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Work of the Week – Rodion Shchedrin: Lolita

Rodion Shchedrin’s opera Lolita opens at the Estates Theatre in Prague on 3 October in what will be the opera’s first Czech production. The new production will be directed by Sláva Daubnerová and conducted by Sergey Neller. Following the first night there will be eight more performances in Prague until 10 January 2020. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Rodion Shchedrin: Lolita”


Karel Husa (1921–2016)

Karel Husa, composer, dies at 95

According to a statement of his family, the Czech-American composer and conductor Karel Husa died at his home in Apex, NC, on 14 December 2016 at the age of 95.

The collaboration of Schott Music and Husa concentrated on his early compositions. Most of his works created before 1960 were published by Schott. But the close ties between Schott and Husa and the joint work on existing works well extended into the present.

Karel Husa was born in Prague on 7 August 1921. From 1941 to 1945 he studied composition and conducting at the Conservatoire of Prague and later at the Music Academy of Prague. From that period dates his first work Sona­tina which was published by Schott in 1943. In 1946 the French government awarded him a five-year scholarship which enabled him to continue his studies with Arthur Honegger and Nadia Bou­lan­ger in Paris.
In 1949, the new Communist regime in Prague declared his passport to be invalid. Upon invitation, he was able to leave for the USA in 1954 where he taught composition both at the Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity in New York and at the Ithaca Col­lege New York until 1992. It was particularly his work with student orchestras that demonstrated his major talent to compose profound music which can not only be performed by top ensembles.

For his compositional oeuvre Husa received worldwide recognition and numerous awards and prizes. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his String Quartet No. 3 and the Grawemeyer Award for his Cello Concerto. His Music for Pra­gue 1968 has become a standard work in the contemporary repertoire. In 1995 Husa was awarded the highest Order of Merit of the Czech Republic and in 1998 the Order of the City of Prague.