Czech Music in Exile

Rafael Kubelik

Rafael Kubelik (1914-1996)
The Composer

Rafael Kubelik was born in Bychory, near Kolin, on June 29, 1914 as a child of famous Czech violinist Jan Kubelik and Hungarian countess Marianne Csaky-Szell. During 1929-1933 he studied composition and conducting (as well as piano and violin) at the Prague Conservatory. In 1939 he was appointed Music Director of the Brno Opera, a position he held until 1941 when the theatre was closed by the Nazis. In 1941 Kubelik succeeded Vaclav Talich as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic. In 1948 Kubelik left communist Czechoslovakia and made a remarkable career as music director and chief conductor of major world orchestras and opera houses that included Chicago Symphony, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan, and Sinfonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra). In 1967 he became a Swiss citizen. In 1985 Kubelik retired from conducting. He interrupted his retirement only to conduct the Czech Philharmonic at the 1990 Prague Spring Festival, after the fall of the communist regime that had made him to live most of his life in exile. Rafael Kubelik died in Kastanienbaum near Lucerne on August 11, 1996.

Although primarily known for his conducting career, Rafael Kubelik was also an accomplished composer. It is his music to which this page is dedicated.

(For Rafael Kubelik, the Conductor, visit

Selected works

Piano solo


Chamber music

Violin Sonata
Dumka for violin and piano
Nocturne for viola, flute, horn, harp, and piano
Five Pieces for violin and piano
Piano Trio
String Quartet No. 1
String Quartet No. 2
String Quartet No. 3 "Fantasy"
String Quartet No. 4
String Quartet No. 5
String Quartet No. 6

Orchestral music

Fantasy for violin and orchestra
Symphony I
Three Symphonic Pictures
Concerto for Violin and Strings
Concertino for Flute and Chamber Orchestra
Cello Concerto
Piano Concerto
Violin Concerto
Symphony II
Symphony III
"Peripatie" for Organ and Orchestra
Sequences for Orchestra
Symphony in 3 movements "Orphikon"


Songs, for medium voice, flute, and piano on text by Jiri Mucha
Songs on lyrics by A.S. Puskin
Lyrics on Water
Children's Ballads, for voice and string sextet


Small Inventions and Interludes in Church Modes, for children's choir, four oboes and four trumpets [ rec. Czech Radio]
Mass, for children's choir and string quartet
Mass a capella
Stabat Mater
Requiem Pro Memoria Uxoris
Inventions & Interludes, for children's chorus, 4 oboes, & 4 trumpets


Scenic Symphony, for choir and large orchestra on text by Jiri Mucha
Pro Memoria Patris
Pejme pisen novou (Let Us Sing a New Song). Symphonic Drama
Libera nos
Cantata without words


Veronika (Libretto by Dalibor C. Faltis)
Emperor's New Clothes (Libretto by Andersen - Koval)
The Flowers of Little Ida (Libretto "Kvetinky male Idy" by Andersen - Koval)
The Chodsko Wedding (Libretto "Chodska svatba" by Dalibor C. Faltis)
Tizian (Libretto by Dalibor C. Faltis)
Cornelia Faroli