The brief but intense life of Czech composer and conductor Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915–1940) was set between the two world wars in the period of the First Czechoslovak Republic to whose modernist movement she belonged.
Kaprálová’s creative development began in her hometown of Brno, stimulated first by the cultured environment of her own family and its circle of friends, among whom were some of the finest musicians and music scholars of the new republic. Her natural talent was recognized early and nurtured by her musician parents – her father was a composer, her mother a qualified voice teacher – who both played an important role in Kaprálová’s early musical development.
The city’s conservatory, where young Kaprálová pursued a double major in composition and conducting from 1930–1935, provided a solid foundation for her education, which was further advanced by her studies under composer Vítězslav Novák and conductor Václav Talich at the Prague Conservatory from 1935–1937.
Following her graduation from the conservatory’s Master School in 1937 and aided by a French government scholarship, Kaprálová moved to Paris, where she continued her studies in conducting with Charles Munch at the École normale de musique, while also taking private lessons in composition with Paris-based Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů. Martinů’s often cited influence on Kaprálová’s musical development is overestimated, however, for the music of Igor Stravinsky and her father Václav Kaprál in particular exerted as strong an influence on the young composer.
There is no doubt that when Kaprálová died in 1940, possibly from typhoid fever, just two months after marrying Alfonse Mucha’s son, the world of classical music was robbed of a burgeoning talent and a highly individual voice.
The Kapralova Society
Titles for hire - see Complete catalogue
Titles for sale:
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor
Ilena, op. 15
Military Sinfonietta op. 11
Partita for Piano and String Orchestra
String Quartet op. 8
Suita rustica op. 19
Suite en miniature op. 1
Thematic Catalogue of the Works and Correspondence with Publishers
To Karel Čapek
Two Choruses for Women’s Voices op. 17