The year 2018, in which we also celebrated the twentieth anniversary of our society, was yet another great year for Kapralova, particularly notable for an unprecedented number of digital and CD releases of her music. The publishing of Kapralova’s orchestral score Suite en miniature by Czech Radio, which also produced a number of new radio documentaries about the composer, as well as several country premieres of Kapralova’s music were among other noteworthy projects.Recordings
There were five commercial releases of Kapralova’s music last year. Wave Theory Records (UK) and Czech Radio made the music available in digital download, while Clavier and Gramola (Austria) released three compact discs with several works by Kapralova. The Wave Theory release entitled Four Women featured Kapralova’s Sonata Appassionata and April Preludes together with Florence Price’s Sonata in E Minor, Margaret Bonds’s Troubled Water and Ethel Edith Bilsland’s piano miniatures The Birthday Party. The performer was Samantha Ege, a British pianist currently based in Singapore. Czech Radio made available its archival recordings of Suite en miniature for chamber orchestra (Pilsen Radio Orchestra with Josef Blacky), Variations sur le Carillon (Jarmila Kozderkova), April Preludes for piano (Bozena Pidermannova) and the composer’s three pieces for violin and piano: Legend, Burlesque, and Elegy (Ondrej Lebr and Martin Kasik). Gramola’s first release featured Kapralova’s Concertino for Violin, Clarinet and Orchestra (with Thomas Albertus Irnberger, Reinhard Wieser and Wiener Concert-Verein conducted by Doron Salomon); the second release included Kapralova’s Ritournelle pour violoncelle et piano (Franz Bartolomey and Clemens Zeilinger), the song cycle Navzdy and Liebesliedchen, an unexpected world premiere of a German language version of Koleda milostna (from the song collection Vteriny) (performed by Hermine Haselbock and Clemens Zeilinger). Equally unexpected was the German version of Kapralova's melodrama To Karel Capek, performed by Ehrbar-Ensemble (in a version for flute instead of violin), offered by Clavier on a disc "Er und Sie", featuring the music by Kapralova, Chaminade, Poulenc, Lili Boulanger, Clara Schumann, Chopin, Massenet, Horrocks, Hensel, and Mendelssohn.Performances
The past year offered several country premieres of Kapralova’s orchestral and choral music: the German premieres of Piano Concerto in D Minor (Yejin Gil and Bochumer Symphoniker under the baton of Steven Sloane) and Suita Rustica (FOP Orchestra conducted by Mary Ellen Kitchens) and the British premiere of Two Choruses for Women’s Voices (Commotio Choir of Oxford, conducted by Matthew Berry). Another much awaited performance was Steven Isserlis’s rendition of Ritournelle pour violoncelle et piano (with Connie Shih). Other notable performances took place in the Czech Republic: the Prague Symphony Orchestra (conductor Olga Machonova-Pavlu) programmed Kapralova’s Military Sinfonietta, while the International Festival of Slavic Music in Ostrava featured Kapralova’s chamber music and art songs in a special program Skladatelske legendy (Composer Legends). The composer’s music was also presented at a record number of eight festivals and concert series. These included the aforementioned international festival in Ostrava (Czech Republic), the frauenkomponiert Festival (Basel, Switzerland), Music by Women Festival (Columbus, USA), Vinehall International Concert Series (Robertsbridge, UK), Days of Slovak Culture (Moravska Trebova, Czech Republic), Forfest Festival (Kromeriz, Czech Republic), Cheltenham Music Festival (Cheltenham, UK), and Delft Chamber Music Festival (Delft, The Netherlands). Kapralova’s music was also heard at two competitions last year (Joy of Singing International Art Song Competition in New York and Historical Women Composers Competition at the Royal Academy of Music in London), at a conference (Ohio Music Teachers Association Conference), a masterclass (Oberlin Conservatory) and during the Czech Vocal Literature Course (University of Michigan School of Music).Broadcasts
