Neumann, Václav, prominent Czech conductor; b. Prague, Sept. 29, 1920; d. Vienna, Sept. 2, 1995. He studied violin with J. Micka and conducting with Pavel Dëdecek and Metod Dolezil at the Prague Cons. (1940–45). While still a student, he was active as a chamber- music player; became a founding member of the Smetana Quartet (1945); that same year he was made first violisi of the Czech Phil., making his conducting debut in 1948. He was chief conductor of the Karlovy Vary Sym. Orch. (1951–54) and of the Brno Sym. Orch. (1954–56); then conducted at East Berlin’s Komische Oper (1956–64), and concurrently was conductor of Prague’s FOK Sym. Orch. From 1964 to 1968 he held the post of second conductor of the Czech Phil, in Prague; during that same period, he was the conductor of the Gewandhaus Orch. and Generalmusikdirektor of the Opera in Leipzig; then held the latter post at the Württemberg State Theater in Stuttgart (1969–72). He was chief conductor of the Czech Phil. (1968–90), touring widely with it in Europe and abroad.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire