When a visitor first arrives in Prague Old Town in the Czech Republic they should reserve a few minutes to take in the visual beauty of this cobblestoned town with architectural treats from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neo-styles. They will not only be given a wonderful visual treat of a beautiful old city, but also an aural treat. Prague is known as a cultural mecca so listening to music is not limited to sitting indoors in theatres and concert halls. There is music to be found outdoors as well. Among the many street musicians that play the streets of Prague one group stands out as very special.
Dressed in period costumes, the Prague Funfair Orchestra consists of a trio or sometimes a quartet of highly skilled musicians who could probably play anything you asked of them . It is immediately apparent that they feel quite a home playing plein air and are oblivious to the distractions all around them. Their genre is classical Czech and Czech folk music and they will play requests.
Their versatility is demonstrated with the ease they are able to play an assortment of instruments such as the oboe, accordion, double bass, guitar, flute and fagot combined with their own vocals. In their online profile they state that they have been influenced by Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak and other traditional Czech musicians. Smetana is known for his focus on nationalism, realism and romanticism while Dvorak focused on Romantic music, and utilized the idioms of Moravian folk music. The musician basically synthesized the classic with the folk, much like the Prague Funfair Orchestra like to do.
The Prague Funfair Orchestra has also performed in the US, most notably in Portland, Oregon to commemorate The Portland (Oregon) Streetcar which began operations on July 20, 2001. The streetcars were manufactured by the Skoda company in Plzen, Czech Republic thus the cultural connection.
The Prague Funfair Orchestra brought the beautiful and celebrated sound and feel of the Old Town Prague to the New World, of Portland, Oregon, USA. What better gift can musical ambassadors bring than their love of music and how they play it?