, received uniformly enthusiastic and positive reviews. She records also for Czech Radio and Czech Television, and in spring 2010 began to record a three CD series of the complete solo piano works of Czech composer Josef Bohuslav Foerster.
Ms. Goodson has lived full-time in Prague since 1991, and her broad repertoire encompasses music by Czech composers of all periods such as Fibich, Suk, Tomášek, Janácek, Foerster, Fišer, Kapr, Loudová, Matoušek and Dvorák, in addition to masterworks by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and others. She works actively with contemporary composers, and has had many pieces written especially for her.
Ms. Goodson has performed with leading Czech artists such as cellists Petr Nouzovský and Jirí Bárta and pianist Milan Langer. Upcoming projects include a tour of Europe with Mr. Nouzovský, showcasing music by composer Geraldine Mucha, and recordings of music by Mrs. Mucha, Debussy, Fauré, Arnold Bax and others.
In addition to performing, Ms. Goodson wrote and co-hosted 'Encore', a radio show about Czech music for Radio Prague, the English-language service of Czech Radio. She has also collaborated on radio shows for the BBC. She has written extensively about music and musical life for the English-language weekly the Prague Post, for Strings magazine and other publications.
Ms. Goodson received her education at Duke University (BA, with honors) and at the Peabody Conservatory (MM). She currently serves on the piano faculty of New York University in Prague.
Daniel Havel studied from 2000-2006 at the Conservatory of Music in Brno, and from 2006-2011 earned an MFA at the Music and Dance Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Since 2007, he has been a member of the orchestra of the National Theatre in Prague, where he is currently first flute. He also is a member of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra as first flute alternate. He also performs modern and new music with the Ostravská Banda.
Previously he performed with the Moravian Chamber Orchestra, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in Olomouc, the Czech Chamber Soloists and the Prague Philharmonia.
He has participated in numerous master classes: at Janácek Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno with Václav Kunt, in Paris with Philippe Bernold (2005), in Prague with Carlo Jans (2006), with Peter Lukas Graf in Switzerland (2007), Philippe Bernold (2008).
In 2004 he created a CD recording for Czech radio in Brno:J. Ibert - Piéce pour flute seule, O. Mácha - Variations for Flute and Piano.
Patrik Hlavenka appeared on the Prague jazz scene for the first time with the group Simply Said, and later with the quartet Power of Jazz, where he had already introduced himself not only as a guitarist but also as a composer. In 2004, he acquired a Master's degree from the University of Massachusetts, majoring in jazz composition and arranging. During his studies he had the opportunity to cooperate with musicians such as Ernie Watts, Dave Berkman, Adam Kolker and Bob Wiener. In the Czech Republic, he works with notable artists such as Jaromír Honzák, Jiří Slavíček, Leona Prokopcová and many others. In 2000, he participated in "Guitarfestival," organised by the magazine Muzikus, and he won in the category "Jazz and Blues Guitar". In 2003, he was selected to take part in the prestigious "Betty Carter Jazz Ahead" residency for young jazz artists at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He studied privately with Kurt Rosenwinkel and Ben Monder in New York City.
Pianist and composer Beata Hlavenková (born 1978), studied composition in classical music at the Janácek Conservatory in Ostrava.In 2004 she graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA, with a Master’s Degree in composition, jazz composition and arranging. In 2003, during her American studies, she was selected for The Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residential program for young composers and players in the Kennedy Centre, Washington, DC. There she met Curtis Fuller, John Clayton and others.
At present, the composer has her own jazz music trio, working with leading players like drummer Martin Novák and bassist Rastislav Uhrík, as well as drummers Pavel Bady Zboril, Jirí Slavícek, Roman Vícha and bass players Tomáš Liška and Martin Lehký. In October 2005, she and the trio (R. Uhrik and R. Vicha) won the Jazz Junior prize 2005 for “Band of the Year, composition and arrangement.”
She has appeared in the “S’aight” project where she collaborated as composer with the guitarist and composer Patrik Hlavenka and, in 2004, released an album of the same title with Jaromír Honzák, Daniel Šoltis and Rostislav Fraš. It was one of the first albums to belong to the new wave of Czech original composition jazz records. She was also a founding member of the Jaromír Honzák trio "Face of the bass", together with Roman Vícha, with whom she played during 2006 and 2007. In the spring of 2010 she participated in the recording of their album, which will be released in 2011 by Animal Music.
In the summer of 2005, she was a member of the winning ensemble “S’aight and Vertigo Connection” at the prestigious International Music Festival in Montreux, Switzerland. The ensemble continued to give occasional concerts under the name “Open Sextet”.
In December 2005, at their Czech premiere, as guests, they performed with the world’s leading jazz musicians including trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Rich Perry. In 2008, she again played with Rich Perry at the Jazz Fest in Brno and for an international radio transmission by EBU, and in the autumn of 2009 Rich toured with The Beata‘s Trio.
In 2006 she won an anonymous composer competition organized by Czech Radio, with her composition “Jazvecík vo hmle za stlpom” (sausage dog in the fog behind a pillar) or “Monday Meeting”. Her musical activities range beyond jazz and classical music. The focus of her work in the field of pop music since 2005 has been collaboration with the enfant terrible of the local Czech scene, Lenka Dusilová, which resulted in a unique project called Eternal Seekers, and together with the band The Clarinet Factory, Beata was co-composer as well as arranger. Other major artists with which she has worked, or is working with, include Iva Bittová, for whom she is currently arranging songs for symphony orchestra.This cooperation began in 2009. She has worked on two albums with country & western singer Vera Martinová, with whom she toured in 2006. Then there is her cooperation with personalities and groups such as Yvonne Sanchez, The Vertigo Quintet, Toxique, Ondrej Ruml, Ondrej Konrád, Josef Štepánek, Katka Šarközi, Triny, Benedikta, David Doružka, Leona Prokopcová and more.
The keynote album "Joy for Joel" (2009 Animal Music), was recorded in the U.S.A where she again met Rich Perry and Ingrid Jensen, as well as the pedal steel guitarist Dave Easley and others. In the same year she went on tour with Ingrid Jensen, Jon Wikan and the leading Polish bassist, Michal Baranski. In addition to very positive reviews, she received a nomination for the music award, Andel (Angel).
She has worked as a music teacher at The Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory and Higher Specialised School, and is currently doing so at New York University in Prague. She has participated on the curriculum for the first Czech university study of jazz music in the Czech Republic, begun at the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, in 2010. On the Czech jazz scene, she is one of the most sought-after pianists. Besides the piano, which she prefers to play and collaborates with the Petrof makers – she often plays a Fender Rhodes piano.
Tomáš Hobzek (born 1980) began drumming at Pilsen Conservatory; during his studies he joined the Pilsen theater orchestra, gaining experience by playing classical music and also playing with various student bands.
In 2004 he began attending Prague the College of Jaroslav Ježek (Jazz major). Tomáš soon became a part of the Prague jazz scene, joining the David Dorůžka Trio, the Ondřej Pivec Organic Quartet, Vojtěch Procházka Trio, and others.
As a drummer in the David Dorůžka Trio, Tomáš took part in the International Getxo Jazz Festival in 2005. In the same year he won 'Best Band' Award with the Organic Quartet at the Philips International Jazz Festival. A year after that he was awarded the prestigious Czech Musical Academy Award (Anděl) in the category 'Jazz and Blues' with the CD "Don't Get Ideas", recorded with Ondřej Pivec Organic Quartet.
Tomáš has performed in many International Jazz festivals with the Organic Quartet, (Cheltenham, Sibiu, Kishinev, Prague Spring, Jazz Fest Brno, Peking, and in Athens, where the band was the sole representative of the Czech music). In July of 2008, the Organic Quartet performed at the Getxo Jazz Festival, Spain, where the band won the audience’s prize as the Best Band (over 17,000 visitors and jazz fans were present during the festival).
To enrich his experience, Tomáš headed to New York, where he took private lessons with the drummer Kendrick Scott and Gregory Hutchinson. There, with the hammond-organist Ondřej Pivec; Tomáš recorded a CD, "Overseason" – also in cooperation with guitarist Jake Langley and saxophonist Joel Frahm. He also met pianist Dan Tepfer, who plays on Tomas’s first solo album “Stick It Out” (2009).
