Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution

New York, N.Y. Recent, C. became two countries.


It also led to stabilization of the Czech-Havel administration Velvet Revolution, Prague Spring Now it was divided into two countries, Czech Republic and Slovakia (1992), but before that there was a country called “Czechoslovakia”. I led the “Velvet Revolution” that occurred in this country in 1989 without bloodshed, I served as President of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992, and from 1993 to 2003 the President of the Czech Republic was born

There was a person called Vazlav Haber who served as a member. As a leader of democratization in Eastern Europe, along with Mr. Wressa of Poland, who has a great influence, he is regarded as one of the leading figures of the end of the East-West Cold War that killed the Communist regime.

Mr. Havel Came to New York

Havel came to New York in 1990. He was originally a playwright and a university teacher, but he has worked hard for the democratization campaign since around the 1960s and was a leader of resistance movement to communism with a gentle character. I never thought that he would come to New York, and I decided to plan and carry out a welcome ceremony.

I had been to Czechoslovakia about ten times before and I met Mr. Havel. From the Czech side I brought a Czech Philharmonic, I made a concert tour of many music organizations such as violinist and string quartet, and I was invited. I also called a state orchestra from Slovakia side.

We also organized performances incorporating the famous black light theater. It was recognized that these activities contributed to the cultural exchange Czech Republic and I received the highest service prize of “Smetana Medal” at that time.

I was able to use St. John’s cathedral, and film director Mirros Foreman (known as “One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus”), who was a childhood friend with former president Havel, I made it.

I was out of the country. Immediately after returning home to seven Eastern Europe countries, I learned that President Havel was visiting the United States and started planning in a hurry, so it was only two weeks before the ceremony that I actually started working

Calling to an Artist

My main job was the most difficult task. We had to convince so many famous persoanlaities to appear without compensation. Talk to artists of various genres and ask them to perform without galleries.

Now thinking that President Havel’s inauguration was a very important event as it was meant “Since democracy was born for the first time from the communist country, and freedom woke up – was born.” It was truly wonderful to have opened things that had been pushed by Communism so far. I worked hard to support that waking up. Many surprising celebrities gathered

Opera singer Placido Domingo, conductor Zubin meter, actor Gregory Peck, Paul Newman, popular singer Paul Simon, Roberta Flack, jazz player Dizzie Gillespie, Nobel Peace Prize (1986) Eli winner · Wiesel, Nobel Prize for Literature (1976) Writers Saul Bello, US Secretary of State, Secretary of State Kissinger, Arthur Miller, playwright Arthur Miller, Balseinikov of the ballet, Harry Belafonte of the singer, etc.

These gorgeous people went up to the stage one after another and wrote celebration words and played and everyone did something, so it was an awesome meeting and the newspaper was written as “a welcome party.” This event was open to the public freely, so it was packed full of people in the church and it was a great success.

Just before the event we had the possibility of a PBS TV program, I signed up a contract with the contents of all the performers’ contents, saying “I will not broadcast once because I do not broadcast.” After a wonderful television program was finished, it was broadcasted in the United States, it was broadcasted in Czech Republic, but here it seems that we did not listen to control and broadcasted it many times. Thanks to that, Mr. Havel is popular and there is also a view that the position has settled

Connect people and people, and country and country

It would be a big mistake if you thought that only jobs planning international events should think about Art. While working internationally, I understand the flow of politics and times of each country, and are involved largely and connect persons and people through it.

Originally, I was very interested in connecting people and people, and connecting countries and countries, and I have always been involved in nature and diplomacy and have experienced a lot in the past. This big event was one of them.

Originally published as Vol. 35 in Weekly Biz, July 14, 2018; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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