June and July of 2022 in Kroměříž culminated with what was already the XXXIII year of The International Festival of Contemporary Arts with Spiritual Orientation FORFEST CZECH REPUBLIC 2022. The festival, defying of numerous obstacles in the time of covid and war, has maintained its original, unmistakable appearance. It delivers dramaturgical search in spheres that are not condescending, but aimed at the depth of humanity. Thanks for this goes to the organizers, the tireless Kroměříž couple Zdenka and Václav Vaculovič, who have been literally nurturing this project and their original idea for years and keeping it in shape through both favorable and unfavorable circumstances. This year's patronage was taken over by Mgr. Martin Baxa, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic and Jan Graubner, Archbishop of Olomouc.
This presented view is focused on but some of the highlights of this year's rich program, held in the magical time of the coming summer not only in Kroměříž, but also in Olomouc, Zlín, Kojetín, Hodonín and Hustopeče.
And so we list but a few of the most important events. The program began on April 27 in Kojetín with a piano recital by the Slovak pianist Elena Letňanová. It continued with the opening of the Exhibition for Ukraine on May 29 in Hustopeče, on June 16 with a concert by the Ensemble Versus choir in the Church of St. Maurice in Kroměříž. On June 18 we were thrilled by a concert by the Slovak-Polish Duo Accosphere in the Museum in Kroměříž and by an organ recital by Irena Chřibková in St. Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc on June 19.
Due to the pandemic, foreign guests were only able to participate in the 2022 colloquium by correspondence - they are visual artists: Tommy Barr /Ireland/, Tommasina Bianca Squadrito /Italy/ and composers Massimiliano Messieri /San Marino/ and Theodore Wiprud /USA/.
On June 20, the Permoník choir from Karviná performed in the Church of St. Maurice with an extensive program, composed mainly of contemporary works. The artistic chapter of Forfest was represented by another opening, this time at the Regional Gallery in Zlín, the exhibition is called The Urgency of Time – Large Formats. On June 23, the Te Deum composition by Peter Vaculovič premiered in the Church of St. John the Baptist.
The cello recital, delivered in an absolutely brilliant and convincing manner by Štěpán Filípek, became a significant creative act. At the beginning, he performed the piece Corona - by Romanian composer Violeta Dinescu, who lives in Germany and whom he met years ago right here, at the Forfest in Kroměříž. Filípek is familiar with the work of other female composers in his program (it was composed exclusively of women's music productions) from Brno, they all come from the circle of the conservatory and the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. The performer continuously commented on his performance, giving it a sympathetically warm, immediate character. After Violeta Dinescu, he performed compositions by Sonia Vetchá (Hypnosis), Markéta Brothánková (Lullaby), Petra Čtveráčková (Temperance), Hana Foss (Malé radosti), Darina Žurková (Trembling) and Zuzana Michlerová (Light of the World). However, he reserved the finale of his performance for one song from a male production, by Daniel Kessner /USA/.
The renowned Doležal Quartet (Václav Dvořák, Jan Zrostlík – violin, Martin Adamovič – viola, Vojtěch Urban – cello) performed four contemporary quartet compositions with a rare uniform expression and a uniform choice of compositional means on the evening of Monday / 27 June / at St. Morice's Church. The first two, Chiaroscuro by Giji Kančeli and Pramen z jeskyně bezmoci by Ondřej Štochl, are one-sentence compositions full of lyrical feeling and sadness. They flow slowly, in a sparse texture, only occasionally we are surprised by eruptions of a kind of defiance, alternated with areas of even dramatic pianissimo.
Late Tuesday afternoon / 28.6. / in the Kroměříž Museum belonged to a pair of stringed instrument players - violist Josef Jand and cellist Petr Chudob. They performed a contemporary repertoire (Kurtág, Poppe, Lang, Král).
Another purely female interpretation duo at this year's Forfest was flutist Monika Štreitová from Portugal and soprano Nao Higano from Japan. They performed the Japanese-Slovak-Czech-Austrian repertoire (Hattori, Matsumoto, Szeghy, Rataj, Schönberg), presenting not only solos and duos, but also the synergy of the electro acoustic track.
The chamber concert on Thursday (June 30) afternoon belonged to the Brno wind Trio Aperto (Barbora Šteflová – oboe, Jan Charfreitag – clarinet and Pavel Horák – bassoon). This line-up also offered contemporary work connected with electro acoustics (Ondřej Kyas Trio), as well as compositions by Radim Bednařík (Mikrosvěty IX), Jiří Bárta (Trio), Michal Nejtek (Some strange bird), Dalibor Spilka (Rozmarné leto) and Jana Vöröšová (Trio ).
The Ostrava chamber women's choir Notabene, led by Daniela Střílková, performed a selection from their rich contemporary repertoire in the Church of St. Maurice on Thursday evening, dominated by composers such as Markéta Dvořáková and Jaroslav Dostalík.
The final event of this year's thirty-third edition of the Festival Forfest Czech Republic 2022 was a performance by three foreign artists, soprano Maja Pavlovská from Macedonia, flutist Elena Stojceská Petiot and guitarist Romain Petiot - both from France, and electro acoustics by Massimiliano Messieri from San Marino. It took place with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Macedonia in the Museum of Kroměříž. The compositions of Darija Andovska, Albert Roussel, Raphael Zamboni, Sophie Lacaz and Heitor Villa-Lobos were performed.