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Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) have established an exclusive cooperation in the field of science and art. CTU is the owner of the cultural space called Bethlehmská Beseda. It includes the Bethlehem Chapel and all the lavish halls that surround the chapel. It hosts graduation ceremonies, concerts, exhibitions, lectures, ceremonial acts and galas. For AMU, this beautiful space is one of the opportunities to present performances of its students, mainly from Faculty of Music and Dance, or to present collaborations with other artistic bodies.

CTU's programme includes not only concerts and exhibitions, but also conferences and major award ceremonies. Individual faculties organise their own cultural events here, for example, the British Chamber of Commerce Gala Evening was held here last year. Of course, graduation ceremonies are also held in the ceremonial auditorium of the CTU.

"This space is quite unique, so we are trying to give it new possibilities and opportunities. That's why we create the programme to be varied, colourful and in attractive combinations and contrasts. We would like the Bethlehem Word to be visited by the general public and for young people and students to present their work here. In addition to concerts, we are also organising exhibitions, we have opened a summer stage, and we are preparing a new music club to provide space mainly for students," sais Vojtěch Petráček, CTU Rector. In a similar tone, the motto of the Bethlehmská Beseda is "The Centre of Science and Art, or we combine the incompatible". "After all, science without art would be sad, and we cannot imagine art without science," adds Mr. Petráček, a scientist and musician himself.

As part of the celebration of the Year of Czech Music, the student orchestras of two art universities - the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) and Kunstuniversität Graz (KUG) - will perform at Betlémská beseda at the end of April. The students and teachers of the departments of string instruments, brass instruments and music production of Faculty of Music and Dance of AMU (HAMU) will meet in an interdisciplinary cooperation. The Austrian partner also includes the Department of Composition and Music Theory and the Department of Conducting.

Their joint concert, titled Graz in Prague, will take place on 30 April 2024 and will feature works by W.A. Mozart, A. Dvořák and KUG V. Morató Ribera. This is a completely unique and first collaboration of this kind, in conjunction with the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the Czech Centre in Vienna and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague. The project is also financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

AMU Rector Ingeborg Radok None adds: "I am very pleased that thanks to the cooperation of the three universities, a project has been created that will enable us to present Czech music not only in this country, but also abroad, specifically in Graz, Austria, where a joint concert of students from our Faculty of Music and Dance and Kunstuniversität Graz will take place on the eve of the Prague concert, i.e. on 29 April. The concert at the Bethlehem Ode will be just the icing on the cake of this cooperation."

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Kateřina Veselá