There were 14 radio broadcasts and 2 webcasts featuring Kapralova’s music in 2018. Participating broadcasters were from the Czech Republic, France and the United Kingdom and included three national broadcasters (Czech Radio, Radio France, and BBC Radio) and one community radio (Planet of Sound). Czech Radio (Czech Radio Plus, Czech Radio 2 and Czech Radio 3) produced four original radio documentaries of various length dedicated to Kapralova. As usual, the Czech Radio 3 programming was the most substantial and best researched. It comprised a 30-minute episode from the series Kontexty (broadcast on April 13) and a 105-minute episode from the prime time series Akademie (broadcast on November 13). The latter program also included a tribute to the work our society has done for Kapralova’s musical legacy over the past twenty years.Publications, articles, reviews
In 2018, Czech Radio made available an orchestral score of Kapralova’s Suite en miniature (eds. Lucie Slivonova and Robert Skarda, foreword Karla Hartl). In addition, reviews of performances and recordings of the composer’s music appeared in several periodicals and online blogs. The Prague Symphony performance of Military Sinfonietta was reviewed for OperaPlus (Jindrich Balek) and the Wave Theory Records digital release Four Women was reviewed in the IAWM Journal and the Kapralova Society Journal (Judith Mabary), Limelight Magazine (Lisa MacKinney), Sybaritic Singer (Cara Search), and megsnewmusicblog (Megan Wilhoite). Kapralova was also the subject of an article by Armando Enriquez published by Mamaejecutiva.net. Furthermore, Kapralova’s Tales for a Small Flute, two miniatures for flute and piano from 1940, received an entry in Compendium Musicae Flauta, the Edizioni Smasher catalogue of flute music by women composers (ed. Vilma Campatelli).
Women in Music
The sixteenth volume of our journal, Kapralova Society Journal, featured articles of Samantha Ege and Tom Moore, and reviews by Jaroslav Mihule, Judith Mabary, and Karla Hartl. Ege’s feature “Florence Price and the Politics of Her Existence” was printed in the spring issue, while Moore’s text “Three Nineteenth Century Composers of Salon Music: Leonie Tonel, Maddalena Croff, Elisa Bosch” was published in the fall issue.
We would like to thank all of those who helped us promote the music and the memory of Vitezslava Kapralova:
Others: American Friends of the Czech Republic, Jindrich Balek, BBC Radio 3, Michael Beckerman, Simon Birch, Brandon University, British High Commission Singapore, Elizabeth de Brito, Vilma Campitelli, Cheltenham Festival, Cleveland State University, Gabriela Coufalova, Czech Radio 2, Czech Radio 3 (Vltava), Czech Radio (Ostrava), Czech Radio Plus, Czech Radio Publishing House, The Daffodil Perspective, Days of Slovak Culture Festival, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Patrick Devine, Edizioni Smasher, Armando Enriques, EntArteOpera, Erik Entwistle, Forfest Festival, france musique webradio, frauenkomponiert Festival Basel, Eugene Gates, Gramola, Peter Herbert, Monika Hola, Jessica Horsley, Dita Hradecka, IAWM Journal, International Festival of Slavic Music, JAMU, Joy in Singing International Art Song Competition, Martin a Lucie Kajzarovi, Vitezslava Kapralova Art School, Kennedy Center Washington, Kings Place London, Klub moravskych skladatelu, Zuzana Kubisova, Marie Kucerova, Jaroslav Kvapil Art School, Petra & Ralph-Robert Lichterfeld, Limelight Magazine, Judith Mabary, Lisa MacKinney, Meeting Brno Festival, The Bohuslav Martinu Center in Policka, Megsnewmusicblog, Eve Meyer, Jaroslav Mihule, Mississipi University for Women, MSWorks, Music by Women Festival, Lenka Nota, Oberlin Conservatory, OperaPlus, Planet of Sound web radio, ProSeries, Radioservis, Radioteka, Anne-Charlotte Remond, Royal Academy of Music London, Cara Search, Zoja Seyckova, Robert Skarda, Lucie Slivonova, Sybaritic Singer, Susanne Thomasberger, University of Michigan School of Music, University of Redlands, Veveri Art School, Vinehall International Concert Series, Helen Wallace, Wave Theory Records, Wigmore Hall London, Megan Willhoite, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Petr Zaruba, ZUS Ilji Hurnika.
Prepared by Karla Hartl, Chair, The Kapralova Society. Toronto, January 1, 2019.