The National Museum (Czech Museum of Music – The Bedřich Smetana Museum) in cooperation with the Department of Musicology at Palacký University in Olomouc is organising a conference on Bedřich Smetana and national Awareness.

The year 2024 celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bedřich Smetana, whose artistic legacy is one of the pillars of Czech cultural heritage. Smetana significantly co-created the consciousness of Czech national identity and contributed to the formation of the idea of an independent Czech state leading to the establishment of Czechoslovakia. Through his work and other various activities, he contributed to the development of Czech culture, which was an important part of the national emancipation process. We invite to active participation in the konference all scholars who share an interest not only in Bedřich Smetana, but also in the research of musical culture in the Czech lands, and who reflect on the extension of the concept of national awareness to the present day.

Bedřich Smetana was a prominent representative of the artistic generation that sought to establish modern national culture and to link it with European culture. We are formulating the thematic areas of the conference more generally, with a temporal focus on the period 1848–1948, which may, however, be exceeded:

What ways were used to strengthen national identity, what strategies did artists choose to express themselves nationally?

When, why and in what manner did artists in the visual, literary and musical spheres seek to make top European works accessible to domestic audiences (paraphrase – adaptation – translation, etc.)? How have artists, writers, playwrights and composers tried to put their work on a similar level to European culture using original Czech themes and thus represent Czech culture in the world?

Smetana's anniversary encourages to reflect on the themes related to the cultural emancipation of modern nations not only in the context of his personality and work, but also in a broader contemporary context and with an overlap into the following periods (up to the present). The circumstances of the performance and reception of Smetana's works had and have a very broad social impact, therefore we want to give this issue the attention it deserves. We warmly welcome contributions that focus on Smetana's work at key moments in Czech and Czechoslovak history.

Conference format
20 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion
Sessions languages: Czech, English

Contributions will be published in a themed issue of the journal Musicologica Olomucensia (see

Please send your proposals to and by 31 December 2023. Notification of acceptance will be confirmed by 30 January 2024. Please include: an abstract of no more than 250 words in a word-compatible format, a biographical note of no more than 150 words, contact details including institutional affiliation, if applicable, and any technological requirements.

Conference fee 20 Euro. Participants will pay for their own accommodation, transport and meals. In case of interest, the organizers will arrange accommodation for the participants by their partners.

The organizer provides an accompanying cultural programme and refreshments at the conference venue.

Chairing Committee: Sandra Bergmannová, Jiří Kopecký

Organizing Committee: Olga Mojžíšová, Marek Pechač, Kateřina Viktorová

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