PhDr. Václav Smetáček
Václav Smetáček, conductor, oboist, chorus master, musicologist, pedagogue and also composer and arranger. Born on 30th September 1906 in Brno, died on 18th February 1986 in Prague.
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The right side of this page highlights some important moments in his life in chronological order.
Below you can open and download both short and extended versions of his CV.
Parents: Rudolf Smetáček (1878–1946) and Eleonora Smetáčková born Čížková (1879–1969); Marriage: 18. 2. 1905, St. Gotthard Church, Slaný
30. 9. Václav Alois August Smetáček born in Brno, Údolní str. 32 (photo 1907)
1912–17 elementary school in Brno - Husovice
student of the "First Czech State High School in Brno"
1918–1920 High School in Slaný
1921–22; 1924–28 High School in Prague
1922–1930 Prague State Conservatory
and 1927 - Summer language courses in Bagneres de Bigorre, France. Beginning of the lifelong friendship with Antonín Svoboda, designer of the first Czech electronic computers SAPO (1957) and EPOS (1960). From 1964 he lived in the USA where he died on 18th May 1980.
10. 2. 1928 - established the Prague Wind Quintet (PDK) and was the ensemble´s leading person until the end of it´s activity in 1956. 1st concert of the PDK (27. 3. 1928), Praha, Hlahol; J. B. Foerster: Wind Quintet op. 95
leaving exam from the High School in Prague, Slovenská ulice
1928–1933 Philosophical Faculty of the Charles University; studies of Musicology, Aesthetics and Philosophy
12. 12. first registered concert as conductor; an amateur orchestra of Sokol Bubeneč; programme: L. van Beethoven, I. Zajc, B. Smetana, J. Strauss, J. Offenbach
25. 6. graduation from the Prague Conservatory; oboe – Ladislav Skuhrovský (1922–30), composition – Jaroslav Křička (1928–30), conducting – Metod Doležil and Pavel Dědeček (1928–30); graduation composition: Wind Quintet
to 1931 deputy 1st oboist of the Czech Philharmony
to 1933 1st oboist of the Czech Philharmony (168 concerts and theatre performances)
2. 5. to 4. 7. – Prague National Theatre Orchestra; as 1st or 2nd oboist he played 48 opera and ballet performances.
6. 5. first concert with the Czech Philharmony as conductor (the last one on 13. 5. 1979 – altogether 89 concerts)
16. 6. PhD Degree (doctoral thesis: Orchestration of the "Youth" by Smetana)
1. 10. (to 1943) secretary of the Music Department, head of the Gramophone Division and conductor of the Czechoslovak Radio in Prague
1. 10. (to 1939) 2nd chorus master of the Prague „Hlahol“ choir
marriage with PhDr. Milada Lejsková (2. 7. 1908–22. 1. 1975); art hisorian, worked in the State Institute for Preservation of the Historical Sites in Prague. Author of many works on regional history and description and preservation of monuments as well as esseys on musical themes (photo 1932)
29. 11. birth of son Ivan (co-founder of the Traditional Jazz Studio), tuba and other wind instruments player
25. 3. 1st concert with the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK); Exhibition Hall Mánes; programme: Vranický, Krása, Bořkovec, Bartoš, Martinů, Křejčí, Ježek - all PREMIERES
30. 4. 1st concert with FOK in the Smetana Hall (later seat of the Prague Symphony); programme: Beethoven, Gounod, Voříšek, Smetana, Ostrčil, Kovařovic, Dvořák, Rossini
Vivat Olympia March, composed for a competition on the ocasion of the Olympic Games in Helsinki
1st conducting performance abroad – London
Artistic Leader of the Prague "Hlahol" choir
1. 1. (to 1946) appointed 1st chorus master of the Prague "Hlahol" choir
4. 1. born son Pavel, jazz clarinet and saxo player, founder and leader of the Traditional Jazz Studio, music publicist, Christian politician and diplomat; father of the percussionist Štěpán Smetáček
13. 4. born daughter Helena (married Čižinská) PhD.; art historian, expert in preservation of monuments, author of works on monuments preservation and Beuron Art School
12. 5. (to 1961) Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK)
to 1945 conductor and chief of the Film Orchestra (FYSIO)
to 1972 – Prague Conservatory; oboe class and "Chamber Wind Harmony"; complementary "evening" studies of the military brass orchestras conductors
Prague Academy of Music (AMU) – professor of "Chamber Wind Music Interpretation"
5. 3. 1st guest conducting performance in Poland (Wroclaw, Kraków, Katowice, Lodź)
2. 6. divorce with PhD. Milada Lejsková-Smetáčková
14. 7. marriage with Míla (Miloslava) Kočvarová (7. 5. 1928–7. 9. 2012); 1947–49 studied history of art and esthetics; after her husband´s decease she was active as publicist focussed on the music education; 1992–2007 chairwoman of the Czech Musical Society, from 2007 vice-chairwoman of the J. B. Foerster Society; co-operated with the Czech Radio. Author of a memoir book "Life with the Baton" (Život s taktovkou); (1st edition Universum 1991, 2nd edition, self published 2006) (photo 1948)
4. 10. born daughter Vaclava
Prague Academy of Music (AMU) – external professor of "Orchestra Leading" and conductor of the AMU Chamber Orchestra
26. 10. last performance with the Prague Wind Quintet (PDK); Czechoslovak Radio recording; programme: Petr Eben, "Krumlovské písničky" for wind quintet, female choir and piano; (1928 to 1955 more than 760 performances)
1st FOK concert tour to the Western Europe – Italy, Austria
concert season 1959/1960 – conductor and artistic director of the City Symphonic Orchestra in East Berlin (now Konzerthausorchester Berlin). V. S. was the first foreign chief of the orchestra founded in 1952.
and 1961 – guest condutor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
4. 6. Iceland, Reykjavík, ICELAND PREMIERE – Smetana: The Bartered Bride with the soloists from the Prague National Theatre.
10. 6. Iceland, Reykjavík; Verdi: Rigoletto; Niccolae Gedda, Stina Britta Melander;
January to May; Japan; Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
until March 1972 Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK)
recording of A. Dvorak´s Stabat Mater, Deutsche Grammophon / Supraphon
recording of Carl Orff´s Carmina Burana, Supraphon
recording of A. Dvorak´s Saint Ludmila, Supraphon
1. 12. Montreal, Place des Arts; premiere of Smetana´s Má vlast in Canada
November, Milano - all 9 Beethoven´s symphonies with FOK
recording of the complete of Beethoven´s Piano Concertos and Choral Phantasy; FOK, Jan Panenka; Supraphon
New Zealand; N. Z. B. Symphony Orchestra; second time 1972
12. 5. Prague Castle, Wladislaw Hall – Má vlast, Czech Philharmony – opening concert of the 20th Prague Spring Festival
recording of Carl Orff´s Catulli Carmina, Supraphon
30. 8. Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires – Latin-American premiere of Smetana´s Má vlast
22. 12. Milano, Teatro alla Scala – Italian premiere of Janáček´s From the House of Dead
recording of J. J. Ryba´s Czech Christmas Mass; My Lovely Nightingale-pastorella; Supraphon Golden Disc
9. 5. Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón - 1st performance of Béla Bartók´s Bluebeard´s Castle and Miraculous Mandarin
19. 5. Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón - 1st performance of Musorgsky´s Boris Godunov; Boris: Gerome Hines
26. 4. Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón - Latin-American premiere of Shostakovich´s Katerina Izmajlova
10. 5. Buenos Aires, Teatro Colón - Latin-American premiere of Janáček´s Katia Kabanova
3. 10.–2. 11. concert tour of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) to the USA. Second conductor: Jindřich Rohan, soloists: Eva Bernáthová-piano, Josef Chuchro-cello
recording of A. Dvorak´s Mass D major, Op. 86, Supraphon
recording of Carl Orff´s Trionfo di Afrodite, Supraphon
recording of A. Dvorak´s Biblical Songs, Op. 99, Nos. 1 - 5; Te Deum, op. 103, Supraphon
1. 2. last concert as emploee of the Prague Symphony Orchestra – retirement
last performance as oboist (with the jazz band of his sons Traditional Jazz Studio)
November - December; Japan; Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Supraphon – member of the team preparing the "practical" edition of the score and parts of Má vlast; members of the team: Václav Neumann, Zdeněk Košler, Josef Plavec, Jarmil Burghauser, V. Smetáček (V. S.´s reviews are deposited in the National Archive)
23. 11. during the concert in Florence, Italy, with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra (Mahler: 10th Symphony) he was hit by a heart attack and the left side of his body became paralyzed. He finished conducting the symphony and directly from the concert hall was taken to the hospital where he stayed for 2 months.
recording of Carl Orff´s: Veni creator spiritus; Der gute Mensch; Nänie und Dithyrambe; Vom Frühjahr, Oltank und vom Fliegen, Supraphon
ewarded by title National Artist
1st CZ DIGITAL RECORDING; Smetana: Má vlast, Česká filharmonie (Supraphon 1981); Golden CV Prize Nippon Columbia (1984).
26. 5. St. Vitus Cathedral – Antonín Dvořák: Svatá Ludmila; Prague Spring Festival
5. 12. LAST CONCERT; Zlín (the then Gottwaldov) – Bohuslav Martinů: Symphony No. 4, Luboš Fišer: Piano Concerto, Vítězslav Novák: Of the Eternal Longing, op. 33; Orchestr Filharmonie pracujících, František Maxián-piano
† 18th February in Prague