In the summer 2009, with the band Points, Tomáš was awarded a first prize in the Getxo Jazz Competition (Spain), and later they also won second prize in a jazz contest in Hoeilaart (Belgium).
Jana Holmanová graduated from the conservatory in Teplice (class of V. Vlková and P. Slavík), and in 2001 she finished her studies at the Musical Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (class of Květa Bilynská). In 1993, she won the first prize in the international piano competition of the North London Music Festival. She participated in the Piano Competition of Conservatory Students as well as in the Chopin Competition in Mariánské Lázně. She performs as a soloist with many Czech orchestras, but chamber music itself represents the most significant part of her musical activities. She is a member of ArteMiss Trio, which has received several international prizes. ArteMiss Trio performs regularly in the Czech Republic and abroad, and it has recorded several CDs.
Bassist and composer Jaromír Honzák was born in Litoměřice in 1959. He began his musical studies on the piano at the age of six, on the double bass at age 14, and graduated from the Conservatory of Teplice in 1982. After completing two years of mandatory military service -- luckily spent in a prominent army band in Prague -- Honzák quickly became a versatile and sought-after bassist, performing with virtually all of the major figures of the Czech jazz scene. Honzák co-founded Naima Group, which fast became one of the most significant Czech jazz groups of the 1980s. Throughout the years he has appeared with international artists such as Art Farmer, Phil Wilson, Don Friedman, Alan Praskin, Giovanni Bassso, Amina Claudine Myers and Victor Lewis.
He has performed at a number of international festivals including Sea Jazz Helsinki, Ingolstadter Jazztage, Levekusener Jazztage, the Jazz Jambore Warsaw, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 1989, Honzák was awarded both Berklee and Fulbright scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he studied with Bruce Gertz, Hal Crook, John La Porta and Rick Peckham, and performed with fellow students Jorge Rossy, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, Mark Turne and Chris Cheek. Since returning to the Czech Republic in 1990, Honzák has documented his work as a bandleader, bassist and composer in three recordings: "Getting There Together" (1995, PJ Music); "Earth Life"(2000, Cube Metier); "Present Pas" has been praised as "one of the most significant events in the history of Czech jazz” (Harmonie Magazine).
Honzák collaborates closely with a range of international artists, including Kuba Stankiewicz, Piotr Baron, Michal Tokaj, Lukasz Zyta, Christian Rover, Jorge Rossy and David Dorůžka. He performs extensively in Poland where his friend Kuba Stankiewicz has introduced him to many of leading musicians of the Polish scene.
Honzák's recordings and compositions have been awarded numerous prizes in the Czech Republic and abroad. His CDs "Present Past" and "Earth Life" were each awarded the Harmonie Magazine prize for the best Czech jazz recording of 2000 and 2003. His tune "Constant Struggle" is featured in the European Realbook (Sher Music).
Presently, Honzák leads two bands: the Jaromír Honzák Quartet and trio Face of the Bass. He works frequently with the young guitarists Petr Zelenka and David Dorůžka. He is also a member of the Eben Brothers band and collaborates with the free improvised theatre group Vizita.
Dita Hradecká is currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation on 19th century piano music at Charles University in Prague, where she received a Master's degree in musicology in 2006. Since 2000 she has been the editor of the cultural section of Lidove noviny, the daily Czech journal, covering classical music. As an employee of the Czech Ministery of Culture between 2012-2013 she was responsible for the state support to music arts. Hradecká regularly contributes to music magazines Harmonie, Hudebni rozhledy and Czech Music Quaterly, for the daily newspaper Hospodarske noviny, and provides radio programmes and reviews, moderates public discussions and is involved in the Czech musical life as a critic and organizer of musical events. Additionally, she does German, French and English translation.
Currently a Marketing & Media Coach, Hana Huntova has worked in marketing and communication since 1994. She has held various positions in advertising agencies in the Czech Republic and abroad, including MindShare and Saatchi & Saatchi, followed by working in marketing and communications functions in Unilever. In 2007, she established an independent coaching and training company, whose clients have included Unilever, Czech Television, Millward Brown, Union of Publishers, Google, and others.
A graduate of the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague, Huntova is an active member of the Czech Association of Advertisers. She was one of the judges of the European Effie in Berlin in 2002 and has been the judge of the Czech Effie for the past 6 years.
A full time teacher of Czech for foreigners, Monika Janouchová has taught at Accent Language School and Charles Unversity while also instructing students privately. Janouchová holds a Master’s Degree in pedagogy from the Hradec Kralové Teaching College.
Jan Jirák is Deputy Chair of the Centre for Media Studies at Charles University, as well as a faculty member of the Department of Media Studies, where he has taught Czech communications and mass media since 1992. An author and co-author of books and articles on the role of media and communication in contemporary society, media literacy and media education, Jirák is also the former chairman of the Czech Television Council and the former editor of KMIT Quarterly. Previously a translator of English-language movies for Czech TV Broadcasting, he still translates English language novels (e.g., Updike, Vonnegut, Frazer) and academic books on media (e.g., McQuail, Meyrowitz, Thompson). Additionally, he is co-author of the project of media education for Czech primary and secondary schools.
Jirák holds an M.A. degree from Charles University in English and Czech language and literature and has a Ph.D. from Charles University in media studies. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the development of media in post-transformational societies. In 2002, he became an associate professor, writing his professor´s thesis on the concept of media literacy. In 2008, he became a full-time professor in media studies. He holds professional affiliations with the Syndicate of Journalists of the Czech Republic, the Czech Union of Translators, and the Czech Circle for Modern Philology.
Jana Jonasova is a professor at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts- HAMU. She is also a soprano soloist at the Prague States Opera, a guest artist at the Berlin States Opera, Simper’s Opera in Dresden, and Amsterdam’s Opera. Jana Jonášová has participated in festivals in Prague, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Madrid, Moscow, and Japan. Her opera roles include Queen of the Night, Gilda, Zerbinetta, and Konstance; she has won awards including Artist of the year in 1985, the UNESCO Award - 1968, Wiener Flötenuhr - 1970, Professor of the year in Voice class - 1999, and Masaryk Academy of Science Award – 2004.
Zuzana Kasakova earned her PhD from the Institute of International Affairs in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague. She also studied at several foreign universities (University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and London School of Economics and Political Science). During her studies, she did research internships at the University of Oxford and the British Parliament.
Currently, she is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and an associate research fellow at EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy. Between February 2012 and January 2014 she was the chair of the Academic Senate of the Faculty. Her research focuses on political development and history of the United Kingdom with special attention to the “Celtic fringe”, EU history and institutional development, regional policy, regionalism and minority nationalism in Europe.
She has also participated in number of European and national research projects, and projects focusing on curricula innovations and bringing EU closer to students and teachers at secondary schools.
Tomas Klvana is a visiting Professor at New York University in Prague and Management Consultant at InReach Global Consulting (www.inreachglobal.com), where he specializes in stakeholder strategies and business communication. He is a founder and Vice-President of the Aspen Institute Prague and serves as Chairman of Editorial Board of Aspen Review Central Europe (www.aspeninstitute.cz/en/magazine/)
Dr. Klvaňa was a Shorenstein Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University (2003). In 2012 he received the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Dr. Klvaňa served as the Press Spokesperson and Policy Adviser for President of the Czech Republic, Special Government Envoy for Communications of the Missile Defense Program, and between 2005 and 2010 he worked in various CSR and Regulatory Management functions with British American Tobacco in London, Hamburg, Prague and Brussels. He holds a Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota in the U.S. (1997) and an M. A. from Charles University in the Czech Republic.
Since 2004, Evžen Kočenda has been a Professor of Economics at CERGE, Charles University in Prague and, since 2002, Citigroup Endowment Professor. He is also a Research Fellow of the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan Business School and a Research Affiliate of CEPR, London.
Kočenda graduated in 1985 from the Prague School of Economics in International Trade Management. He received his M.A. in Economics from the University of Toledo, Ohio, in 1992, and completed his graduate studies in Economics at the University of Houston, Texas, earning a Ph.D. degree in 1996. From 1996 to 1998, he was Deputy Director for Research at CERGE and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
In 1997, Kočenda was the Economic Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. From 1998 to 1999, he was a member of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and since 1999 has been a member of the CERGE Scientific Council. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Finance a uver and the Journal of Comparative Economics.
