Culture shorts

Culture awards handed out

Ivan Rusina (right) was one of the recipients awarded by Minister Maďarič.
photo: ČTK

FIVE LUMINARIES of Slovak culture were awarded for artistic contributions made in 2006 at a ceremony at the Culture Ministry in Bratislava on February 22. The recipients were Ľudovít Gráfel, an expert on the Komárno fortification system; composer Róbert Mankovecký; professor and curator Ivan Rusina; composer Vladimír Godár; and writer Pavel Dvořák.

Culture Minister Marek Maďarič selected the recipients from among candidates proposed by cultural institutions and the Culture Ministry. During the ceremony, he admitted the selection process had been competitive. "The number of artists deserving of such an award is quite high," he said.

Historian and writer Pavel Dvořák won for his book, Prvá kniha o Bratislave (The First Book about Bratislava), which Maďarič praised for its view of the Slovak capital as an inseparable part of Slovak history.

Ľudovít Gráfel received the prize in cultural heritage for his work on the application to include the Komárno fortification system on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In the category of dramatic arts, the prize went to Róbert Mankovecký for the dramaturgy and music of Štúrovci (The Štúrs). Maďarič was particularly complimentary of the play's originality and its goal of bringing the Štúr generation's work to younger Slovaks.

Professor Rusina received the award in visual arts for his preparation of the Flying Dutchmen exhibition in the Slovak National Gallery and his book, Masterpieces of Dutch Art in Slovakia.

Godár was given the music award for his CD Mater, which he created in cooperation with the unique Czech singer/violinist Iva Bittová.

NU Spirit Bar cooperates with Vienna jazz club

THE NU SPIRIT BAR, one of the best venues for soul music in Bratislava, has begun a cooperation with Joe Zawinul's Birdland, a prestigious Viennese jazz club, aimed at improving the short supply of live jazz scenes in Bratislava.

"We want to bring more good music to Bratislava, and cooperation with a quality club like Birdland will accomplish this," Radoslav Tomek alias DJ Kinet, residential DJ and music dramaturgist of Nu Spirit, told The Slovak Spectator. "Our guests will profit from both a reduced admission to the Vienna club and a richer programme at the Bratislava club."

Both clubs have agreed to organize joint events. The first one will be a concert of the German band Radio Citizen, which released a successful debut album on the US-based Ubiquity label last year. The group will play at Nu Spirit on April 4 and at Birdland the following night.

Nu Spirit guests can get up to a fifteen percent discount on Birdland tickets. The discount is applicable at the box office upon presentation of a flyer with a Nu Spirit stamp, which is available at the bar on Medená 16.

The Birdland club is located on Am Stadtpark in Vienna and its programme is available at Among the recent artists are jazz stars Richard Bona and Joe Zawinul, rapper Kurtis Blow and American jazz band Ground. For information on Nu Spirit Bar go to

Gifted Slovak Roma wins prize in Iran

BARTOLOMEJ GIŇA, a pupil of the elementary school in Jarovnice in the eastern Slovak district of Sabinov, received an award in a competition of visual arts in the Iranian capital of Tehran. Giňa painted the Shaking Minaret from the town of Esfahan using photos taken from the internet as a model.

The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry sent Ján Sajko, the teacher of the Jarovnice elementary school, attended exclusively by Roma children, the award certificate and a metal sculpture of a peacock from the competition on February 9.

Sajko placed the certificate and sculpture into the school's showcase next to other awards which the talented children of the school have won in the past. He told the TASR news wire that the latest award is another proof of the power of their artistic expression.

Last year Sajko entered ten of his pupils' works in the competition, whose theme was the town of Esfahan, which was declared the Islamic Culture Capital in 2006. Children from ages 6 to 18 from 28 countries around the world sent a total of 11,866 pictures to the competition.

Jarovnice is the biggest Roma community in Slovakia, numbering almost 4,000 inhabitants.

By Jana Liptáková

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