In 2003, we launched the first volume of our very own periodical - The Kapralova Society Newsletter. The newsletter will be published twice a year, in spring and fall, and will be available for free download on our website.
Also in 2003, the society joined the International Alliance for Women in Music, an important international platform for composers, musicians, musicologists, and music organizations interested in celebrating and fostering the achievements of women in music. Through its members, the alliance is connected to a number of universities around the world. The alliance publishes a journal dedicated to women in music and maintains comprehensive online resources on this subject.
Last year was an important year for promotion of Kapralova's music, as a record number of Kapralova compositions was released on compact disc and published in print. The most significant among these projects was the release of Kapralova's art songs by Supraphon in November. The initiative was made possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of Dr. Timothy Cheek and the financial assistance of the University of Michigan and the Kapralova Society. Another great news was the much anticipated publishing of Kapralova's Concertino, op. 21 and her last composition, Ritournelle, op. 25, by Baerenreiter, at the end of the year. Publishing of Kapralova's last opus, one of her best chamber works, was initiated and financially assisted by the Society. Kapralova's childhood compositions, published by the up and coming Prague publisher Amos Editio, concluded the list of last year's contributions to the Kapralova Catalogue. The project was initiated and financially supported by Josef Kapral of Kapralova's estate.
Other important events in 2003 included world premieres of two Kapralova compositions: her remarkable art song Leden (January) for voice and quintet and her charming orchestral miniature Prélude de Noël. Leden was premiered by Caroline Helton and Michigan Chamber Players at the University of Michigan School of Music on January 19, 2003. Prélude de Noël received its first concert hall performance (since its radio premiere at Christmas 1939) from the West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Douglas Morrison, on November 23, 2003. Other important performances included the New York premiere of Apple from the Lap, op.10, performed by Carola Emrich and Jonathan Kelly on April 21, and the Nagoya premiere of Kapralova's String Quartet, op. 8, performed by Kapralova Quartet on June 10. Kapralova's art songs were performed most often last year, followed by her string quartet, April Preludes, and three piano and violin pieces.
Kapralova's music was broadcast last year by Czech Radio 3 (Vltava), Czech Radio 7, public radio networks in Chicago and Princeton, and the University of Michigan Television. Czech Radio in particular was very active in promoting the composer. Vltava prepared two documentaries dedicated to Kapralova: the first, a 45-minute documentary on Kapralova's life and work, was broadcast in August during the program Musica Moderna (Nasi v zahranici - 3/5); the second, a 59-minute documentary based on a script by Jan Hlavac and produced by Helena Cerna, was broadcast in November, during the radio documentary series Z jejich zivota. Pohledy do pracoven hudebnich skladatelu. In addition to the above documentaries, Vltava also programmed Kapralova's music during the year: in March, it broadcast Kapralova's melodrama To Karel Capek; in August, a live performance of her string quartet; and, in September, her Suite en miniature for chamber orchestra. Czech Radio 7 prepared a 10-minute biographical sketch in Spanish, with excerpts from the composer's music. The composer's music was also promoted at the International Festival of Film on Art in Montreal that presented (on March 16 and 20) the Kapralova documentary Last Concertino, produced by the Czech Television (Brno Studio) in 2001.
Reviews of Kapralova's music were published in New York Concert Review (Harris Goldsmith), the Dvorak Society Newsletter (Gregory Terian), Sedicinoni (Marco del Vaglio), MusicWeb (Rob Barnett), Talent (Petr Hanousek), and Czech Music No.6 (Matej Kratochvil). The IAWM Journal published Karla Hartl's texts In Search of a Voice: The Story of Vitezslava Kapralova and Vitezslava Kapralova: An Annotated Catalogue of Her Works. Both texts were re-printed in the first issue of The Kapralova Society Newsletter. Zpravy Spolecnosti Bohuslava Martinu printed an article by Kapralova's biographer Jiri Macek Predcasne odesly talent ceske hudby. Other texts on Kapralova included a Kapralova biography in Dirigentinnen im 20. Jahrhundert, written by German conductor Elke Mascha Blankenburg and published in Hamburg by Europäische Verlagsanstalt, and a chapter on Kapralova in the collection of literary portraits of 60 key women in Czech history Ceske zeny, edited by Alena Wagnerova and published by the Czech publishing house FRAGMENT.
The composer's art songs were the topics of several lectures presented by Timothy Cheek at the University of Illinois in June and at the occasion of Czech and Slovak Voice competition organized by the University of Wisconsin in November. Kapralova was also included in the syllabus of the course Antropologicke aspekty hudby offered by the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the West Bohemian University in Pilsen.
Kapralova's life and music continued to inspire the work of fellow artists. Daniela Kosinova's Omnia vincit amor, a three-movement composition for lower voice and string quartet, was inspired by Kapralova's story, while Kapralova's poem Chaloupka was an inspiration for a song composed by the talented eight-year-old Katerina Kraftova. The list of projects and initiatives inspired by or dedicated to Kapralova would not be complete without mentioning a monument dedicated to Kapralova, erected last year in Kapralova's beloved summer retreat Tri Studne. This project was an initiative of Josef Kapral of Kapralova's estate.
women in music and czech music in exile
Our online resources on Kapralova and other women in music continue to expand, and information on Kapralova is now available in 6 languages: English, Czech, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Our online collection of artist portraits now also include a webpage promoting Susan Campos, a conductor from Costa Rica. Last year, we were also proud to support the first profile CD of the women composers collective Hudbaby (Musicrones) from the Czech Republic. The CD was released in June by LOTOS, an independent Czech label in Prague.
Another online initiative of our society - Czech Music in Exile - promotes music of sixteen Czech composers who left their native Czechoslovakia during last century to escape either fascist or communist regimes. The project is designed to preserve and protect the memory of these gifted composers, some of whom remain little known in their native country. Last year we created a page dedicated to one of them, Czech-American composer Jeronym Zajicek.
We wish to thank the following artists who promoted the composer's music in Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States during 2003 (in alphabetical order): Dana Buresova, Kevin Bylsma, Claudio Canal, Magda Caslavova, Timothy Cheek, Anthony Elliot, Carola Emrich, Erik Entwistle, Iva Fleischhansova, Viviane Goergen, Caroline Helton, Herold Quartet, Daniela Hlinkova, Andrew Jennings, Kapralova Quartet, Jonathan Kelly, Vera Kohoutkova, Jacqueline Metcalf, Douglas Morrison, Cornelia Mühlenhoff, Jill L. Pearon, Amy Porter, Stephen Shipps, Kira Slovacek, Ladislava Vondrackova, and West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra.
We would also like to thank our partners, friends, and all the others who promoted Kapralova and assisted our work in 2003: Amos Editio, Rob Barnett, Ingeborg Baumgartner, Elke Mascha Blankenburg, Teresa Blaszke, Helena Cerna, Timothy Cheek, Chicago Radio Network, Ci-Femmes Luxembourg, Liane Curtis, Czech Radio 3 (Vltava), Czech Radio 7 (Praha), Czech Radio Publishing House, Editio Baerenreiter, Lidmila Dankova, Erik Entwistle, Emilia Esserova, Andrea Fajkusova, FRAGMENT, Eugene Gates, Harris Goldsmith, Petr Hanousek, Paul Hartl, Hartl Sala Bell LLP, Ludmila Hatrick, Klaus Heiliger, Jan Hlavac, Hochschule für Musik Köln, Ludmila and Josef Holanovi, Constanze Holze, IAWM Journal, International Festival of Film on Art in Montreal, Alena Jelenkova, Bohuslava Jelinkova, Gabriele Knapp, Josef Kapral, Matej Kratochvil, Marie Kucerova, Alena Lukasova, Jiri Macek, Bohuslav Martinu Society of Zlin, Frantisek Matejka, Eve R. Meyer, Veroslav Nemec, Pavel Novotny, Anna Ohlidalova, Fred McGregor, Opus Musicum, Nabila Ramdani, Marvin Rosen, Jaroslav Rybar, Kass Sunderji, Supraphon Records, Vera Sustikova, Gregory Terian, University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Michigan School of Music, University of Michigan TV Channel 22, Marco del Vaglio, Alena Vesela, Petr Vit, Ludmila Vrkocova, Hanus Weigl, WPRB Princeton, Jiri Zahradka, Jeronym Zajicek, and Petr Zizka.Prepared by Karla Hartl, Chair, The Kapralova Society. Toronto, March 2004.