Frantisep Kop is a leading Czech Jazz musician; in addition to NYU, he teaches jazz saxophone at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. From 1993-5 he taught jazz improvisation and interpretation at the Prague Jazz Conservatory.
Frantisek Kop took up the tenor saxophone and theory of jazz improvisation at the Prague Jazz Conservatory under the tutelage of distinguished jazz vibe player and teacher Karel Velebný. In 1980 he started playing with professional jazz groups and big bands.
During his two years of mandatory military service he played in the Army Arts Ensemble; there, he joined up with several other young jazz musicians to form Naima - 3 times the winner of Best European Jazz Group Award. In 1983, he teamed up with Emil Viklický Quartet - a prominent jazz group in the Czech Republic. From 1985-88 he toured Europe with Naima and Emil Viklický Quartet; he also worked as a studio musician playing various styles of music. In 1984 he took a job as a musician on a cruise ship in the U.S. , recording with Joe Newman and Lou Blackburn.
In 1995, he founded his own group, concentrating on original compositions influenced by various styles of contemporary music, transcending the boundaries of jazz. they have recorded numerous studio sessions (with EBU Big Band in Canada, with F. Wesley). In 2000 he released the CD "Twinkle" with the František Kop Quartet.
In 1998 he was elected as president of the Czech Jazz Society, - an organization dedicated to support the nationwide advancement of jazz (tutoring and education, information services, contests). He composes various kinds of music (jazz, film and TV music, etc.).
The trumpeter Ladislav Kozderka was born in 1974 into a family of musicians in Brno. He graduated from the conservatory there and continued his studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He subsequently became principal trumpet with the Opera Orchestra of the National Theater in Prague, and since November 2008 he has also been principal trumpet with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed with leading symphony and chamber orchestras in the Czech Republic and abroad. At present, he focuses on concert activities, improvisation, the performance of contemporary music and the creation of music and stage projects for various composers.
Matej Kratochvíl is a Czech musicologist and music journalist. He works at the Institute of Ethnology of Czech Academy of Sciences, where he does research in ethnomusicology. His main interests are: historical recordings of folk music, traditional music and technology, current developments of musical traditions in Central Europe. He has published a 5CD edition of recordings of Czech and Slovak folk music from 1920s and 1930s and several other publications concerning these topics. He also lectures at Charles University, Faculty of Humanities.
Since 2004, Matěj Kratochvíl is editor-in-chief of HIS Voice magazine which concentrates on contemporary music and covers topics from contemporary composition as well as improvised music, electronic, noise or sound art. Together with Jaroslav Šťastný and Radek Tejkal he has translated John Cage’s seminal book, "Silence".
Assoc. Prof. Michal Kubát studied Political Science at the Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague (FSS CU). He completed a one year study abroad program at the Institute of Political Sciences at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In 2005 he obtained a Doctoral degree in International Area Studies at FSS CU. Four years later he became an Associate Professor of Political Science, awarded by the Masaryk University in Brno.
Michal Kubát has published several monographs in Czech, English and Polish. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles. He deals with comparative politics (especially democratic and non-democratic political regimes and political opposition) and the political systems of Central and Eastern Europe, especially Poland.
Jaroslav Kubita studied at the Prague Conservatory under J. Rezác and at the Academy of Performing Arts under F. Herman and J. Seidl. He is the winner of international competitions in bassoon at the Prague Spring Festival (1991) and in Wloszakowice, Poland (1988); a laureate of the C. M. von Weber Competition in Munich (1987) and the IDRS Competition in Manchester, England (1989). A former solo bassoonist of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra in Prague, he has been a member of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra since 1996. He devotes himself to solo and chamber performances.
He has released the CD "18th-Century Czech Bassoon Concerti" (Vanhal, Pichl, Schimpke); performed at prominent festivals (e.g., the Prague Spring Festival); and collaborated with leading orchestras such as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Dortmunder Philharmoniker and Jenaer Philharmoniker. He regularly records for Czech Radio. In addition to the Czech Wind Harmony, he is a member of the chamber associations In Modo Camerale (www.musica.cz/imc) and the Prague Baroque Ensemble.
Radim Kresta studied violin under Bohumil Kotmel at the Conservatory of Brno and with Prof. Václav Snítil at The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU). During his studies at HAMU he took private violin lessons with Prof. Valery Gradow in Mannheim. Upon graduation, he studied with the American violinist Emi Ohi Resnick in Amsterdam. He took master-classes with Václav Hudeček, Felix Andreievsky, Pinchas Zukerman and Semion Yaroschevic.
During his studies he achieved a number of successes in solo competitions (1st prize at the Competition of Czech Conservatories 1993, 2nd prize at the “Prix Mercure" in Semmering, Austria 1996, Honorary Mention in the “Prague Spring Competition 1997”, etc.). He co-founded the Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, he was the concert master of the Berg Chamber Orchestra Prague, and he worked as a member of the first violin section of the Holland Symfonia Amsterdam. He now performs as a soloist in the Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra (Sibelius Violin Concerto) and other Czech ensembles and orchestras.
Kresta devotes himself to chamber music. His piano trio "Taras Piano Trio" won first prize in the chamber music category at the "Internationaler Johannes Brahms Wettbewerb 2007" in Austria, first prize in the chamber music competition, "Premio Rovere d´Oro 2008" in Italy, and first prize in the "Val Tidone Competitions 2010" in Italy. At present, Radim Kresta is the concertmaster, soloist and artistic director of the "Haas Chamber Orchestra Prague" (which he founded in 2005). Radim Kresta also teaches violin at the Prague School of Music and the Prague Conservatory.
Zdeněk Kühn is an Associate Professor at Charles University Law School, where he teaches legal theory, comparative public law and human rights, and a Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic. He graduated from the Charles University Law School in 1997 and received his Ph.D. degree there in 2001. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Science Juridical Doctor (S.J.D.) degrees from the University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor. Mr Kühn has taught at the Cornell University Law School and University of South Carolina Law School summer programs and at USF Law School, San Francisco and Nova Southeast University Law School. His English publications include “The Judiciary in Central and Eastern Europe”, describing the development of the law and judges in Central Eastern Europe (Brill 2011).
He has been awarded several prizes including the Hessel Yntema Prize, Berkeley, California, for the best article by a scholar under 40 (published in vol. 52 of the American Journal of Comp. Law). He has served as a legal expert on Czech and Slovak law before US courts, for example in 2003 for the plaintiff in the case In Re: Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. Holocaust Insurance Litigation (United States District Court Southern District of New York), one of the most important recent class action suits in the United States. In Fall 2007, he was appointed by the Czech government to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to serve as an ad hoc justice in a highly profiled set of cases relating to rent control in the Czech Republic.
Jurij Likin, a Czech oboist of Byelorussian origin, studied at the Byelorussian Conservatory in Minsk with legendary professor, Boris Nichkov. He later worked with famous French professor and soloist Maurice Bourgue in Paris (1992-1993) and in Prague at the Prague Mozart Academy. He has also played with Nicholas Daniel, Ives Poucel, Michael Faust, Jess Read, André Cazalet, Wolker Altmann, Hatto Beyerle. He was the solo oboe of the Byelorussian Philharmonic in Minsk, Petersburg Symphony, Minsk Chamber Orchestra. A winner of several national and international competitions (Concertino Praga 1984, Baltic republics-Byerorussia-Moldova International Competition 1986, USSR National Competition 1987), Jurij moved to Prague in 1994, first taking up the position of Solo/Principal Oboe in the Prague Philharmonic before accepting the same position in the Prague Symphony Orchestra, a post he holds to date. As a soloist and chamber music player, he is often invited to music festivals in Europe, Asia and North America. As a member of the Prague Wind Quintet, he won the prestigious annual French critics' prize, Choc 1999, of the "La Monde de la Musique", for the recording of chamber music by Leos Janacek. He is teaching oboe, oboe reed making and oboe repairing master-classes in France, Great Britain, Japan, Russia and USA regularly. Since 2009 Jurij Likin is a professor of oboe at the Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Brno. Jurij Likin plays Fossati-Paris oboe model 20th Anniversary.
