Formal salons of dr. Michal Müller

Formal salons of dr. Michal Müller are remarkable activity on the Prague cultural field and have been in existence for the seventh year. The idea to organize these monthly meetings periodically came from the Czech music composer and musicologist Ph.D. Michal Müller, that's why I "technically" name them like this...

Since the beginning, these salons have functioned as a platform for networking of outstanding personalities who have achieved significant success in their field. You meet here both well-known people and those who are perhaps not so publicly famous and move in the media shadow of others but are still among the best.

At the beginning of each gathering, an often media-known, but always excellent personality, recognized above all by experts, is invited. If it is a musician or other artist, he or she usually presents a small musical or other performance. If it is someone from other field, be it a doctor, lawyer, astrophysicist, or manager of a large multinational company, etc., he or she is usually chosen in relation to the current topic that might be interesting to present in the form of a short monologue. After an artistic performance or a professional monologue in a private environment, a live, immediate debate follows, which offers a unique opportunity to bring these exceptional personalities closer to the audience in an authentic debate. Participants can ask questions, namely the performer or "lecturer", and can make interviews. Because the outstanding personalities from various fields and disciplines meet at each Formal salon, the discussions are also extremely interesting and fruitful. And precisely because the intellectual elite express themselves on various topics, inspiration is born here that would often make a narrowly focused expert think of issues that he or she may never come across. The rest of the time is then devoted to free entertainment, conversations, various social topics or making contacts across disciplines. These gatherings are an exclusive and intimate affair, and attendance at them is not a common affair, not only for individuals in the auditorium, but also for active participants.

Formal salons make a targeted and long-term effort to maintain their pure, mainly intellectual, and social, apolitical, and anti-lobbyist character.

Michal Müller

The above-mentioned forum exists not only due to enlightenment, but also due to the necessary patronage of the founder, who is a somewhat unusual personality not only in the field of classical music, but also in the field of business as a successful owner of the ATDK chain of companies. In addition, Michal Müller is an expert on Asian philosophies, including martial arts (he himself was the chairman of Jamabushi, a society bringing together experts from various fields of martial arts, for several years). With such a comprehensive scope of activity, the question arises as to whether the founder in question is not a genius or, on the contrary, is a somewhat suspicious individual. However, there is no stylization behind this phenomenon, as the musical work and verifiable success in transparent business speak for it.

Ph.D. Michal Müller is an internationally recognized music composer. His works are presented in various countries of the world, and that is why even at the mentioned salons he prefers music, although paradoxically not his own, but always performed by the best performers.

He himself is a pioneer of sophisticated spatial music and the author of numerous solo, chamber, orchestral and scenic compositions, which are performed and appreciated in various countries.

For example, last year his compositions were performed at contemporary music festivals in Switzerland, this year his concerto for violin and orchestra The Pictures of Hieronymus Bosch won first prize at an international composer competition in Luxembourg, and this composition was subsequently performed twice in Prague, and it is known that at least two further festival performances are being prepared for next year.

Michal Müller carefully guards his privacy, so most of his works are published under pseudonyms. That is why he is much more famous abroad and it is not at all easy to write about him...

History and development of salons

After two years of the existence of the salons, which underwent gradual development, MD Petr Čáp, Ph.D., head of the Allergology and Immunology Center at Na Homolce Hospital, became the main moderator and co-organizer; and given that more and more people suffer from some form of allergy or immune disorder today, the number of active and passive participants has expanded to include other important guests...


With these Formal musical salons, it's mainly about meeting a slightly different personalities every time, which is united by their interest in classical music, but also their interest in various cultural events in other areas in the broadest sense of the word. The ultimate condition - conditio sine gua non - is a high level of performers as well as ideological protagonists or guests.

For all of them, we can name the well-recognized soloists and pedagogues of the Academy of Performing Arts, then the violinist Professor Jindřich Pazder, principal of the Stamic Quartet, violist Professor Jan Pěruška or his former pupil at the university and today famous soloist Jitka Hosprová, pianists Václav Mácha and Daniel Wiesner, holder of numerous international awards, mezzo-soprano Eva Garajová, former soloist of the State Opera and currently a star of concert stages mainly abroad. From ensembles such as the Suk Piano Quartet or the Czech Philharmonic Quartet, etc. Frequent visitors and personalities from the world of music include, for example, Ing. Roman Bělor, director of Prague Spring, or composer, pianist, and pedagogue Zdeněk Zahradník, chairman of the Society of Czech Composers and former chief music director of Supraphon.

