An exploration of arts and culture

in 21st century central and eastern Europe



2Cellos Discuss Music, YouTube and U2

BUDAPEST—Last October I went to Budapest to interview Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić, the two musicians who make up 2Cellos, for an International New York Times story on classical crossover music. I had never been backstage before at a concert,…

A Polish Artist's Take on Immigration

Warsaw-born Edinburgh-based artist Monika Szydłowska's new book "Do You Miss Your Country" is a humorous, insightful and poignant comic book looking at issues of Poles and immigration. Written in both English and Polish, the book examines--through…

Agata Zubel, Poland's Contemporary Classical Star

WROCLAW, POLAND — With her right hand on her hip, Agata Zubel stood in front of a large black music stand, listening intently to the conversation between the members of eighth blackbird, a six-piece Chicago-based ensemble working on the contemporary…
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Hungarian Fashion Designer Dori Tomcsanyi

Budapest--I was recently in the Hungarian capital for an interview with Croatia's 2Cellos (more on that later) and it happened to also be Fashion Weekend (or more precisely Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Central Europe) so I traipsed across the…

An Exclusive Interview with Slovenia's Laibach

LONDON--While the band name, Laibach, may not ring any proverbial bells for most people outside of the Western Balkans, the fact that the band played a much-hyped gig in North Korea this summer may sound familiar. In mid-August the Slovenian…

Turbo Folk Is Unfortunately Hear to Stay

BELGRADE—If you don’t know whom Ceca is, than you have never been to the Balkans. Because you can’t miss her—with her obviously plastic surgeried breasts and her face spiked high from facelifts, she peers out from magazine covers, blasted…