Tomas Liska (1979) studied the double-bass at the Conservatory of Jaroslav Ježek in Prague under Prof. Petr Kořínek and soon became a presence on the local jazz scene, appearing with an array of musicians at the city's most important jazz clubs and festivals. In 2012 , he participated in a Masters study program at a prestigious Berlin University, Jazz Institut Berlin, under the direction of renowned American teachers Greg Cohen and John Hollenbeck.
After his Prague studies, Tomas Liska joined David Dorůžka’s trio, and in 2005 he took part in the finale of the International Jazz Festival in Getxo, Spain. In 2006, he played in a duo with vibraphonist Radek Krampl at the prestigious international jazz festival, "Sofia Jazz Peak" in Bulgaria. Soon after he worked in cooperation with Matej Benko’s trio. This trio expanded into a quintet in 2007, and in February 2009 they released a CD called "Time Against Us".
Tomas Liska has been awarded numerous prizes in the Czech Repbulic and abroad. At the International Jazz Workshop in Polish Leszno, he was awarded the prize for the best bass player at the workshop. in 2007. He also participated in a masterclass workshop in Italy with some of the best American players (Joey DeFrancesco, Benny Golson, Bobby Durham, Jimmy Cobb, Alberto Marsico and Buster Williams) where he was once again granted the award for the best double-bassist of the workshop. In 2009, he joined the quartet Points, which won in the 22nd Year Competition of Jazz Standards in Siedlce (Poland) as well as at the prestigious international jazz competition in Gexto (Spain) - the first Czech jazz band to ever win this competition. He was awarded the Best Bass Player title in 2009 at an international competition in Hoeilaart, Belgium. His quartet, Points, received Second Prize within the bands category. He was the winner of the International Competition of Soloists in Łomża (Poland).
He has had great success with his solo and group CDs. In 2009 he released first solo CD, "Invisible World," which won the Best Album of the Year poll conducted by the Czech Jazz Society in 2010. The same year, the album was nominated in the Czech Grammy music awards. In 2011 he recorded the albums "Marzipan from Toledo" and "Shuttle To Bethlehem" with the band "Druha Trava", receiving critical acclaim. The album "Marzipan" received the "Angel Awards" (Czech grammy) in 2011. In 2012 he released the album "Daily Specials" with American guitarist Steve Walsh.
In 2008 he toured Europe with a great performer of South-American music, Mara Topferova. He has toured the US several times as a member of the band "Druha trava." Tomas has appeared at numerous jazz festivals in Bulbaria, France, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Russia, South African Republic, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Austria, Poland, England, USA, Mexico.
He has cooperated with numerous musicians including David Dorůžka, Steve Walsh (USA), Beata Hlavenková, Cyrille Oswald (NL), Marta Topferova (USA), Lenka Dusilová, Eternal Seekers, Yvonne Sanchez, Pražský Bigband, Najponk, Dan Tepfer (USA), Bryson Kern (USA), Sam Sadigursky (USA), Mark Aanderud (MEX/USA), Hernan Hecht (ARG) and many others.
Zdenek Lukes is an architect and historian of architecture. He studied at the Faculty of Architecture at the Czech Technical University in Prague, and from 1980-1990 worked in the Archive of Architecture of the National Technical Museum in Prague.
He was actively involved in the Velvet Revolution in 1989, and he was part of he was part of the Civic Forum with Vaclav Havel. After the Revolution, Lukes worked in the Office of the President of the Czech Republic helping to revitalize the Prague Castle during Vaclav Havel's presidency.
Zdenek Lukes has organized numerous exhibitions, including: Josip Plečnik, Ten Centuries of Architecture, Splátka dluhu (Debt Repayment), Architect E. Králiček, Czech Architectonical Cubism or Prague Functionalism. He is the author and co-author of about 50 essays, catalogues and books on modern architecture, and has written hundreds of expert articles in Czech newspapers (Respect, Revolver Revue, Lidové noviny, Architekt etc) He contributed to broadcasts for Czech Television for the series Ten Centuries of Architecture, as well as to Czech Public Radio and BBC. He is also in charge of columns dedicated to architecture on the webpage Neviditelný pes (Invisible Dog).
In 2014, Professor Lukes was awarded the State order Medal of Merit by the Slovenian President Borut Pahor.
Between 2000-2003, Lukes was Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University in Liberec. Since 2004, Professor Lukes has been teaching at the New York University in Prague.
Since 1992, Andrzej Magala has worked at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He graduated from the Philosophical Faculty of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland in 1976, specializing in Polish language and the theory and history of Polish literature. He studied as a translator in Warsaw for two years before attending Adam Michiewicz University for another four semesters, this time studying sociology and Czech studies. From 1976 to 1992 he worked at the Polish Institute in Prague, teaching Polish to foreigners. He also taught at the Polish Embassy’s school in Prague, at the Polish School for children from mixed marriages, and gave individual Polish lessons to adults. In 2006 he completed his Ph.D. in comparative linguistics at Ostrava University.
Jan Machacek is a Czech journalist and musician, now working as a commentator and analyst for the daily newspaper Hospodarske noviny and the weekly Respekt. His main field of interest is economic politics. He writes a daily blog, providing analyses for Czech public radio and television.
During communism in the 1980s, Jan Machacek was involved in underground culture samizdat publishing. He was a member of the famous underground band The Plastic People of the Universe and later joined the band Garage, with whom he still plays. He signed Charter 77 and was involved in various dissident activities. He studied at the Prague School of Economics in the first half of the 1980s, but due to political reasons could not finish.
After the revolution in 1989, Jan Machacek coordinated people from the underground publishing world to create the first independent media outlet in the country, the weekly Respekt . He has also been a fellow of the National Forum Foundation in Washington (1994) and the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (1998).
Mr. Machacek is currently the board chairman of the Vaclav Havel Library. He has received the Ferdinand Peroutka Award numerous times - an annual award for the best journalism in the country.
Vlastimil Mares’ artistic career started at the Plzen Conservatory, where he started studying clarinet in the class of Professor J.Hlaváč. Upon graduation from the Academy of Music Arts (AMU) in Prague, he became the first clarinet of the FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Prague Wind Quintet, a renowned solo clarinetist, and professor at the Academy of Music Arts. Mostly winning first prizes, he has shown his exceptional musical talent at various international competitions, such as Concertino Praga, the K.Kurpinski competition in Poland, Markneurkierchen in Germany, and at the prestigious Prague Spring festival.
He was also very successful at competitions in Paris and Rome, where he advanced to the narrow four-member finals. Today his recordings are renowned and sought-after both at home and abroad (the CD of the Year 1996 in Paris, Grammy Asia 1997 - Soul, Grammy classic 1993 - Prague).
As a solo player or member of the Prague wind quintet, Mr. Mareš has appeared on the concert platforms of a number of countries, including the United States, Japan and England.
For more than a decade Petra Matějová combines in her career modern piano and fortepiano playing. Her interest is to approach each repertoir with the maximum care for the sound and interpretation aesthetics of the time when it was conceived, which includes also the choice of instrument. Lead by her strong interest for the music of late 18th and early 19th century, Petra Matějová started to be active in the field of early music after graduating from the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in modern piano. She was studying the fortepiano in Paris and Amsterdam, and currently she is finishing her PhD thesis on Voříšek´s piano works and the early 19th century piano style in an international doctorate programme at the Janáček Academy in Brno, Paris IV-Sorbonne and Paris Conservatory under Barbara Maria Willi, Jean-Pierre Bartoli and Kenneth Weiss.
Petra Matějová divides her musical interest between the early repertoir on historical instruments and the 20th century repertoir on modern piano. As a chamber music player in modern repertoir she often appears together with the first flutist of the Symphonic Orchastra of Prague FOK Hana Brožová, members of the Škampa and Kocian quartets; in early music her main partners are the cellist Marek Štryncl and the ensembles Musica Florea, Ensemble Inégal, or singers Franziska Gottwald and Irena Troupová. She forms a piano duet with the polish fortepianist Katarzyna Drogosz.
Petra Matějová appeared in the main recital series of her country, including two consecutive performances at the Prague Spring festival and a solo recital on both instruments at the major piano series in the Rudolfinum in Prague. She appeared in most European countries and is regularly invited to the festivals in Central Europe. In France, she has made a recording for the Mezzo TV as well as a solo CD with works by Schubert, Beethoven and Voříšek. She records frequently for the Czech Radio and has recorded pieces by Rejcha, Mozart, Janáček, Fibich, Voříšek, Tomášek, Franck, Haydn, Mendelssohn.
