Concert on the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution
On Saturday, November 14 2009, Prague Crossroads hosted a concert on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain organized by Mr. President Vaclav Havel, the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation VIZE 97, Forum 2000 and the Library of Vaclav Havel. You could watch the concert, entitled “It´s here at last”, live on the first program of the Czech television or listen to it at the Czech Radio 1 – Radiozurnal.
The concert was held in the beautifully decorated area of the former church of St. Anna and was attended, at the invitation of Mr. President Vaclav Havel, by many dear people among others also the President of the Republic Mr. Vaclav Klaus, former U.S. Secretary of State Mrs. Madleine Albright and Cardinal Miloslav Vlk. The whole evening was under a relaxed and festive atmosphere. With his personal memories, perceptions and ideas appeared not only Vaclav Havel, but also Mr. President Vaclav Klaus, a French philosopher Andre Glucksmann, a Polish historian and journalist Adam Michnik, one of the student leaders from the time of the Velvet Revolution Simon Panek, and a representative of today’s students from a student initiative Democracy Czech-Up.
The concert was opened with a short performance of a Czech jazz musician, flutist and composer Mr. Jiri Stivin. During the concert the performances of foreign artists and musicians – Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega, Joan Baez and soprano Renee Fleming were mixed with short speeches and video greetings. The concert participants and spectators were from the record greeted by the former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and musicians Peter Gabriel, Mick Jagger, Bob Geldof and Bono Vox.
The whole program was accompanied by the Prague Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Jiri Belohlavek and by the projection of historical footage from 1989. The finale of the concert was the common voice of all performers (and a large part of the audience) who were singing the gospel song “Oh, Freedom”, which was by Mr. President Vaclav Havel dedicated to the citizens of all countries where people still live under oppressions.