About the festival
After 18 years of its existence, the American Spring Festival has entered 2023 with a new name Music Is. The festival will offer mainly concerts of contemporary classical and jazz music. The dramaturgy reflects contemporary musical developments and current themes without genre restrictions.
In addition to the name change, the festival also introduces the option to purchase a festival pass for a discounted price with a Music Is t-shirt and bag as a bonus. For a reduced admission price, the pass holders will be guaranteed a seat at all concerts of the first year under the festival’s new name.
The American Spring Festival was founded in 2006 by writer and publicist Jiřina Rybáčková. The current form of the festival has evolved since 2016, when Zdenka Bodor (Součková) took over. Since her tenure, the festival has expanded dramaturgically and deepened its artistic contacts.
Zdenka Bodor has been managing the American Spring Festival since 2015. She graduated from the Prague Conservatoire as an opera singer, under the tutelage of Brigita Šulcová, and holds degrees in cultural studies from Charles University’s Faculty of Philosophy, as well as in ethology from the Faculty of Humanities.
Since her arrival at the festival, Bodor has overseen its dramaturgical expansion, establishing significant international connections and pursuing professional and qualitative growth.
Since 2019, she has collaborated with Jan Bartoš on various projects for the Prague Music Performance International Festival and Institute, an innovative festival and institution that organizes concerts across diverse musical genres, as well as masterclasses, lectures, and residencies.
She also serves as project manager for the Soundcheck export office for classical music, and as coordinator of the Smetana200 platform.
The international press has described Jan Bartoš as “one of the finest European pianists” and “an emotional and sophisticated interpreter.” His recordings for the Supraphon label have earned international critical praise from critics at Gramophone, Diapason, BBC Music Magazine, The Sunday Times, among other outlets. He has appeared in solo recitals, with major orchestras and in chamber music concerts in many European countries as well as in Asia and the U.S. (Carnegie Hall, Juilliard School, Rockefeller University in New York). In 2009, he debuted in New York in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with Manhattan Philharmonic. Jan Bartoš has been the recipient of several awards in New York, among them the 1st prize at Zaslavsky-Koch Competition (2008), the Peter S. Reed Foundation Award (2004) and the International Mieczyslaw Munz Award (2009). He has received several prestigious awards, including the Rucorva Trust Award in the Netherlands, the Schimmel Prize in Germany, and a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.
Jan Bartoš holds a Professional Studies Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and a doctorate from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
He is the Founder and Director of Prague Music Performance, an innovative festival and institution that organizes concerts across diverse musical genres, as well as masterclasses, lectures, and residencies. He is also the Artistic Director of the Music is festival and the Ivan Moravec Academy. Jan Bartoš teaches piano and chamber music at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Chairman of the Administrative Board
Until 2017, she was a director of the Czech affiliate of the US-based biotech company Biogen. He is currently a member of the Global Corporate Affairs team at Biogen and within Europe, she is responsible for the specialized field of rare diseases. Between 2016 and 2018, she was announced by Economia as one of the Top 25 Business Women of the Czech Republic in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Since 2018, Forbes magazine has ranked her among the most influential women in the Czech Republic several times.
Translator and consultant with a long-term work experience in cultural diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Prague. In 2018, she was awarded the Jill Jacot-Guillarmod Award by the Lois Roth Endowment for invaluable career service in building the cultural and educational ties between the U.S. and the Czech Republic. She has cooperated with the festival since 2016.
Lawyer working since 2017 in the legislative departments of the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, where she participated in a number of key amendments to tax and accounting laws. In addition to the above, she has long been engaged in academic and lecturing activities in the field of financial and tax law at the Faculty of Law of Charles University.