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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2023 - Eliška Junková


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Pianist Highlights Czech Female Composers

Pianist Highlights Czech Female Composers

The Public Diplomacy team at the Czech Embassy launched this year's Mutual Inspirations Festival with a presentation and concert by pianist Katelyn Bouska, who presented a fascinating program in honor of this year’s highlighted personality – trailblazer and first female Grand Prix winner Eliška Junková (born Alžběta Pospíšilová) last evening. 
 
During her presentation, Bouska touched upon a number of extraordinary composers who lived during the life span of Junková. Jaroslav Ježek even composed a song dedicated to her, the Bugatti Step, which Bouska performed for her opening number. Her presentation also featured four exceptional female composers – Otilie Suková-Dvořáková, Sláva Vorlová, Vítězslava Kaprálová, and Ivana Loudová. She performed a piece by each of these women and spoke about their backgrounds. For example, Vítězslava Kaprálová was the first woman accepted into the Brno Conservatory for compostition and later conducted the Czech Philharmonic. Kaprálová composed a number of works before passing away at the tender age of 25. 
 
Through Bouska‘s presentation, she gave voice to not only the greats of Czech music such as Leoš Janáček, but more importantly to the female composers rarely heard. Bouska also talked about the time period, the highs and lows of the 20th century, and even revealed fashion worn during racing and hat designs influenced by automobiles. 
Overall, the evening proved to be insightful, moving, enlightening. Bouska treated the audience to the sounds of composers not often brought to light. She even included a short interview from Eliška Junková towards the end of her presentation. BRAVO!
 
About the pianist:
Katelyn Bouska is based in Philadelphia where she serves on the Music Studies Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music. Her unique programming combining rarely heard Czech and American music with music written specifically for her by rising composers has found an audience throughout the U.S. and on the international stage.

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