With its approximately 1,500 students, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague is the largest arts school in the Czech Republic. Its large number of applicants and demanding entrance examinations enable AMU to maintain a high level of selectivity in all three of its faculties. The number of students remains stable, the drop-out rate is consistently low, and graduates’ success on the job market is high. AMU offers its students the opportunity to further develop their talents and to refine their specific personal presentation in the areas of theatre, film, music and dance. It provides them with a deep immersion into their respective disciplines in the context of European culture, and enables them to identify their own place in Czech culture, which is determined by a unique blend of artistic, social and political life. AMU offers its pedagogues a workplace at the very centre of innovation in accredited artistic fields and at a leading arts research institution, which create good conditions for the development of all forms of study and research in the arts. AMU opens up a space for pedagogical activity to a significant number of experts from professional circles, and thus also draws on flexible feedback, making it possible to continuously update the instruction according to current professional standards. It provides the same space to the best doctoral graduates, and endeavours to secure funding for their starting positions.
For the public, AMU not only enriches cultural life with theatre and dance performances, film screenings, concerts and their other artistic enterprises developed by their students, teachers and graduates, but also facilitates the proliferation of artistic fields outside of artistic circles, thus contributing to the cultivation of public space.
AMU in a nutshell
The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague was established on 27 October 1945 by Decree No. 127 of President Edvard Beneš “on the Establishment of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague as a higher education institution”. The first academic year was 1946/1947. Section 1 of this decree reads as follows: “This university has 4 fields: music, drama, dance and film.” Over time, some of the fields have become faculties, and the Academy of Performing Arts has moved into several historic buildings in the centre of Prague. The Film and Television Faculty (FAMU, the Film and TV School) is now located in Lažanský Palace on the Vltava waterfront, the Theatre Faculty (DAMU) is located in Kokořovský Palace in Karlova Street, and the Music and Dance Faculty (HAMU) is located in two buildings in Prague’s Lesser Town (Malá Strana): Lichtenštejnský Palace and Hartigovský Palace
Science and research at AMU
Alongside artistic activity, scientific activity is another fundamental aspect the mission of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and in a range of fields AMU ranks among the leading research institutions in the Czech Republic and Europe. Scientific activities have been developed in all three AMU faculties in individual, departmental and interdisciplinary projects. Predominant among the research interests pursued at AMU is basic research in art science, which is most frequently based methodologically on a historical, anthropological or psychological approach, and is most notably focused on the areas of theatre, music, dance, film, photography, restoration and modern audio-visual forms. Applied research at AMU is concentrated in specialist facilities focusing on acoustics, optics and restoration, as well as on archiving audio-visual material. Two additional areas which have received increasing emphasis in recent years are research by means of art and research based on the interconnection of theory and practice.