Since 1995 Petra Matějová gives regular masterclasses in piano, fortepiano and chamber music. In 2007-2009 she lead the fortepiano class at the Valtice Early music Summerschool and since 2008 has taught fortepiano at the Janáček Academy in Brno. She plays classical repertoir on the copy of Anton Walter & Sohn instrument from 1805 made in 2007 by Paul McNulty in Divišov.
In 2010, Jeff Medeiros co-founded Keastone, a Dresden-based company that develops software which helps scientists and professionals collaborate with colleagues across disciplines and geographies. He is also the Director of Information Systems Management Program at the University of New York in Prague, where he teaches courses on e-Commerce, Information Systems, Computers and Applications. From 1996-2009 he was the CEO of rs-unix, helping Northern California organizations identify and address their business challenges through customized IT infrastructure solutions.
Jeff Medeiros earned his MBA from the Institut Universitaire Kurt Bosch in 2012 and did his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley - Walter A. Haas School of Business.
Pianist and musicologist Ourania Menelaou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. She graduated from the Prague Conservatory in the class of V. Topinka in 1996 and continued her studies at Charles University in Prague, from which she received her Master’s degree in Musicology. In 2003, Menelaou was awarded a Teaching Assistantship from the University of Iowa. There, she studied piano with Professor Uriel Tsachor and got her postgraduate degree on Piano Performance in 2006.
Menelaou has performed extensively, both as a soloist and as a pianist in chamber music recitals. She holds the diploma Laureat de l'Academie de Lausanne and has been invited to participate in music fesitvalsi n the U.S., where she has performed with internationally recognized musicians, including Peter Zazofsky, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Terry King, Annette-Barbara Vogel and others. Ourania has given recitals in Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Norway, Iceland and the U.S. She has recorded for the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), the Icelanding Radio, KNPR in Las Vegas and for Český Rozhlas.
As a musicologist, Menelaou has been researching and studying the piano music of the 19th and 20th century as well as the music of the Czech composer Leoš Janáček. During her studies in the U.S., she gave several lecture-recitals on Janáček's piano music and on the Czech piano music of the 20th century. Currently she is studying the work of the Greek composes Nikos Skalkottas (1904-1949).
Bara Mrazkova is a freelance photographer and graphic designer. She graduated in 2005 with an MFA in the Department of Still Photography at the Film Academy of Performing arts in Prague (FAMU). She also studied at the Department of Fine Arts at Middlesex University in London.
Bara Mrazkova photographs for festivals, museums and other cultural events, documenting and creating photographic art (e.g. "Discovery Campus" for Festival, Fresh Film Fest). She has created photographic work for numerous publications including the Alfons Mucha catalogue, Czech Comics from the First half of the 20th Century by Helena Deising. She also works for magazines (including BLOK, Hype) and several leading Czech fashion designers (Cockerel, Monidee). From 2005-2009 she oversaw the photographic documentation of an extensive private collection of Propaganda art which was published in 2007 in the book Ne Boltai!
Mraxkova's photography has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions at leading Czech and European galleries. She co-wrote Eastern Blok, a catalogue of an international photographic project that explored the differences between growing up in totalitarian and post-totalitarian countries, created under the auspices of President Vaclav Havel.
Bara Mrazkova has taught Introduction to Photography at NYU Prague since 2005, first as an assistant to Professor Zdenek Kirschner and currently as an adjunct professor.
Since 2006, the Czech composer Lubos Mrkvicka has been a lecturer at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), where he teaches composition and lectures courses focused on compositional techniques of 20th and 21st century music.
He has taught composition at New York University Prague since 2006. After three years of studies at the Prague Conservatoire with professor Bohuslav Řehoř, he studied with professor Milan Slavický and professor Marek Kopelent at HAMU, where he received his Ph.D. in 2009. Besides many workshops and compositional courses, he completed a scholarship at the Royal College of Music in London with professor David Sawer.
Currently Petr Mucha serves as a program coordinator for the Forum 2000 Foundation, started by President Václav Havel in Prague, which organizes annual international conferences on global issues and challenges. Mucha focuses primarily on facilitating interfaith dialogue and debates on religion in the contemporary global society. For many years, he has also been working with Templeton Prize laureate Tomas Halik in the field of dialogue between religion and the secular world.
In addition to New York University Prague, Mucha lectures in various educational institutions and manages projects studying European identity, culture and European integration.
After graduating in Geography and Religious Studies at Charles University in 1994, Petr Mucha served as a director of a nonprofit organization and taught at universities in Prague and Hradec Králové. During that period, he also studied sociology and philosophy and did internships at educational institutions in the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France. Later, throughout his doctoral studies, he worked as a lecturer and visiting scholar at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.
During the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s, Mucha was actively involved in youth dissent activities and in the student revolt during the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
Karel B. Müller currently teaches courses on civil society and political sociology as a professor at the University of Economics in Prague, and he also lectures at Charles University. From 2004-05 he was a visiting lecturer and scholar at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.
Müller earned a MA in philosophy (1996) and a Ph.D. in political science (2002) from Charles University. His publication Češi a občanská společnost (Czechs and Civil Society), published in 2002, has become a core reading for political science educational programs at several universities in the Czech Republic. He is a member of the Czech Political Science Association, the American Political Science Association, the Helsinki Committee in the Czech Republic and is on the board of the Institute for Economic and Political Culture, a Prague-based think tank.
Richard Müller holds position as a Researcher at the Institute of Czech Literature, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. In 2011, he served as a Visiting Professor at the Department of Slavic Languages at Brown University, Providence, RI.
Richard Müller earned his M.A. in Czech and English Studies and his Ph.D. in Czech and Comparative Literature at Charles University. In 2005, he won a scholarship at the Department of Literature (Literaturwissenschaft) at University of Konstanz, Germany.
In 2012, he published a Dictionary of Contemporary Literary Theory: Glossary of Terms, which was nominated for the Book of the Year by Lidové noviny, a national news daily. His Texts in Circulation: An Anthology of Cultural Materialist Approaches to Literature (co-edited) is forthcoming. The areas of Richard Müller’s teaching and research interests include literary theory, modern Czech and German literature, relations between literary discourse and ideology and literary communication seen as a specific form of mediality. He is also a translator (Roald Dahl’s short stories, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks).
In addition to his academic profession, Richard Müller is a classically trained pianist.
Since 2007, Salim Murad has been teaching at New York University in Prague. His main research topics involve ethnic stereotypes in Czech advertising and media and migration. Salim Murad also teaches in the Political Science Department of the Faculty of Education of the University of South Bohemia, where he started working in 2000. He is a course coordinator and lecturer of the university's teaching module in the European Union MA Program in Migration and Intercultural Relations. Salim Murad has worked on projects for UNHCR Czech Republic and the Human Rights Education Centre of Charles University in Prague.
In 2010, Murad earned a PhD in Theory of Politics from the Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovak Republic). Murad graduated in 2000 from the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University in Brno with a MA degree in Political Science.
From April to June 2003, Murad was a Visiting Fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. His research there dealt with the issue of asylum in the Czech Republic since the fall of Communism and access to the EU. He also studied at the Institute of Political Science at Copenhagen University in 2004.
Currently head of the legal department in a public hospital in Prague, Tomas Nemecek graduated with an M.A. in media and mass communications from Charles University in 1996, and in 2003 he earned a law degree from the Charles University Law Faculty. From 1993 to 1995 he worked as a reporter and columnist for the weekly Czech magazine Mlady svet. In 1995 he started writing for the weekly newspaper Respekt, where he was editor-in-chief from 2003 to 2005. Later he was the chief commentator of the Czech business daily Hospodarske noviny (2005-2009). After this, he became the editor of the opinion supplement and of law and justice supplements in the daily Czech newspaper Lidove noviny (2009-2013).
Vít Nermut completed his studies at Charles University in Prague (MA in musicology) and at the University of Music in Trossingen, Germany (MA in Baroque violin). In 1999-2000 he took part in Charles University's exchange programme as a scholar at the Jazz Department of the University of New Orleans (LA).
Since 1999 he has been mainly active in the fields of music education and performance. As a musician he has worked with numerous ensembles, and his musical range runs from classical music and jazz to music for film and theater (e.g. Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra, L‘Orchestra Barocca della Mitteleuropa, Neue Hofkapelle Müchen, Armonico Tributo Austria, Instrumenta Musica, Capella Regia, Musica Florea, Ensemble Inégal, Societas Incognitorum, Musica Figuralis, The Czech Ensemble Baroque, Paul Novotny Trio, Golem Theatre).
Dr. Todd Nesbitt is Chair of the department of Communication and Mass Media, and director of the La Salle Master's program in Professional Communication and Public Relations at the University of New York in Prague.
His graduate degrees were earned at the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism at the faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University, and undergraduate studies completed at the University of Windsor in Canada. He has taught courses at the faculties of Law, Humanities, Social Sciences, and CERGE-EI at Charles University.
His research focuses on strategic political communication, media globalization and media ownership, and his community involvement has consisted of public discussions, seminars, and local press contributions on related issues.
He currently sits on the editorial board of the street paper Nový Prostor.
Simon North received his MA in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh. After completing post-graduate studies in painting at the Edinburgh College of Art, he worked as an independent artist, drawing teacher, and freelance lecturer and guide (at the National Galleries of Scotland). From 1988 to 1993 he taught English in France, the UK, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
He was a tutor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Art and Architecture at the Central European University from 1992-96, until the university closed in Prague. Since the mid-1990s he has been an architectural tour guide and has lectured on art and architectural history for numerous American study abroad programs in Prague (including SIT, NYU and CIEE) and the ECES program at Charles University.
From 2000 he also taught art history survey courses for ten years at the University of New York in Prague (UNYP).
Simon has taught at NYU Prague since 2006, offering courses on Czech Art & Architecture and A Cultural History of the City in Central Europe. Since 2001 he has offered guided tours of the city for NYU students.
Jiří Novák has been a freelance teacher of English and Czech for foreigners since 1990; he has been teaching at NYU since the fall of 2001.
Novák graduated from Charles University in 1989 with a Masters degree in Czech and English language and literature, and a specialization in pedagogy. Besides tutoring, in the 1990´s he also translated a number of films and TV series (including 12 episodes of The Simpsons) for Czech TV.
Monika MacDonagh Pajerová is chairperson of the civic association YES for Europe (www.anoproevropu.cz) and advisor to the minister of Culture of the Czech Republic (since 2014). She studied modern philology at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, earning her doctorate there in 1991. In 1987, she attended scholarship program at the Linkoping University in Sweden.
From 1988 to 1989, she lead the Student Press and Information Centre in Prague. During the Velvet Revolution she was the spokesperson for the University Strike Committee.
In 1990, Pajerová entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic and became cultural attaché at the Czech Embassy in Paris until 1994. From1994 to 1998, she served as Administrator of the Culture Committee in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. In 1998, she served as head and spokesperson of the Press Dept. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague.
From 1999 to 2000, Pajerová was the author and moderator of Shall We Get On? and Studio Europe, respectively television and radio programs about the EU from 2009 to 2012 author and moderator of the weekly European Manual created for Czech Television.
She has published two books, Students Wrote a Revolution with M. Benda, P. Dobrovský and Š. Pánek, and, in connection with a CE project, New Ideas in Science and Society (1997). She is currently working on a book based on her personal involvement in the events that culminated in the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Pajerová has two children and is married to Peter MacDonagh. She speaks Czech, English, French, German, Russian and Swedish.
Hana Peckova graduated from the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she took classes from professor Bela Chalabalova, a former student of the famous Italian singer Totti dal Monte.
Peckova studied with Professor Lisiziana in Weimar during her studies at the Conservatory and the Academy. She is a laureate of the Prague Mozart Competition at Bertramka and of the International Opera Singers Contest BRT TV in Belgium.
She had performed the majority of her roles at the State Opera Theatre in Prague, the F.X.Salda Theater in Liberec, the J.K. Tyla Theater in Plzen, and at the Ceske Budejovice, Opava and Bratislava theaters. As a guest performer, she has also performed at numerous Czech, Moravian and Slovak theaters.
Presently, she works in cooperation with the Italian tenor Gaetano Bardini and the Ukrainian bass singer Jurij Kruglov. She has held several concerts in the following countries: Hungary, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, former Yugoslavia, France and others.
Currently Director ofNYU Prague, Jiří Pehe was Director of the Political Department of Czech President Václav Havel from September 1997 to May 1999. He serves as Chairman of the Program Committee of the Forum 2000 Foundation that organizes annual international conferences under Havel’s auspices.
From 1995 to 1997, Pehe was Director of Analysis and Research Department at the Open Media Research Institute in Prague. Between 1988 and 1995, he first worked as an analyst of Central European affairs and later as Director of Central European Research at the Research Institute of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. From 1985 to 1988, Pehe was Director of East European Studies at Freedom House in New York.
Pehe studied law and philosophy at Charles University in Prague from 1974 to 1978. In 1980, he received a doctorate in law (JUDr.) from the School of Law of Charles University. He fled Czechoslovakia in 1981 and eventually settled in the U.S.A. In 1985 he graduated from the School of International Affairs at Columbia University in New York.
Pehe has written hundreds of articles and analytical studies on developments in Eastern Europe for American, Czech, and German periodicals and academic journals. He is a regular contributor to various Czech newspapers and regularly comments on political developments for Czech Television and Radio. He co-authored and edited a book titled The Prague Spring: A Mixed Legacy, which was published by Freedom House in 1988. In 2002, his book Vytunelovaná demokracie was published by Academia, Prague. Pehe has also contributed essays and chapters to various other books. He teaches at Charles University and NYU Prague.
Professor of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and a pupil of Saša Večtomov, Miroslav Petráš is a laureate of the International Competition, "Prague Spring" and winner of the national Beethoven Competition in Hradec nad Moravicí /CZE/, and others.
He has presented concerts in most European countries, in North and South America, Japan and Taiwan. He became a concert master of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, with which entity he played solo cello concertos at many concerts in the Czech Republic and abroad.
His characteristic interpretation of concertos by Dvorak and Saint-Saens are also recorded on CDs. His recordings featuring sonatas by Z. Kodaly Op. 8, and R. Strauss Op. 6, bear out his excellence as well. Miroslav Petráš also teaches at Prague Conservatoire and is a member of juries of many music competitions. He is member of the Czech Trio and Bohuslav Martinů Piano Quartet. He used to act as a lector of seminars and masterclasses every year.
Milada Polišenská is Vice-President for Educational Development and Chair of the School of International Relations and Diplomacy at the New Anglo-American College in Prague (www.aac.edu). She earned her Ph.D. in History from Charles University in Prague in 1987 and her Docentship from Palacky University in Olomouc in 2006. She was a Fulbright Scholar at George Washington University in 1992 and in 1995 was named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in the Cold War International History Project in Washington, D.C. She has taught as a Visiting Professor in the United States (at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and at Texas Tech University) and at universities in Taiwan.
The author of a number of articles and monographs in diplomatic history and Central and Eastern European historical issues, Polišenská's most recent book is on Czechoslovaks deported to the Gulag camps in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovak diplomacy, 1945-1953.
Miroslav Pudlák is a Czech composer and musicologist who lectures at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he teaches music theory and analysis. He is currently the director of the Czech Music Information Centre, a research institution that promotes Czech contemporary music (www.musica.cz). Under his leadership, the center has developed into a non-profit modern arts management facility. It publishes two music magazines (in English and Czech), music directories, books and CDs, as well as running an information service on Czech music and managing archives and databases. Pudlák also works with MoEns, another contemporary music group (www.musica.cz/moens), as a conductor and composer.
Professor Pudlák's research concentrates on contemporary and 20th century Czech music. He has published a monograph and many articles on this topic. In 1985 he founded the contemporary music ensemble Agon, for which he was the artistic director until 1991. He is the author of many orchestral and chamber compositions, and he has also written music for theatre performances and electro-acoustic music. His music has been performed at contemporary music festivals in the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Finland, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Mongolia and France and has appeared on the label Arta Records.
Michal Rataj (born 1975) studied musicology at Charles University in Prague and composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (with Prof. Ivan Kurz and Prof. Milan Slavický), where he earned his Ph.D. in 2005 in the field of electroacoustic music and radioart. Since 2006 he has also been an Assistant Professor, running the electroacoustic music theory and composition classes there.
Michal Rataj was awarded scholarships to study musicology and composition at the Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK in 1995, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in 1998 and Universität der Künste in Berlin, 2002. In 2007 he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to guide research in the field of electroacoustic music and real-time sound applications at CNMAT, University of California Berkeley, CA.
Michal Rataj also works as radio art producer at Czech Radio, Prague where he curates a program slot Radioatelier and website rAdioCUSTICA for contemporary radioart activities. Since 2012 he has been vice-chair of the EBU Ars Acustica producers group and teaches composition at the NYU in Prague and other art schools. He has written music for number of TV productions and movies as well as large amount of radio plays & features and theatre and dance performances.
Michal Rataj composes mainly electroacoustic and chamber or orchestral instrumental music and gives performances throughout Europe and broadcasts worldwide. Recently he has been active as real-time performer of his acousmatic music and he gives sound performances alone and with different music partners.
Eric Rosenzveig (b. Montreal, Canada) is an artist, curator music producer and educator.
Currently the Department Chair of FAMU's Center of Audiovisual Studies (CAS), he teaches courses on open narrative structures, new media histories, sound for moving image and practical workshops on contemporary art making. At NYU he teaches electro-acoustic music comoposition. In addtion to his own art practice, he is Director of the Liz Gerring Dance Company in New York City.
His past art projects include a series of consumer electronics devices as artworks (FUNTV and others); playListNetWork, an online system for collaborative media making and public display that also included artwork of the same name (2001-2004); the Appearance Machine, an artificial life system that streamed continual animated media from garbage collected in his neighbourhood (1998-2002; winner of Vida 3.0 prizes for artificial life artworks and The Telefim Canada Prize at Images Festival Toronto for best film and video in Festival, exhibited at The Kitchen and The New Museum, NYC and other venues internationally).
Janusz Salamon is a philosopher specializing in moral and political theory and cross-cultural philosophy (esp. global ethics). He is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague. He studied at University of London (B.A.), University of Oxford (M.Phil.) and Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Ph.D.). He joined the faculty of New York University Prague in 2011. He serves as Co-Editor (with Dr. Anna Abram, University of London) of the Bloomsbury Studies in Global Ethics, a book series published by Bloomsbury Publishing London, and is a member of Editorial Committee of the Journal of East-West Thought published by the International Association for East-West Studies. He is also an Associate Member of the John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham and the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
Since 1995, Ilona Floriánová Šaršonová has specialized in teaching Czech for foreigners, both privately and for the Calix Language School and NYU Prague. She studied Czech language and literature at the Pedagogical faculty of Charles University. After graduating with her Masters degree, Šaršonová taught at Jesinova Elementary school for five years and spent one year instructing high school sophomores in art.
Vilem Semerak is an economist who works as a researcher at IDEA CERGE-EI think-tank in Prague and as a lecturer at Charles University. He specializes in international trade theory, economics of transition and the Chinese economy. His latest research concerns the debt crisis, Sino-EU trade relations and estimates of the effects of trade liberalization between the EU and the USA. Vilem Semerak studied at the Prague University of Economics (VŠE Praha), the London School of Economics & Political Science, and Charles University (IES and CERGE-EI). He obtained a Ph.D. degree from the Prague University of Economics in 2003. He has also spent time in China on several work- and research-related stays.
Ivo Šlosarčík is a lecturer of European and international law at the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, Charles University; he is also the deputy-head of the department. Czech correspondent for the European Public Law Journal, Šlosarčík is also a member of the advisory board to the European Constitution at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is a founding member of the Insititute for European Policy EUROPEUM, where he is active as director for research.
Slosarčík holds degrees from Charles University’s Faculty of Law and Central European University in Budapest. His major areas of interests are legal issues of European integration, judicial and police co-operation in the EU and Czech reform of the civil service and judiciary.
Vlad Sobell is a leading Russia and Eastern Europe analyst and commentator with more than 35 years’ experience. He began his career at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich in the mid-1980s as an analyst focused on the former Soviet bloc. From 1990 onwards he worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit in London – the research arm of the world-renowned weekly newspaper The Economist – as editor for Russia and Eastern Europe. Thereafter he spent some 15 years working in the City of London as a senior economist and analyst for Russia and Eastern Europe. Throughout his career he has published extensively and given numerous media interviews.
Sobell obtained his Ph.D. from St Antony’s College, Oxford for a dissertation on economic integration in the Soviet bloc. He also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Essex, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree in Russian studies from the University of Liverpool, UK.
Sobell was born in Prague but left for the West in 1969, shortly after the Soviet invasion. He returned to live and work in Prague in early 2012.
Dinah Spritzer is the central and eastern Europe editor for the New York-based Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news wire service founded in 1917 that reaches 1 million people through 110 newspapers, magazines and web sites. She covers security, political, religious and social issues in ten countries. Dinah is also a regular contributor to the New York Times, providing insights on the Central European cultural scene. Previously Dinah was news editor for four years at The Prague Post, Central Europe's leading English-language weekly. She upgraded the political coverage of the newspaper and as a result became a columnist for several Czech dailies. Prior to arriving in Prague, Dinah worked as the Europe editor for Travel Weekly, the largest travel business weekly in the United States, where she was also a regular contributor to the magazine Conde Nast Traveler and Fodor's Travel Guides. Dinah believes that freelancing for a variety of media outlets keeps a journalist on her toes: She has written on topics from combating obesity to the imperialist nature of Santa Claus for the New York Times, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle, Womens' E-news, The Canadian Medical Association Journal, The Independent of London, The Irish Examiner, The Jerusalem Post, and even OK! Magazine and USWeekly. She also contributes regularly to Grazia and the Sunday Mirror in the United Kingdom.
Adela Stajnochrova graduated from the Prague Conservatory in the class of Dana Vlachová (1998), and then continued her studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of Prof. Petr Messiereur. She got her posgraduate degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she studied violin with Krzysztof Smietana and Baroque violin with Rachel Podger. In 1994, she was a finalist in the Beethoven International Violin Competition (CZ) and in 2002 she was a semifinalist in the Gesselschaft Competition held in Munich. She took part in many international master classes in the USA, Austria and France held by L. Kaplan, S. Ashkenazi, I. Levin, and J. Holloway. As a member of ArteMiss Piano Trio, she focuses mainly on chamber music, but she also performs as a soloist with orchestras, gives recitals, and cooperates with early music ensembles (The Sixteen, Musica Florea, Collegium Marianum, Collegium 1704). In 2012 she finished her doctorate studies at the Academy of Performing Art.
Tatiana Stihelova has been teaching Russian language courses at NYU Prague since 2000. She was born in Moscow and received her M.A. first class honors degree from the Philological Faculty of Moscow State Pedagogical University. She then held the post of Russian Lector at Oxford University. Stihelova also earned her Master of Letters Degree from the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at Oxford University, United Kingdom.
Vanda Thorne teaches and researches on the themes of mass mentality, social movements, and collective civil action in totalitarian and post-totalitarian regimes. Other interests include gender and politics in Central Europe, ideology and propaganda, and theories of cultural resistance. She received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds an M.A. in English and American Literature from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, and an M.A. in Gender and Culture from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.
Tomáš Trampota is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University; there, and at Vyšší odborná škola publicistiky, he has taught courses on Sociology of News, Media and Society, Media Content Analysis, and Analysis of Media. He earned his Ph.D. degree in media studies in 2005 and later worked as an executive producer for Czech television (from 1992 to 1996) and as editor of the specialized weekly Marketing and Media (from 2003 to 2004).
Trampota regularly publishes on Czech media in the Czech press and has authored the monography Zpravodajství (News) and several academic studies and analysis. He frequently participates in international conferences on media and occasionally translates media literature from English to Czech (e.g., Meyrowitz).
Hana Ulmanová is a senior lecturer in American literature at Charles University. She studied Czech and English and American language and literature both in Olomouc and in Prague, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1995. She also received an M.A. in American civilization from George Washington University (1992).
