Krombhok, Jaroslav, esteemed Czech conductor; b. Prague, Jan. 30, 1918; d. there, July 16, 1983. He studied composition with Novák (1937–40) and conducting with Dědeěek, Ostrčil, and Talich (1940–41) at the Prague Cons, and its Master School; also studied quarter tone music with A. Hába and attended V. Nejedlý’s classes at the Univ. of Prague. He first gained attention as a composer, winning 1st prize in a Czech Phil, competition with his Suite for Piano and Orch. (1939). He then made his conducting debut at the Prague National Theater (1940); after serving as chief conductor of the Ostrava Opera (1944–45), he rejoined the roster of the Prague National Theater; later was its chief conductor (1968–75), and chief conductor of the Prague Radio Sym. Orch. (1973–78). He also appeared as a guest conductor with leading European opera houses. He was especially renowned for his idiomatic performances of works by Smetana, Dvořák, Janácek, Martinů, and other Czech composers, as well as for his distinguished interpretations of the music of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire