Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Vitezslava Kapralova (1915-1940)

Sierra Club


Born in Brno (Czech Republic) on Jan. 24th, 1915, Czech conductor and composer, she died in Montpellier (France), on June 16, 1940. Unique child of Vaclav Kapral, teacher at the Brno Conservatory and composer, Vitezslava started her career as a composer at nine. Her talent was remarkable and at the age of 15 she started to attend the Brno Conservatory, studying composition with Vilem Petrzelka and orchestra conduction with Zdenek Chalabala. The studies continued at the Conservatory in Praga with Vitezslav Novak (composition) and Vaclav Talich (conduction). She was awared by a scholarship to study in France in 1937, in the ECM in Paris. Her teacher was Charles Munch. She kept studying composition with the private teaching of Bohuslav Martinu and with Nadia Boulangerfor a brief period. Vitezslava produced quite a large number of works, among which the Military Sinfonietta. This composition has been first performed by the Czech Philarmonic and chosen for the opening cerimony of the ISCM Festival (London, 1938). She was evacuated to Montpellier just before the German invasion of Paris. In Montpellier she died at the age of 25 on June 16, 1940.

Kapralova's music was critically acclaimed during her lifetime and continues to be praised by music historians today: "There is no doubt that had she lived she would have become one of the greatest women composers in Europe." (Hartog, Howard [Ed.]: European Music in the Twentieth Century. Penguin Books: 1961. P. 322).In 1946, in appreciation of her distinctive contribution, the foremost academic institution in the country - the Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences - awarded Kapralova membership in memoriam. In 1981, the same institution appraised her work as "representing a distinctive and progressive moment in the development of Czech music in the first half of the twentieth century." (History of Czech Music Culture 1890-1945, p. 289). In 1999, BBC Music Magazine has hailed Kapralova as "a genuinely fascinating voice in inter-war Czech music." (The BBC Music Magazine, June 1999). [Adapted from Karadar and The Kapralova Society]


Please browse our Amazon list of titles about Vitezslava Kapralova. For rare and hard to find works we recommend our Alibris list of titles about Women Composers.


Sheet music: Vitezslava Kapralova
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