I will be in Prague July 4-7 and would like to enjoy a good classic music performance. The major orchestras & symphonies are not playing in July. Many of the other choices are touristy. ANy suggestions?
I don't know if this happens in Prague, but some years ago while in Venice I went on a whim to a concert in a church, which I had seen advertised on a poster while walking near the Accademia bridge. It turned out to be Il Divo, before they were famous. It was a relatively intimate setting, one of the best musical performances I ever attended, and it left a lasting memory (obviously).
I 'czeched' (heh-heh) one of the websites for Czech Guitar Duo (and only got concerts for this week); the name's a bit corny, but the married guitar players certainly aren't. If you like classical guitar (Bach, Albeniz, Dowland, Bull, Byrd, Czech composers) and flamenco (CGD's passion), then you won't be disappointed! I think they pretty much give nearly-nightly concerts all year...and the current price I found is 500 CZK (~20€). We've seen them twice, and own all of the albums :-) To beat this subject half to death, you can watch videos of them. These were recorded in the small chapel I heard them in, but the recording does not do them justice :-( We found them by walking around; it seemed like nearly every church, for instance, held nightly concerts. We could buy tickets either that eve before the performance (usually), or the flyer gave a time for sales earlier in the afternoon (typically for an hour) so you were sure you got tickets. We also heard organ music - nothing like a little Bach Toccata and Fugue roaring through a centuries-old church. I always have to force myself to stay in my seat, not get up and yell when the good stuff happens ;-) I've never heard of anyone finding a bad concert by stumbling upon them like this, although I'm sure it happens. I've never used one of the consolidators located downtown, nor attended any concert in one of the concert halls...yet. The ones I've been to are very intimate; the CGD listing said 20 seats. Hope this helps a bit. If you need more info and haven't found a ticket site yet, here is one; I'm sure there are many...
The student ensembles that play for tourists mostly feature a repetoire of "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", "Ma Vlatava", "The Four Seasons", "The Blue Danube Waltz", and similar favorites. No Mahler, Janacek, Bartok or Schönberg here. There's nothing wrong with them, especially if you don't regularly attend classical concerts. The only objection is that if you can hum "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and the like in your sleep, you probably won't be struck with any new musical relevations at these concerts. But they're perfectly enjoyable. And dirt cheap.