Today, however, the Formal salons are also attended by celebrities from non-musical fields as guests or visitors (we can name astrophysicist Jiří Grygar, professor Václav Mandys, a prominent pathologist, and doc. Eva Mandysová, former head of non-invasive cardiology at Na Homolce Hospital, or the director and actor of Studio Ypsilon Jan Jirán, etc.). Several extremely interesting current topics were brought up, for example, by the lawyer and pedagogue JUDr. Karol Hrádela. A personality known to the wider public is the violinist Jaroslav Svěcený, who was at the very birth of the salons and has been a regular guest here since the very beginning, not only as a soloist, but also as a popularizer and certified forensic expert in the field of violin making.

The spirit of Formal salons

In case of the above-mentioned meetings, it is practically a private party, but not hermetically sealed, because someone new who will make the salons special with an unconventional approach, idea or oth-erwise enriching contribution always attends. It is simply a living community that modestly strives to fulfill the cultural traditions and spirit of our society, far removed from the snobbery of English elite clubs without the presence of women, while offering an undeniable enrichment of everyday life. Not only monumental works, but also compositions or presentations in a small format can fulfill Josef

Škvorecký's recommendation, namely "to be grateful for an ordinary chocolate cake in the darkness of a Sunday evening".

The concept of Formal salons is because that spark skipping between the auditorium and the stage must have prerequisites from both sides. For this purpose, educated, not insignificant participants – lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and other experts who are equal partners for the invited guests – are invited to the auditorium to join the speaking personalities and experts in certain interesting areas of life.

The self-serving nature of these gatherings is hindered by many levels in personal contacts, from purely artistic or cultural, through business to human. These are based not only on mutual reminiscences, but also on the need to learn information on an authentic level. This is necessary for each of us to correct official reports about today's world full of media illusions, false messages, deliberate mystifications, and manipulations, how about brilliantly wrote the recently deceased Umberto Eco in his last novel The Prague Pedestrian.

Guests, as well as Salon visitors, are carefully selected not only in terms of professional and social quality, but finally, also human quality, so that everyone involved in each individual Salon feels good and that each such gathering really benefits them somehow.

The above-mentioned authentic gatherings are also useful for each of us to admit that we live in our own micro-worlds and the truth about life is far more complex than we subconsciously admit. Karel Čapek already mentioned it to a certain extent when he emphasized the complexity of reality in the aspect of its relativity.

Because it depends on the experience of each of us, and it is quite different, and everyone has a bit of their own truth from this title. We must always correct our limited view in some way so that we do not fall victim to our own subjective views. For myself, the moderator of these gatherings in recent years, this is the reason why I deliberately try to break away from the demanding world of medicine, at least for a while, because not only professional deformation predisposes us to an a priori distorted perception, but also our nature largely determines our fate and it is necessary to occasionally confront other successful and interesting people who think, see and act differently. Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that man is a social being and it is difficult to live alone. So, there are several theoretical and practical reasons why you should meet people outside your profession, job, family, and friends and why visit this inspiring and stimulating environment. The words of Svatopluk Čech, who, in his ancient legacy, once chose brilliant verses with a message to our people: "Are we weak, little? — Enough of this talk, only those who despair like that are weak and small. What was Hellas, was Rome greater than the abbreviated immortal touched the stars?” We will not do well if we do not strive to raise the spirit and maintain the traditions of our relatively small society at a high cultural level. Even I, as a Doctor of Medicine, perceive that I will never be a good enough specialist if I am satisfied with only a materialistic or veterinary concept of my field and do not perceive the spirit of the patients who turn to us.

In conclusion, it is necessary to pay tribute to the one who was able to turn the idea of Formal salons into reality and keeps their tradition still alive.

Doc. MUDr. Petr Čáp, Ph.D., Medicína a umění