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September 24, 2018
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Czech Republic: Romani street musician shines in "Pianist of the Year" competition

17.4.2017 11:32
Robert Ferenc. (PHOTO: Katerina Smidova)
Robert Ferenc. (PHOTO: Katerina Smidova)

Robert Ferenc, the talented young pianist about whom we wrote in the October issue of Romano voďi, has come in fourth place in the "Pianist of the Year" competition in the Czech Republic. The 24-year-old musician from Liberec performs almost daily at the Masaryk train station in Prague.

Pianos in such settings are available for members of the public to use all around the Czech Republic and in some other European countries as well. "On the one hand [Ferenc] has a strong story behind him, and on the other he actually has a musician's soul," said Petr Malásek, a juror for the competition and a musician himself, speaking on public broadcaster Czech Television's "168 Hours" program.

Ferenc was raised in state institutions since infancy and later lived on the street, where he was assaulted by neo-Nazis and ended up in hospital. "I very much hope somebody discovers his talent," Veronika Kašáková, a finalist in the "Miss Czech Republic" contest and model who grew up with Robert in the children's home, told Romano voďi.

The young pianist says he would like to be employed to apply his talent. "I would like, just once, to accompany Lucie Bílá when she sings, or to perform on a cruise ship," Ferenc says.



bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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