Ulmanová´s chief areas of expertise are contemporary American literature, American Jewish literature and literature of the American South. In those fields, she has offered several advanced classes and supervised numerous M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations. In the academic year 1997-98, she was a Fulbright scholar at NYU in New York City, researching contemporary prose, and she attended quite a few conferences and workshops (such as Salzburg Seminars or CEU summer program in Budapest).
Ulmanová is a regular contributor to MFDnes, the most widely read Czech newspaper, and the prestigious political and cultural weekly Respekt. She has written close to 100 book reviews and essays and conducted interviews with leading American literary figures (e.g., Arthur Miller, William Styron, Edward Albee and Gore Vidal). She is a translator of short stories by Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Arthur Miller, Bernard Malamud and Isaac B. Singer and of Nicole Krauss´s The History of Love and Ambrose Bierce´s The Devil´s Dictionary. She has also translated poetry (Emily Dickinson) and drama (David Ives). In addition to Czech and English, she speaks Russian, German, French, Spanish and elementary Yiddish and Hebrew.
Jan Urban, who has recenly worked on several projects in Iraq training journalists and working on building reconciliation measures through the reconstruction of cultural heritage sites, was one of the leading dissidents under the communist regime. In 1974, he graduated with a degree in history and philosophy from Charles University. From then until 1989, Urban, forbidden by the communists to continue his academic career, worked as a schoolteacher and a manual laborer. He was one of the founders of the Eastern European Information Agency, a dissident network. He also worked with underground newspapers and as a reporter for Radio Free Europe and the British Broadcasting Company. In November 1989, he helped found the Civic Forum, the movement that led to the eventual overthrow of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, and was placed in charge of its logistics and management. In 1990, Urban was elected as the Civic Forum's spokesperson and leader. He led the Civic Forum to its victory in the first free democratic elections in June 1990.
He resigned from all political positions one day after announcing the electoral defeat of Communism and returned to pursue his career in journalism. He studied post-conflict societies in Central America and won two international human rights awards from Humanitas, San Francisco, in 1991 and Centro Demos in San Salvador in 1995. Urban also served as a war correspondent in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993 through 1996 and was the publisher of Transitions magazine from 1997 to 1999.
More recently, he has made two documentary films, one of them on the Kosovo conflict. He is the author of three books, two of them on the war in Bosnia and one on a major corruption case in the Czech Republic. He is currently working on a book of interviews with the founder of the People in Need Foundation, Simon Panek. Last semester, Urban brought Joan Baez to his NYU class, which, he says, was great fun.
Marek Valasek, MA, Ph.D. teaches choir direction at the Faculty of Education at the Charles University in Prague and leads three of Prague Conservatoire’s choirs. In 2004 he conducted the Czech premiere of the oratorio, Ecce Homo, by Czech composer Jan Hanuš at the Prague Spring International Music Festival. In 2009 he conducted Hanuš’s Requiem.
Between 2002 and 2006 he also worked as a choirmaster at the Prague State Opera. In 1996 he founded the Piccolo coro & Piccola orchestra.
Jiri Valenta studied double bass with Miloslav Gajdoš in Kromeriz and at the Prague Conservatory with František Pošta. He then studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 1978 Jiri Valenta won first prize at the František Gregora Double Bass Competition in Kroměříž. For a short time he played with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and in 1985 became a member of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, where he still performs. He co-founded the chamber ensemble Basetti Boemi (a unique double bass quartet which has performed in numerous concerts and has made many recordings for television and radio) as well as the philharmonic ensemble Virtuosi di basso (8 violoncellos and 2 double basses) which has performed in Germany and Japan.
Since 1995 he has been teaching at the Prague Conservatory, where he has been the head of the double bass department since 2006. He is frequently on the jury of music competitions and since 2001 he has taught at the International Double Bass Courses in Brno, where he also plays solo. In 2005 he performed within the cycle “Prague Conservatoire Professors” with a solo recital in the Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague. In 2008 he took part in the Third World Double Bass Festival in Wroclaw in Polandm and in 2013 he was in the festival in Banská Bystrica in Slovakia as a solo performer and also a leader of the international master classes.He has also taught master classes in Tokyo,Seoul and Melbourne.
He recorded Adolf Míšek´s Sonatas for Czech Radio with Jana Holmanová . On the ocassion of 200th anniversary of the foundation of Prague Conservatoire he recorded a CD entitled 200 hundred years of the Czech Double Bass” with the well-known pianist Martin Kasík.
Gaëlle Vassogne is an assistant professor of German Studies at the Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France, where she specializes in German history, business German and Jewish history in Central and Eastern Europe. She has taught at the Universität Heidelberg, the Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques. She studied German Studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and at the Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle and Business at H.E.C. In 2004, she received her Ph.D. from the Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle. She will be publishing her book "Max Brod und Prag: Identität und Vermittlung" in 2009 (Niemeyer, Tübingen) and is currently working on a project on Prague Zionism.
Lenka Vlasakova has been teaching Czech since 1999. In addition to NYU in Prague, she also teaches diplomats at the US Embassy and employees at Citibank, NYU, as well as foreign students at the University of New York in Prague. She studied Czech and English language at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University.
Alzbeta Vlckova graduated from the Prague Conservatory in the class of J. Pálenícek (1993), and at the Musical Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the class of Prof. M. Petras (2002). In 1992, she was a finalist in the International Violoncello Competition Beethoven‘s Hradec. In 1994, she won the second prize in the International B. Martinů competition in Semmering (Austria). She participated in international master classes held by A. May, Z. Nelsova, St. Apolín, T. Kühne and studied with Prof. Roland Pidoux during her half-year stay at the Conservatoire Nationale Superier in Paris. She is a member of ArteMiss Trio. She often cooperates with orchestras as a soloist or chamber music player.
Lenka Vochocová is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Media Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, where she graduated in journalism and media studies. Her research interests cover the fields of political economy of communication, gender media studies and public sphere theories. She is a core member of the Political Communication Research Group (PolCoRe) group studying political participation in the social media environment.
Tomas Vrba graduated from Charles University with a Ph.D. in philosophy and worked from 1974 to 1977 as a social worker. In 1977, he was a signatory of the Charter 77 human-rights declaration. Through the 80s he worked as an editor of samizdat literature, and from November 1989 - the spring of 1990, he was a member of the Obcanske Forum (Civic Forum), a political party led by Vaclav Havel. He was editor-in-chief of the Lettre Internationale quarterly (Czech and Slovak edition) from 1990 -1995, and Vrba founded and was president of the AEJ-Association of European Journalists/Czech section in 1993. From 1997 until 2000, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly magazine Přítomnost/The New Presence; from 2002 -2004. He was also the Vice President of Association of European Journalist international and, until 2007, the Chair of the Czech News Agency (ČTK) Council. He is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Archa Theater and the Forum 2000 Foundation. In 2011, Vrba co-organized an exhibition on Czech samizdat (Czechoslovak dissdient literature) and a symposium on its legacy in New York City.
Tomas Vrba also translates both fiction and non-fiction work from English into Czech. He has translated the works of Yehuda Bauer (2009) and Flannery O’Connor (2010), Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright (2012), and most recently, If it’s Not Impossible (2014), the biography of Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued over 650 Czechoslovak Jewish children in a Kindertransport.
Josef Zieleniec, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1993-1997), has been a Senator since 2000 and a Member of the European Parliament since 2004. He was also a member of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, and of the Executive Board of CERGE.
Zieleniec attended the School of Nuclear Technology in Prague, the Prague School of Economics, and earned his Ph.D. in Economics at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Prior to 1989, Zieleniec worked at the Research Institute of Technology and Economics and later went on to join the Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.
In the early 1980s, Zieleniec founded and became the first Director of the Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education (CERGE) at Charles University in Prague. At that time Zieleniec was appointed associate professor of economics and was a member of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. He is a co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party and worked as the party Deputy Chairman beginning in 1991. Following the 1992 elections, Zieleniec was appointed Minister of International Relations of the Czech Republic. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Independent Czech Republic. Following the 1996 elections, he served as Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Meet Tony Ackerman, a world-renowned American guitarist who has lived in Prague for over 30 years. He has performed in thousands of concerts and recorded 9 albums with jazz pianist Martin Kratochvil. Ackerman is now working for NYU Prague in a newly-created position: our first Faculty Coordinator of the NYU Prague music program.
We met with Tony to find out more about his plans for developing this highly successful program.