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Václav KAPRÁL

(*26.3.1889, Určice - ✝6.4.1947, Brno)

Czech composer, pianist and pedagogue

He studied composition with Leoš Janáček in his Brno Organ School (1908-10) and with Vítězslav Novák (1919-20) in Prague. Later he studied piano interpretation with Alfred Cortot in Paris (1923-24).

Kaprál was an excellent pianist. Together with Ludvík Kundera he played concerts of music for two pianos (1921-30). They two also initiated founding of the Moravian Composers' Club in Brno in 1922. Kaprál worked as a piano teacher and in 1911 he founded his own private music school in Brno-Královo Pole. He also worked as choirmaster and music theoretician and critic.

Kaprál married singer Viktorie Uhlířová, in 1915 their daughter Vítězslava who later became successful composer was born.

In 1927 Václav Kaprál was appointed reader in music at the university in Brno. In 1935 he became member of the Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1936 he was elected vice-president of the Czech Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). From 1936 he was professor of theory at the Brno Conservatory.

During the German occupation of Czechoslovakia his left-wing political opinions caused him to be arrested by Gestapo in 1942. He was imprisoned in the concentration camp Svatobořice until April 1945. In 1946 he was elected the first chairman of the Syndicate of Czechoslovak Composers but his health had broken and he died soon.

Kaprál composed about fifty opuses. He concentrated on works for his instrument piano and on vocal and chamber compositions. Piano music - four Sonatas (1912, 1921, 1924, 1939), three Sonatinas, Suita romantica (1918), atonal Miniatures (1922), Lyrica (1927) and Fantasy in Es (1934). Chamber music - two string quartets, his last composition Balad for violoncello (1946). Vocal compositions - Pro ni (For her, 1927) for voice and piano quartet, Píseň podzimu (Song of Autumn, 1929) for voice and string quartet, Uspávanky (Lullabies, 1932) for voice and chamber orchestra, Milodějné kvítí (Flowers of Love, 1942) dedicated to the memory of his daughter Vítězslava who died in 1940, Svatobořické lidové písně (Folksongs from Svatobořice, 1944). From the music from the concentration camp - Hradišťská idyla (1944) and Česká mše (Czech Mass, 1943).

Links:
www.kapralova.org

Discography
Ukolébavka / Lullaby
Martina Caithamelova - soprano
Bambini di Praga, B. Kulinska / B. Kulinsky

CD Multisonic