Czech Radio Achieves Unprecedented Success at the Prix Italia Festival

25. červen 2021

Czech Radio celebrates phenomenal success achieved at the 73rd edition of one of the most prestigious and oldest European festivals of radio and television production, Prix Italia, having won the first prize in the Radio Music category with its project “Hudba k siréně” (Music for Sirens). The awards ceremony was held in Milano and the prize was presented to Martin Klusák from Czech Radio Music Production and to Eva Kesslová, Director of the BERG orchestra.

“I am so proud that Czech Radio won despite there being very strong competitors such as the British BBC, the Australian ABC, the German ARD or Radio Canada. The award is a great recognition of the work of all colleagues from Czech Radio such as the editors, producers, sound engineers and people from the Vltava station who saw the potential and a high-quality public service in this unconventional project,” says René Zavoral, Director General of Czech Radio.

The international jury was choosing the winner from among seven finalists. Summarizing the jury’s choice, the head of the jury, Maria Gabriella Ceracchi from the Italian RAI, had this to say about Petr Hora’s composition “A River Call” from the Music for Sirens: “The combination of sound elements, each having its own nature, through the radio broadcast, transfigures itself generating a third sound full of suggestions and able to transport the listener to a dimension suspended between the reality of the present and the musical plot.”

This year, as many as three Czech Radio projects made it to the finals in their respective categories of this prestigious competition. Apart from Music for Sirens it was the radio drama “Skořápka” (Nutshell) by the popular British author Ian McEwan, which is a modern paraphrase of the Hamlet theme narrated from un unexpected point of view. 

During the awards ceremony, special mention was made of the Czech Radio Foundation’s project “Ježíškova vnoučata” (Santa’s Grandchildren) in the category of interactive website. Although it did not receive the main prize in the category, the international jury decided to mention this unique project for its lasting social impact and for bringing a real, tangible help to those who tend to be forgotten by the society. The jurors appreciated that the project is special not only by its interactivity, but also by the fact that it goes far beyond an online experience, inviting the participants to form intergenerational ties in the real life. 

Prix Italia festival is held under the patronage of the President of Italy and under the auspices of the board of the Italian public service broadcaster RAI, presenting and promoting the best radio, television and online programmes. By tradition, the festival travels to multiple locations and over the years, it was held in many Italian towns. This year, it was held in the historical centre of Milan from 14 to 18 June. Apart from the competition, part of the festival are previews, presentations, conferences and workshops with key personalities from the world of technology, culture and media. The festival was held under tight counter-pandemic restrictions.

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