Smetácek, Václav

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Smetáček, Václav

Smetáček, Václav , noted Czech oboist, conductor, and teacher; b. Brunn, Sept. 30, 1906; d. Prague, Feb. 18, 1986. He studied oboe with Ladislav Skuhrovský, composition with Jaroslav Kříčka, and conducting with Metod Doleųzil and Pavel Dědeček at the Prague Cons. (1922–30); also took courses in musicology and aesthetics at the Charles Univ. in Prague (Ph.D., 1933). In 1928 he founded the Prague Wind Quintet, remaining with it until 1955; was also oboist in the Czech Phil. (1930–33). He conducted the Radio Orch. (1934–43) and the Hlahol Choir (1934–46) in Prague; became chief conductor of Prague’s FOK Sym. Orch. in 1942; it became the Prague Sym. Orch. in 1952, and he continued to lead it until 1972; he also appeared widely as a guest conductor. He taught at Prague’s Cons. and Academy of Music (1945–66). In 1962 he was made an Artist of Merit and in 1976 a National Artist by the Czech government. He was best known for his performances of Czech music, both traditional and contemporary.


L. Šip, V. S. (Prague, 1957).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire