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RAFAEL KUBELÍK

(*29.6.1914 Býchory by Kolín +11.8.1996 Kastenienbaum by Luzern)


Czech conductor, composer and pianist

Rafael Kubelik studied violin, composition and conducting at the Prague Conservatory. He was also an outstanding pianist, and partner of his famous father, the violin virtuoso Jan Kubelík, on many concert tours. He first conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1934. After Talich left for the National Theatre, Kubelík became chief conductor of Czech Philharmonic. Unwilling to come to terms with the new political situation in the country after 1948, Kubelik emigrated. In 1949 was elected music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with which he stayed until 1953. His other engagements included the Covent Garden Opera (1955-1958), the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1972). On 1973, Kubelik obtained Swiss citizenship. He, however, never forgot his homeland and shortly after communistic crash returned to conduct the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the memorable concert of mutual understanding in Prague s Old Town Square in 1990. He has since appeared as guest with the orchestra in Prague on several occasions, and conducted Smetana's My Country performed by the Czech Philharmonic in Tokyo for which they won the prize for best concert of the year. He also composed choral works (Kantata beze slov (Cantata without words)), chamber, and orchestral compositions (Orphikon). He also applied himself to opera (Veronika).

Text: Musica Bona