Ostrčil, Otakar, eminent Czech conductor and composer; b. Smichov, near Prague, Feb. 25, 1879; d. Prague, Aug. 20, 1935. He studied languages at the Univ. of Prague, and then taught at a school in Prague (until 1919). At the same time, he took courses in piano with Adolf Mikes (1893–95) and studied composition privately with Fibich (1895–1900). From 1908 to 1922 he conducted the amateur orch. assn. in Prague; also conducted opera there (from 1909). In 1920 he succeeded Karel Kovarovic as principal conductor at the Prague National Theater; also taught conducting at the Prague Cons. (1926–29). In his compositions, Ostrcil continued the Romantic tradition of Czech music, with some modern elaborations revealing the influence of Mahler.
dramatic: opera:Vlasty skon (The Death of Vlasta; 1900–03; Prague, Dec. 14, 1904); Kunálovy oci (Kunala’s Eyes; Prague, Nov. 25, 1908); Poupe (The Bud; 1909–10; Prague, Jan. 25, 1911); Legenda z Erinu (The Legend of Erin; 1913–19; Brno, June 16, 1921); Honzovo královstvi (Honza’s Kingdom; 1928–33; Brno, May 26, 1934). orch.: Sym. (1905); Sinfonietta (1921); Léto (Summer), symphonic poem (1925–26); Krízová cesta (Way of the Cross), symphonic variations (1928). chamber: String Quartet; Trio for Violin, Viola, and Piano. vocal: Choral pieces; song cycles.
Z. Nejedly, O. O.: vzrûst a uzrání (O. O.: Development and Maturity; Prague, 1935); J. Bartos, O. O. (Prague, 1936).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire