120 years ago, the first Czech music festival was held in Prague


On Easter 1904, the first Czech music festival took place in the right wing of the Industrial Palace on the exhibition grounds; took place from April 3 to 5 in the premises of the right wing of the Industrial Palace, converted into a concert hall.

  • Industrial Palace (©Museum of the Capital City of Prague)

It took place in Prague on June 21, 1903 Extraordinary General Assembly of the Central Unity of Czechoslav Singing Associations, the predecessor of the Pěvecká Obca Československé, at which a new committee was elected, headed by the Reich deputy and director of the sugar factory, Václav Sehnal. At the same time, the parliament also ordered the new committee to convene together with the festival committee nand the 1904 congress of Czechoslavic singing societies and prepare The first Czech music festival.

Originally, this music festival was to be organized to 40th anniversary of the founding of the Artistic Forum, an artistic association which, since 1863, brought together Czech artists and patrons in three fields: literature, art and music. He submitted the proposal then chairman of the music department of the Artistic Talk harpist, pianist, conductor, composer and music teacher Hanuš Trnecek. The proposal was submitted to the administrative committee of the Artistic Conversation, where it was, however, rejected, mainly by the members of the department of literature and art. However, the music union stood up for its chairman and decided to organize festival without Artistic Talkand thus an autonomous festival committee was created, which asked for the cooperation of Czech choirs

The supreme marshal of the Kingdom of Bohemia became the patron of the festival Prince George of Lobkowiczhonorary presidents Ferdinand Prince of Lobkowiczpresident of the Prague Conservatory, JUDr. Vladimir Srbmayor of the royal capital of Prague, a Antonin Dvorak, director of the music conservatory.

  • Industrial Palace (©Museum of the Capital City of Prague)

IN Sunday, April 3, 1904 in the morning it was held in the large meeting hall of the Old Town Hall festive singing assembly and a general rehearsal at the fairgrounds. The afternoon was spent in the Industrial Palace by Prague and some large non-Prague associations Dvořák’s oratorio St. Ludmila, with the expanded Czech Philharmonic conducted by Oskar Nedbal. A total of 1,800 singers performed, and the preparatory rehearsals were conducted by choirmaster Milan Zuna. The success of St. Ludmila was spectacular, unfortunately the performance took place without Master Dvořák, as he was seriously ill. The evening was held in the left wing of the Industrial Palace representative evening of Central Unity for the performance of the actress Hana Kvapilová, the Kytara quartet and singing societies and counties.

IN Monday April 4th in the afternoon it was organized at the fairgrounds Singing day with folk productions of counties and associations. The evening took place the second festival concerton which 3,200 singers performed Smetana’s Czech song and Bendl’s March of Camps conducted by choirmaster Norbert Kubát from Pilsen. Then Hlahol Plzeňský gave a separate speech Smetana’s Song on the Sea and the Choir of Smetana from Pilsen The adorable Moshelý stone and Pall’s Czech dances. Violinist František Ondříček and singer Karel Burian also performed as part of the concert, Hanuš Trneček conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. On the third concert on April 5 it worked in the afternoon Czech quartet.

The success of the music show was extraordinary; the organizers promised themselves that for the second festival will take place in four years and for this purpose they founded an association Czech festival. Although it was not possible to hold the next year of the singing festival within the promised four-year period, the organizers did not relent in their efforts to prepare it in the following years. After the end of the first decade, however, the world war broke out and canceled all other plans…

Opening photo: Industrial Palace (©bubenec.eu)

The article is in Czech


Tags: years Czech music festival held Prague


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