Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Know your audience

Yesterday evening I got an invite in my email.

It was from Josef Seják, an environmental economist here in Prague, and a man who played a crucial role in enabling my stay here seven years ago after taking an interest in an article I’d written.

The invitation was to a recital by his daughter, Barbora K. Sejáková, a well-regarded pianist in Czech chamber and solo music.

The recital was in a gothic former church, a small piece of medieval Prague lurking behind a garden wall in the Malá strana district, just below Petřín Gardens.

During intermission I had a social conversation with an older couple—the husband is a retired economics professor from Charles University and an old colleague and friend of Josef’s.

That was after Josef insisted on buying me a (large) glass of Moravian red. He grew up in Moravia and is something of a wine patriot for his native region.

Before and after the concert, Josef and I discussed the overlap (and lack of overlap) in our own work, and possible collaboration.

The first half of the recital closed out with a sculptor discussing the work of his that was on display. The second half opened with a poetry reading (very hard for me to catch in the live acoustics of the room).

The music itself was excellent, a really rewarding 20th-century program, with an encore of Scarlatti.

It’s as if the evening had been tailor-made for me.

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