This year’s Music of Thousands – Mahler 2011 Festival will be a special jubilee event, marking the 100th anniversary of the great composer’s death. The Mayor of the town of Jihlava, Ing. Jaroslav Vymazal, together with representatives of the Festival committee – will lay a bouquet of roses (of the named variety Gustav Mahler) and a granite pebble from the Vysočina highlands at Mahler’s grave at Grinzing in Vienna on May 14th, the eve of the Festival. The visit to Vienna will be open to all others interested in the event – a special bus will be provided in Jihlava. The Festival proper will this year be opened earlier, on May 17th, so that lovers of Mahler’s music will be able to attend the Prague performance of the Eight Symphony, as part of this year’s Prague Spring Festival, on May 18th. The Music of Thousands together with the Prague Spring Festival are putting on a special project and presentation about Gustav Mahler with the musical director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - one of today’s greatest Mahler conductors - Michael Tilson Thomas. The project, Keeping Score, will be presented on May 18th at 2 p.m. at the Evald Cinema in Prague. The day before, Tuesday May 17th, at 3 p.m. at the Masaryk Square in Jihlava there will be the traditional young orchestras’ concert. There will, in fact, be two such orchestras this year – the ZUŠ (Primary Arts School) orchestra from Humpolec and the ZUŠ orchestra from Chotěboř. Following a ceremony at 4 p.m. an exhibition will be opened at the Jihlava Town Hall of works by the artist Alfred Roller. The Festival’s gala opening concert will begin at 7 p.m. with the Adagio from the Tenth Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem on the programme. Soloists taking part will be Lada Biriucov, Barbora Polášková, Josef Zedník and Roman Vocel, with the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno (chorusmaster Petr Fiala) and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimír Válek. Festival guests and the opening concert’s audience will be able to ‘try out’ for the first time the beautiful interior of the Church of the Holy Cross after its recent reconstruction, where it is hoped more orchestral concerts will take place in the future. Of the subsequent Festival events, a special occasion will be the concert of an American orchestra from Boston on Monday June 20th: the New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Boston, with conductor Benjamin Zander, will play Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. Another orchestra appearing at the Festival will be the Prague Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jurek Dybal (member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) which will take place at the Gustav Mahler birthplace at Kaliště near Humpolec on Saturday 18th June. Among the very attractive recitals will be one given by the mezzo soprano Andrea Kalivodová on Friday June 3rd, with Czech Lieder on the programme, including works by Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, Otakar Ostrčil and Jan Kunc. Some of the best young artists will – in cooperation with the Prague Academy of Performing Arts - appear in Jihlava in a programme of popular operatic arias: Kateřina Šmídová-Kalvachová, Anna Trahová and Michael Kubečka. As in the case of Andrea Kalivodová, these singers will be accompanied on the piano by Miroslav Sekera. More artists from abroad taking part in the Music of Thousands – Mahler Jihlava 2011 Festival will include the noted Italian ensemble Trio Variable whose members will play works by Beethoven, Bruch and Brahms on Tuesday May 24th, while guitar enthusiasts will be able on Tuesday May 31st hear the guitar duo Siempre Nuevo whose new CD has attracted a great deal of interest both at home and abroad. The Festival will also include some interesting events, such as a great open-air get-together of youth wind bands at Kaliště near Humpolec on Saturday May 21st, a presentation of a documentary film ‘Meeting Mahler’ at the newly established design centre EXIT 112, as well as a scientific conference about Mahler and his legacy between May 24th and 28th in Vienna. The conference will be attended by representatives of the Festival and of the Gustav Mahler Society – MAHLER 2000, while conference participants will pay a visit to Jihlava and Kaliště.