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Symphony No. 21, “Kaddish”

Mieczysław Weinberg

Musica non grata

The National Theatre
Musica non grata

The National Theatre sells tickets for full capacity of its venues, for all auditorium seats, with the exception of the first row.
According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.
Tickets can be purchased on the website of the National Theatre and at the box offices of the National Theatre.

Choose date

    November 2021

    Saturday 6. 11.

    Tickets available

    Basic information


    The National Theatre

    Approximate running time

    1 hour, no intermission

    Concert from Musica non grata project, dedicated to the music of composers persecuted by 20th-century totalitarian regimes.


    • 2021-2022

    The concert, which is part of the Musica non grata cycle, presenting music by composers persecuted by 20th-century totalitarian regimes, is dedicated to an artist whose life was afflicted by both the Nazis and the Communists. The Polish-Russian composer and pianist Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996) fled from Poland to Belarus from the Nazis when he was 20 years of age. Later on, he moved to Moscow, yet owing to his Jewish descent and the nature of his music he faced harsh oppression from the Soviet establishment. In 1953, he was arrested on charges of “Jewish bourgeois nationalism”.

    Today, Weinberg is primarily known for his 1968 opera The Passenger, which only received its first fully staged performance in 2010, in a production directed by David Pountney. The piece manifests the vital role played in Weinberg’s music – clearly influenced by that of Dmitry Shostakovich – by his experience and memories of the horrors of World War II, the Holocaust in particular. Weinberg treated the subject in many of his works, protesting against war and expressing compassion with those who experienced unbearable suffering. “I did not choose the theme. It was dictated to me by Fate, the tragedy of my beloveds. I feel morally obliged to write about the war, about the horrific fate our century brought to people.”

    The same applies to Weinberg’s final completed orchestral piece, the 1991 Symphony No. 21, subtitled “Kaddish”. The extensive work, made up of six sections, reveals the composer’s human and artistic affinity to Shostakovich and may be defined as an elegy teeming with desire for life, and expressing unfathomable agony and everlasting hope. Weinberg dedicated Symphony No. 21, “Kaddish”, to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis in 1943. The performance at the National Theatre marks the Czech premiere of this extraordinary work.

    Mieczysław Weinberg: Symphony No. 21, „Kaddish“



    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    From October 1, 2021, we start selling tickets for the performances until the end of March 2022. Advance sale of tickets for all performances (Ballet, Drama, Laterna magika and Opera) is on sale for 6 months in advance.

    When purchasing online, we will send you an E-ticket by e-mail. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.

    Parking at the National Theater

    While visiting The National Theatre and the New Stage You can use nearby secure car parks:
    Kotva department store (Revoluční 1/655, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh.
    Palladium department store (Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Prague 1), then walk along Králodvorská street to Ovocný trh, or to the Powder Gate through Celetná street to Ovocný trh.

    From the beginning of April 2020, the underground car park is closed due to reconstruction. The length of the reconstruction is estimated at a year and a half.


    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

    Buffets at the National Theater

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!