Skuherský, František Zdenek (Xavier Alois)

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Skuherský, František Zdeněk (Xavier Alois)

Skuherský, František Zdeněk (Xavier Alois) , Bohemian conductor, teacher, music theorist, and composer; b. Opočno, July 31, 1830; d. Budweis, Aug. 19, 1892. He first studied medicine, then had music lessons with Kittl in Prague. From 1854 to 1866 he was in Innsbruck, where he conducted the Musikverein. In 1866 he went to Prague as director of the Organ School; also was choirmaster at St. Hastal’s and at the Holy Trinity, director of the court chapel, and a teacher of music theory at the Czech Univ. (from 1882). In 1890 he retired. Among his outstanding pupils were J. F. Foerster and Janáček. Skuherský was a leading figure in the reform of church music in his homeland. He publ, several texts on music theory (in Prague): O formách hudebních (Musical Form; 1873; second ed., 1884), Nauka o hudební komposici (Theory of Musical Composition; 4 vols., 1880–84), and Nauka o harmonii na vědeckém základě ve formě nejjednodušší (Theory of Harmony on a Scientific Basis in the Simplest Form; 1885).


DRAMATIC: Opera : Samo (1854; unfinished); Der Apostat (rev. as Vladimir, bohů zvolenec[Vladimir, the Gods’s Chosen One], Prague, Sept. 27, 1863); Der Liebesring (Innsbruck, 1861; Czech version as Lora, Prague, April 13, 1868); Der Rekrut (Czech version as Rektor a generál[Rector and General], Prague, March 28, 1873); Smrt krále Václava (King Wenceslas’s Death; 1868; unfinished). ORCH .: Sym. (n.d.); Máj (May), symphonic fantasia (1874; Brünn, April 22, 1877); 3 Fugues (1883–84). CHAMBER: Piano Quintet (1871); String Quartet (1871); Piano Trio (1871–72); also piano pieces and organ music. VOCAL : Much sacred vocal music; choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire