Václav Neumann

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Václav Neumann (born September 29, 1920 in Prague , † September 2, 1995 in Vienna ) was a Czech conductor , violin and viola player.


Neumann studied at the Prague Conservatory . He was co-founder and first violinist of the Smetana Quartet before taking up his first position as a conductor in Karlovy Vary and Brno . In 1956 he became a conductor at the Komische Oper in Berlin . In 1964 he became conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig . He stayed in this position until 1968, when he resigned his office in Leipzig in protest against the invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact in the Czechoslovak Republic and became the first conductor of the Czech Philharmonic . He stayed that way until 1990.

At the end of his career he not only experienced the Velvet Revolution in Prague, but also became its artistic figurehead. In cooperation with the civil rights forum OF ( Občanské fórum ), a gala concert with the 9th Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven was organized to celebrate the revolution , which Neumann himself conducted. He was also general music director of the Stuttgart Opera from 1970 to 1972 . Neumann was the recipient of the GDR National Prize .

He was considered an excellent interpreter of the works of Leoš Janáček , Gustav Mahler and Antonín Dvořák as well as the more recent Czech music ( Josef Suk , Bohuslav Martinů and others). The International Gustav Mahler Society Vienna awarded him the golden Mahler Medal in 1982. Neumann was internationally known as a specialist in classical Czech music and recorded, among other things, Leoš Janáček's opera The Excursions of Mr. Brouček for the first time in 1962.


Neumann taught orchestral conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Akademie múzických umění v Praze), where his students included Oliver von Dohnányi and Vítězslav Podrazil.

Web links

Commons : Václav Neumann  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. State Archives Ludwigsburg
  2. gustav-mahler.org: The golden Mahler Medal (accessed on November 2, 2014)