- Title: Prague barrel organ music festival strikes a chord
- Date: 14th August 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (German) BARREL ORGANIST FROM LEIPZIG, GERMANY, JOACHIM PETSCHART, SAYING: "I found one piece (barrel organ) which had been destroyed because someone had poured beer inside it. It was broken but I bought it and had it repaired. This changed my life."
- Embargoed: 28th August 2019 11:47
- Keywords: Czech barrel organ festival barrel organs barrel organ festival music festival instruments
- Location: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- City: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA004AS6X8OP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Barrel organists from around Europe gathered in Prague on Tuesday (August 13) in celebration of the centuries-old instrument.
Organists performed to crowds across Prague on the colourful and decorative instruments, some of which were adorned with puppets and hand painted designs.
Seventy year-old organist Joachim Petschart from Leipzig in Germany has been playing the instrument since 1969.
Speaking after performing in St. Nicholas Church in Prague Old Town, Petschart said that he fell in love with barrel organs after buying and restoring one which had been destroyed after having beer poured on it.
He added that he enjoys playing pop songs but the older he gets, the more is turning to pieces by classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven.
Playing barrel organs isn't cheap - the rolls of perforated paper which make the musical notes can cost up to 100 euros each, said Petschart.
However, this wasn't always the case. During the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th century, veterans who were injured in war were given them by the state authorities to make money instead of begging, said festival organiser Marketa Kabelkova.
(Production: Jiri Skacel, Louisa Naks)
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