Czech Philharmonic teaches outcast Roma children

Czech Philharmonic teaches outcast Roma children


norman lebrecht

August 10, 2016

In a highly unusual initiative that crosses hardline ethnic prejudices, players in the Czech Philharmonic are running a music and dance camp for around 60 Roma kids.

roma kids czech phil

Petr Kadlec of the orchestra’s education department says:

‘We want to support children and youth in socially excluded localities and we are trying to do it with the help of music.

‘As you know, in the socially excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia there is no-one or almost no-one who takes care of talented Roma children and youth, and that is something we are trying to change with this project.

‘So we are trying to support talented singers and dancers and to work with them. We believe it might a kind of life-changing experience for them because they experience themselves in a positive situation. We hope that they can gain more self-confidence and more self-assuredness, so that is in short the reason why we, as the Czech Philharmonic, are taking part.’

More here.

roma czech phil


  • John Borstlap says:

    Beautiful project. I only feel sorry for the kids who are not talented. They see their friends getting somewhere, and are left behind. As we know, talents are not distributed according to right, race, class, nationality, gender, character. But every child has the right to live a worthy life, with or without musical talents.

  • Steven Holloway says:

    This is something that may cheer up a gloomy day. Wonderful. I’m glad it extends to Slovakia, for that country is a perilous one for minorities, especially Roma and Jews. I concluded at the end of a study of how Nazi-occupied countries reacted to that occupation re collaboration and resistance that the best were Denmark and Bulgaria, the worst Slovakia. It would be even more cheering and moving to see such a project undertaken in Hungary, for it is there that there is now active persecution, especially of the Roma, for they are the most vulnerable, the easiest targets. If the order of things in Hungary continue to develop as it has, the Jews will likely be next. The EU issued a warning to Hungary re this. Better that they be expelled, one might think, but I should fear that the economic effects of that will only worsen the present persecution — I doubt not that scapegoating would ensue. I hardly need mention when that last happened on a grand scale.