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(*15. 3. 1894 Náchod — †24. 8. 1973 Prague)

Czech composer

Nee Miroslava Johnová, Sláva Vorlová grew up in a musical family - her mother was pianist, her father founded a small community orchestra in Náchod. She started her formal studies of music (voice) at the Academy of Music in Vienna, but in 1915 she moved to Prague where she took private music lessons with Václav Štěpán (piano) and Vítězslav Novák (composition). In 1919 she married entrepreneur Rudolf Vorel, and for the next 15 years she had to give up her dream of becoming a composer in order to help her husband build a successful family business. She returned to music in 1933 when she composed her first opus, String Quartet "Bezkydy". The following year Vorlová participated in the masterclasses of Jaroslav Řídký at the Prague Conservatory of Music. Other works soon followed: Three Songs, op. 2, premiered in 1935; Three Songs, op. 4,(1939), premiered in Brussels in 1947; String Quartet 2, op. 5, (1939), premiered in 1941; Fantasy for violoncello and orchestra, op. 6, (1940), premiered in 1945; and White Clouds, op. 8 - a cycle of ten songs for women's choir and orchestra, (1942-43) premiered in 1944. Her patriotic cantata A Little Country, op. 7, that Vorlová composed during the war (1941-42), was premiered in 1948. The same year, Vorlová completed her graduation work, Symphony for Large Orchestra, op. 18, dedicated to Jan Masaryk. The year 1948 also marks the beginnings of Vorlová's collaboration with poet-librettist V.H. Roklan (- a pseudonym of Dr. Vladimír Hloch who was to become Vorlová's life-long companion). The two collaborated on her symphonic poem Songs of Gondwana, op. 19, for soli, mixed choir and orchestra. Other examples of their collaboration include Vorlová's opera-fairy tale Golden Bird, op. 27, (1949-1950), and orchestral suite "Bozena Nemcova," op. 24, (1950-51), premiered in 1952. In 1951 Vorlová also composed Symphonic Overture and popular instructive music Animals in a Piano, op. 26 - twenty-four piano miniatures for children. During the ten years that followed, Vorlová wrote a number of instrumental concertos. During the decade she also composed four symphonic works: Three Bohemian Dances, op. 29, (1952-53), for which she received an award in 1953; Dances from Doudleby, op. 36, (1953-54), another award winning piece (1955); Sarady for two pianos and symphonic orchestra, (1956); and Thuringian Dances, op. 44, (1957).. Other stage works from the period include the composer's one-act opera Two Worlds, op. 45, (1958), We, People of the Twentieth Century, op. 46 - a symphonic ode for children's voices, mixed choir and orchestra, (1959), and New Age Oratorio, op. 49, (1960). In sixties she devised her own method for serial music (7-tone serial music) with which she produced some of her best works. The compositions in styles of dodecaphony, serial and aleatoric music include Dedications, op. 64, (1965); Bhukhar, op. 67, (1965), premiered in 1968 and published in 1970 (Panton); Model Kinetic, op. 69, (1967) or Correlations for bass clarinet, piano and strings, op. 75, (1968), premiered in 1969. She continued writing serial music compositions during the seventies (Spectra, Polarisations, Esoterica, Perspectives). Vorlová died in summer 1973, after a prolonged battle with a terminal illness.

V. H. Roklan: Konfese S. Vorlové (1973)
Cohen: International Encyclopedia of Women Composers (NY 1981, 2/1987)