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Václav Neumann

(*29. 9. 1920 Prague †2. 9. 1995 Vienna)

Czech conductor

He studied violin at the Prague Conservatory with Josef Micka, conducting with Pavel Dědeček and Metod Doležil. He was a cofounder and violist of the Smetana´s Quartet. From 1945, he was a violist, from 1948 to 1950, conductor of Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Later, he worked as the artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Brno´s Region. From 1955 to 1960, he was the chief conductor (later guest conductor) of the Komische Oper in Berlin where he studied Janáček´s Cunning Little Vixen under the direction by Walter Felsenstein among other pieces. This stage has a European reputation. He toured throughout Europe with the Berlin Opera. From 1964 to 1968, he was the general director of the Opera in Leipzig and the chief conductor of the Gewandhausorchester. In 1968, after emigration of Karla Ančerl, he took over his position of head conductor in Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1970 and 1973, he also worked as the general director of the Stuttgart Opera where studied many Czech works such as Janáček´s The Cas Macropulos and Káťa Kabanová and Smetana´s The Bartered Bride. He devoted himself also to conducting concerts of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. He recorded with them several compositions such as the complete of Mahler´s symphonies and works by Miloslav Kabeláč. The recording of the work by Bohuslava Martinů received an award. He made several tours abroad with Czech Philharmonic Orchestra including Japan. He performed on foreign opera´s stages such as the State Opera in Vienna, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the State Opera in Münich, the Metropolitan Opera in New York (in 1985 with Janáček´s Jenufa). In 1987, he prepared Martinů´s Ariadne and Stravinsky´s scenic oratorio Oedipus Rex on the stage of the National Theatre in Prague.