Macai, Zdenek (originally Zdenek Mácal)
Macai, Zdenek (originally Zdeněk Mácal)
Macai, Zdenek (originally Zdeněk Mácal), prominent Czech-born American conductor; b. Brno, Jan. 8, 1936. He studied with Bakala, Jilek, and Vesélka at the Brno Cons. (1951–56), then at Brno’s Janácek Academy of Music. He was conductor of the Moravian Phil, in Olomouc (1963–67). He won the Besançon (1965) and Mitropoulos (1966) competitions. In 1966 he made his first appearance as a guest conductor with the Czech Phil, in Prague, with which he then toured Europe. In 1968 he left his homeland in the wake of the Soviet-led invasion and served as chief conductor of the Cologne Radio Sym. Orch. (1970–74) and the Hannover Radio Orch. (1980–83); also appeared as a guest conductor throughout Europe and the U.S. He was principal guest conductor (1985–86) and music director (1986–95) of the Milwaukee Sym. Orch. He also was chief conductor of the Sydney Sym. Orch. (1986), principal guest conductor (1986–88) and artistic director and principal conductor (1988–92) of the San Antonio Sym. Orch., and artistic advisor (1992–93) and artistic director (from 1993) of the N.J. Sym. Orch. On Oct. 3, 1992, he became a naturalized American citizen at a special ceremony held during a concert he conducted with the Milwaukee Sym. Orch.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire