Havelka, Svatopluk

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Havelka, Svatopluk

Havelka, Svatopluk, Czech composer; b. Vrbice, May 2, 1925. He studied in Prague with Jirák (1945–47) and at the Charles Univ. there with Hutter, Sychra, and Leibich (graduated, 1949). He worked in the music dept. of the Czech Radio in Ostrava (1949–50), and concurrently was founder-artistic director of the NOTA Ensemble. After working as an instructor and composer with the Army Art Ensemble (1950–54), he devoted himself fully to composition. He was a prof, of composition at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts from 1990. In 1961 and 1989 he was awarded the State Prize, and in 1987 he was made a Merited Artist of his nation. After composing in the nationalist tradition with infusions of Moravian modalities, he turned to a progressive style that embraced various modern techniques.


dramatic: Music for over 70 full-length and 150 short films; incidental music to plays; Pyrrhos, ballet (1970). ORCH.: Night Music (1944); Suite for Small Orch. (1947); Pastorale Nos. 1 (1948) and 2 (1951); Sym. (Prague, Nov. 5, 1956); Foam, symphonic poem (1965; Olomouc, Feb. 9, 1966); Ernesto Ché Guevara, symphonic poem (1969); Hommage à Hieronymus Bosch, symphonic fantasy (1974); Children’s Suite (1982); Sign of the Times (1996). CHAMBER: Nonet (1976); Percussionata, suite for Percussion (1978); Quiet Joy for Viola (1985); Disegno for Flute (1986); Hommage to Fra Angelica for Guitar (1987); Soliloquia animae ad Deum for Clarinet and Piano (1991); The Hidden Manna and a White Stone for 2 Percussionists (1992). VOCAL: 4 Baroque Songs for Medium Voice and Piano (1944; rev. as Rose of Wounds for Medium Voice and Orch., 1974); 4 Musical-Dramatic Suites for Solo Voice, Narrator, Chorus, and Chamber Orch., after Moravian folk poetry (1948, 1949,1949, 1951); Spring, vocal rhapsody for 3 Solo Voices, Chorus, Children’s Chorus, and Orch. (1949); In Praise of Light, cantata for Soprano, Alto, Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1959); Heptameron: Poem on Nature and Love for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Narrator, and Orch. (1964); Epistle of Poggio Bracciolini to Leonardo Bruni of Arrezo on the Condemnation of Master Jeronym of Prague, oratorio for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, 3 Choruses, Orch., and Organ (1984); Profeteia for Children’s Chorus, Orch., and Organ (1988); Agapé je Laska (Agape is Love) for Soprano, 3 Strings, and Piano (1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Havelka, Svatopluk

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