Facebook pageYoutube channelcz


(*11.4.1908, Tučapy - ✝3.7.1973, Toronto)

Czech conductor

At the Conservatory in Prague he studied conducting with P. Dědeček and V. Talich, the composition with J. Křička and A. Hába (in 1931 he prepared the world premiere of Alois Hába´s Mother with Hermann Scherchen in Munich and received an award for the production from the International Society for Contemporary Music. From 1931 to 1933 he worked as a conductor at the Prague Free Theatre (Osvobozené divadlo), from 1933 to 1938 he was a conductor of the Prague Radio Orchestra. From 1942 to 1945 he was deported to the Theresienstadt´s Ghetto for racial reasons. Here, he belonged to the most active organisers of culture life. In 1944, he survived the transport to Auschwitz in 1944. From 1945 to 1947 he worked in the newly established ensemble of the Great Opera of 5th May in Prague. Here, he conducted the Czech premiere of Hába´s opera Mother. In 1947 he became a conductor of the Prague Radio Orchestra, form 1950 to 1968 he remained the artistic director and chief-conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. After 1968 he worked as the chief-conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His conducting style was modern and matter-of-fact; the music of 20th Century (Schönberg, Bartók, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Britten) preoccupied him. He enriched the repertoire of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. He became a devoted performer of Janáček´s and Martinů´s works. He worked with orchestra very intensively and at great length. He helped to establish the prestige of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in foreign countries such as Australia, China, India to name a few. He recorded many albums for the Supraphon label.