The year 2009 was yet another eventful year, notable for the number of premiere performances of Kapralova's orchestral music. The Society has been able to support two of them: the US East Coast premiere of Partita, performed by Virginia Eskin and the Chamber Orchestra of Boston, conducted by David Feltner on February 6, and the UK premiere of Partita, performed by the Helios Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Owen Leech on November 21. The Society also assisted the Austrian premiere of Partita, performed by Hisako Kawamura and the 1st Frauen-Kammerorchester von Osterreich, conducted by Daniel Inbal in Vienna on October 28. Other notable performances included the world premiere (or a first known concert performance) of Kapralova's piano miniature Ostinato Fox, performed by Virginia Eskin at the Beth El Temple Center in Belmont, MA on January 25, a performance of Partita by Karel Kosarek and the Sinfonietta Cracovia conducted by Kaspar Zehnder at the Concentus Moraviae Festival on June 11, a performance of Military Sinfonietta by the Pilsen Philharmonic conducted by Tomas Brauner on October 29, and the US East Coast premiere of Prélude de Noël, performed by the NY University Community Orchestra conducted by Roger Mahadeen, on December 9.
Among the most often performed Kapralova's works last year were April Preludes and the string quartet, closely followed by Partita for Piano and Strings and Kapralova's art songs Waving Farewell and Forever. Kapralova's music was programmed by five music festivals in the Czech Republic and Austria last year: the Antonin Dvorak Festival in May, the Concentus Moraviae Festival and the Martinu Festival Vienna 2009 in June, and the Moravian Autumn Festival and the 12th International Festival of Concert Melodrama in October. Among them the most important for the composer's music was the Concentus Moraviae Festival, last year dedicated to women composers, where Kapralova reigned over the festival program with no less than four compositions: the String Quartet, Grotesque Passacaglia, April Preludes, and Partita for Piano and Strings.
The composer's music was also featured in three radio series: the BBC Lunchtime Concert Series "Martinu and Friends" (a BBC recording of a live performance by the Skampa Quartet of Kapralova's only string quartet), the Woman in Music series, written and produced by Tom Quick for CKWR Waterloo, Ontario (the Koch Records CD recording of April Preludes and Elegy; and the Centaur Records CD recording of Forever), and the WPRB Princeton series In Praise of Woman (the Studio Matous CD recording of Partita). The most important among radio programs that featured the music of Vitezslava Kapralova, however, was the program of the Czech Radio (Brno Studio) "Hudebni forum z Brna s Janem Hlavacem" (Music Forum from Brno, with Jan Hlavac) that compared the then available recordings of Sonata Appassionata (Virginia Eskin for Koch Records, 2008 and Alice Rajnohova for Czech Radio, 2009). Kapralova's music was also featured on national television: the Czech Television 2 programmed Sinfonietta Cracovia's performance of Partita (recorded live during the Concentus Moraviae Festival) and the 2001 television documentary The Last Concertino. In total, Kapralova's music was featured in 19 radio and television broadcasts, and the participating radio and television stations included four national broadcasters: BBC 3, Radio Vara 4 (the Netherlands), Czech Radio 3 and Czech Television 2.
Among the most important initiatives of the last year, however, was the publication of the first, complete edition of Kapralova's works for violin and piano, an initiative undertaken in partnership with the University of Michigan School of Music (Timothy Cheek and Stephen Shipps) and Amos Editio in Prague. The much anticipated edition, originally intended to coincide with the release of the same works by Koch Records in 2008, is now available from the publisher and his distributors (e.g. Harrassowitz).
In 2009, Kapralova's music received a number of favourable reviews in music journals, magazines, newspapers, and online platforms. Most of them concerned the Albany Records and Centaur Records CD releases from the previous year and appeared in Fanfare Magazine (a review by Robert Maxham), Strings Magazine (Heather Scott), The Strad (Catherine Nelson), the IAWM Journal (Nadine Sine) and the Journal of Singing (Gregory Berg). The US East Coast premiere of Partita was reviewed by Liane Curtis for wophil.blogspot.com and by David Weininger for The Boston Globe, while the UK premiere of Partita received important previews in Classical Music Magazine and in Artjournal.com (Norman Lebrecht). The Czech Radio 3 broadcast of Sonata Appassionata was favourably reviewed by A Tempo Revue (Lukas Sommer) and GITU (Milus Kotisova).
In addition, several biographical features on Kapralova were published online last year, all drawing on research published over the years by the Society. The most important among these was an article by Joseph Colomb, published on the French language online platform musicabohemica.blogspot.com. Kapralova was also included in several syllabi of women in music courses offered in 2009 (Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland and University of Palacky in Olomouc), and was a subject of a doctoral dissertation (Tereza Jandura, University of Arizona).
Kapralova's life and music was also promoted in an exhibit “The Life and Work of Bohuslav Martinu, Vitezslava Kapralova, and Jan Novak in Documents” presented by the Moravian Museum Department of Music History in Brno in April and May. The most unlikely yet enormously effective promotion that the composer received last year, however, was the Man Booker Prize nominated novel The Glass Room by British writer Simon Mawer. Kapralova made brief appearances in the critically acclaimed novel and her name was mentioned in association with the book in several important reviews. Judging from the novel, Mawer has been genuinely intrigued by Kapralova's character as well as her music, so much so that in the Author's Note printed in the novel he specifically mentioned her name, urging the reader to find out more about the composer and her country.
women in music
In 2009, the Society published the seventh volume of its online journal of women in music, The Kapralova Society Journal. The spring issue included Part II of the text by Jennifer Kelly “Contemporary American Women Composers and Their Choral Music”, and Camilla Hambro's feature “Agathe Backer Grøndahl (1847-1907): A perfectly plain woman?”. The fall issue featured the articles “Clara Schumann: A Composer's Wife as Composer,” by Eugene Gates, and “Vernacular and Classical: An Appalachian Marriage in the Work of Jennifer Higdon,” written for the journal by Christina Reitz.
The Society's women in music online resources continue to attract visitors to our website and receive positive feedback from music libraries, classical music radio stations, and classical music discussion groups and weblogs. We continue to facilitate reviews and broadcasts of women composers' music, and occasionally support their CD releases. In 2009, the Society was proud to support two recording projects: a jazz album of Czech composer Daniela Kosinova, and a second CD of the composer group Hudbaby (MusiCrones), a remarkable project inspired by Janacek's music for his muse Kamila Stösslova. Both CDs are to be released in Spring 2010 in Prague.
We wish to thank the following artists who performed the composer's music in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States in 2009 (in alphabetical order): 1. Frauen-Kammerorchester von Osterreich, Dorota Anderszewski, Karolina Berkova-Bubleova, Sibongile Boyd, Tomas Brauner, Cristi Catt, The Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Marketa Cukrova, Andrew Dixon, Erik Entwistle, Virginia Eskin, David Feltner, Stepan Filipek, Renate Graupner, the Helios Chamber Orchestra, Christopher Hinterhuber, Daniel Inbal, Katerina Janda-Prokopova, Katerina Julickova, Juventus Collegium FOK, Magdalena Kadlecova, the Kapralova Quartet, Martin Kasik, Hisako Kawamura, Tomas Klement, Karel Kosarek, Iva Kramperova, Ute Kussmaul, Owen Leech, Roger Mahadeen, Lisa Marut, Sara Matayoshi, Petra Matejova, The New York University Community Orchestra, Jessica Paul, Jaroslava Pechocova, Klaus Penzien, Pilsen Philharmonic, Alice Rajnohova, Margaret Reitz, Ulrike Reutlinger, Ludek Sabaka, Christine Seitz, Miroslav Sekera, the Sinfonietta Cracovia, Christophe Sirodeau, the Skampa Quartet, Martin Smahel, Terezie Smahelova, Daria Titova, Daniela Tosic, Cyrille Tricoire, Marta Vaskova, Marketa Viterova, Valerie Zawadska, and Kaspar Zehnder.
We would also like to thank our partners, friends, and all the others who assisted our efforts in 2009: A Tempo Revue, Amos Editio, artsjournal.com, Vojtech Babka, BBC 3, Michael Beckerman, Gregory Berg, Pavel Bilek, Marta Blalock, The Boston Globe, Ales Brezina, cdmusic.com, Timothy Cheek, CKWR Waterloo, Classical Music Magazine, Joseph Colomb, The Contentus Moraviae Festival, Liane Curtis, The Czech Female President Society, Czech Radio (Studio Brno), Czech Radio 3 (Vltava), Czech Radio D-Dur, Czech Television 2, Lidmila Dankova, Susan DelGiorno, Thea Derks, The Antonin Dvorak Festival, Jan Egerle, Erik Entwistle, Fanfare Magazine, Eugene Gates, GITU, Camilla Hambro, Paul Hartl, Jan Hlavac, The IAWM Journal, The 12th International Festival of Concert Melodrama, the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts Faculty of Music, Journal of Singing, Kapralova's estate, Jennifer Kelly, Lenka Kilic, Milus Kotisova, Walter Labhart, Norman Lebrecht, the Longy School of Music, Judith Mabary, Jiri Macek, The Martinu Festival Vienna 2009, Simon Mawer, Robert Maxham, Jaroslav Mihule, Kathryn Mishell, The Moravian Autumn Festival, The Moravian Museum Department of Music History, Musée Fabre, musicabohemica.blogspot.com, Veroslav Nemec, New York University, Miroslav Novotny, Anna Picard, Tom Quick, Radio Proglas, Ton Regtop, Christina Reitz, Marvin Rosen, Victor Sachse, Heather K. Scott, Stephen Shipps, Nadine Sine, Jan-Olof Sjostrom, Lukas Sommer, Angela Storti, Strings Magazine, Vera Sustikova, The Temple Beth El Social Action Committee, Anne Tortora, University of Michigan School of Music, University of Oklahoma, Marco del Vaglio, Vara Radio 4, David Weininger, WGBH Boston, wophil.blogspot.com, WPRB Princeton, and ZUS Vitezslavy Kapralove.Prepared by Karla Hartl, Chair, The Kapralova Society. Toronto, April 2010.