Ludvík Čelanský - Biography


Jan Čelanský, Ludvík's father, worked as a kapellmeister in Horní Krupá (Havlíčkův Brod district). Ludvík studied at the gymnasium in Havlíčkův Brod, and from 1887 to 1891 at the teaching institute in Kutná Hora. He worked as a teacher in Dolní Krupá for one year before devoting himself exclusively to music. From 1892 to 1894 he studied composition with K. Stecker at the Prague Conservatory, then at the dramatic school of the National Theatre and at Pivoda Operatic School. Čelanský was engaged as a kapellmeister at the opera house in Plzeň until 1895, in Zagreb from 1898 to 1899, and then as the third kapellmeister of the National Theatre Orchestra. He was forced to withdraw in 1900 when Karel Kovařovic took the administration of the theatre.

Čelanský left for Lviv, where he established the opera house. Following his return, in 1901, he founded the Czech Philharmonic with striking members of the National Theatre Orchestra. However, he yielded the administration of the orchestra to Oskar Nedbal and returned to Lviv where he founded another institution - the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra (1902–1904). He simultaneously led the opera stages in Kraków and in Łódź and was engaged as a director of the Philharmonic Orchestra in Kiev (from 1904 to 1905) and Warsaw (from 1905 to 1906). In 1907 Čelanský established an opera house in the Vinohrady district of Prague. Later he became the director of the Apollo Theatre in Paris (from 1909). In recognition of his performances of the works of Jacques Offenbach, Čelanský was appointed an officer of L'Académie française. During World War I, he refused the post of director at the comic opera in New York. Following the Czechoslovak proclamation of independence in 1918, Čelanský became the director of the Czech Philharmonic again, but was soon replaced by Václav Talich. Čelanský spent his later years in Prague, where he worked as a music teacher. During these years he recorded two of Dvořák's Slavonic Dances for HMV with a group of musicians from the National Theatre.

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