Stepan Rak gave a concert playing his “stone guitar” and left Cirkvice as “a fan.” He has given concerts there three times with his son Matej. Eva Pilarova has also sung here, and we are about to enjoy a performance by Irena Budweiser soon.
How is it that Cirkvice attracts such well-known stars? The members of the Cirkvice Cultural Society are very experienced in organizing these events and know how to attract these performers, who they then invite to perform there. They have to accomplish this with only limited resources, but they have been successful.
The people who attend are always very enthusiastic. The little church is beautifully decorated with flowers, and refreshments served after the performances are homemade by these people. A lot of time and skill is involved in all aspects of the concerts.
Mr and Mrs Hikitsch paid for a new stained glass window behind the altar. They will be leaving Cirkvice soon to be with their children in Germany. Some other members of the committee will take care of the church and the garden in their place. These are not Cirkvice residents, but are very reliable.
It is now important to discuss Elizabeth Brinsden’s role in these concerts. She was born in Australia, where she completed her Law Studies. After this, she went to study music in Vienna and later in Boston. Her first visit to the Czech Republic was in 1985 to perform at the Olomouc Festival of Music. She decided to return to the Czech Republic in the 1990’s and has worked ever since at the University UJEP in Usti nad Labem and at the Teplice Conservatory. She started to play the organ in the church in Cirkvice and has continued to do so until this day. The atmosphere of the church has been enchanting for her.
She organized the first performances with performances by students from the Teplice Conservatory. It was very successful. A very good friend of hers, Roberta Reeder, an American whom she had known in Boston, participated in the next festivals. She was at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice, Italy, offering special courses in English for musicians. She sponsored a group of students from the Conservatory who performed early music on historical instruments from Italy. The next year she came with a professor from the Conservatory who performed baroque music with two other musicians from Venice and she also sponsored them.
The organ is a historical instrument, but in a state of disrepair. A restoration of the organ is very expensive and it is not easy to raise a sufficient amount of money for this restoration. The members of the Musical Society are attempting to find financial assistance for this.
We hope they will not be alone in this endeavour!