The year 2019 saw one of the busiest concert seasons featuring Kapralova’s music and certainly one that was the most international so far, as performances took place in fifteen countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. The year was also notable for two new CD releases of Kapralova’s music by Delos Music and Ars Production, which increased the composer’s discography to 35 releases to date.Recordings
There were two new commercial releases of Kapralova’s music last year. Ars Production (Germany) released in July the Pianistische Miniaturen von Komponistinnen CD, a recording of piano miniatures by women composers, which also included Kapralova’s April Preludes, performed by Swiss pianist Viviane Goergen. Delos Music’s Perspectives CD, released in November, is the brainchild of violinist Dawn Wohn, of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts. Together with pianist Esther Park, they have chosen a unique repertoire that promotes some of the best works for violin and piano by both historical and contemporary women composers. Kapralova is represented on the disc by her Legend (1932).Performances
This past year offered a number of premieres in several countries of Kaprálová’s piano, vocal, and chamber music: her Leden (January) for voice and quintet was performed for the first time in the Netherlands and Switzerland, Elegie (Elegy) for violin and piano in Austria, the For Ever songs in Finland and Spain, and April Preludes in Ireland and Spain. The most eagerly awaited performance of the year, however, was the composer’s Partita for Piano and Strings, presented as part of the Venus Unwrapped Concert Series at Kings Place, London, and performed by Noriko Ogawa and the English Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Woods. The work and the performance garnered some highly favourable reviews (see further). Kapralova’s music was also performed at six festivals last year (Concentus Moraviae Festival, Gradus ad Parnassum Festival of Ostrava, Ellas Crean Festival in Madrid, Chopin Festival of Marianske lazne, Moravian Autumn Festival in Brno and Martinu Festival in Basel), and it was part of four series (Prague Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series, Richmond Chamber Players’ Interlude Series, the Venus Unwrapped Concert Series, and the Dublin Chamber Music Female Composer Series). Furthermore, the composer’s songs were performed by several young singers at the biannual American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition, produced by the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. Amy Moode from Toronto won the competition prize for the best interpretation of a Kapralova song. Finally, Divadlo Viola, which was founded in Prague in 1963 as a premiere theatre specializing in poetry and music, presented “Z listu Vitezslavy Kapralove” (From the Correspondence of Vitezslava Kapralova), featuring Tatjana Medvecka (reading from the composer’s correspondence published by the Kapralova Society) and the Kapralova Quartet (performing the composer’s only string quartet). The program was offered as part of the Prague Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series (dramaturgy Martin Rudovsky).Broadcasts
There were 13 radio broadcasts and 2 webcasts featuring Kapralova’s music in 2019. Participating broadcasters were from Canada, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States and included three national broadcasters (BBC Radio, CBC Radio and Czech Radio), and two public / community radios (95bFM Auckland and WGTE-FM Classical Toledo, Ohio). Czech Radio 3 produced a 65-minute program entirely dedicated to Kapralova, “Koncert tydne: Okouzleni Vitezslavou Kapralovou” (Concert of the Week: Enchanted by Vitezslava Kapralova), which featured performances from the 2nd edition of the International Festival of Slavic Music that took place in Ostrava in November 2018. The 95bFM Auckland (New Zealand) broadcast “The Audible World: 20th-Century Women Composers,” a two-hour radio program featuring music by Amy Beach, Germaine Tailleferre, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, Grace Williams, Elizabeth Maconchy, Geraldine Thomson-Mucha, Grazyna Bacewicz, Galina Ustvolskaya, Lili Boulanger, and Vitezslava Kapralova, whose music and life story was also alloted the most generous time slot.Publications, articles, reviews
In 2019, Czech Radio made available Kapralova’s Two Choruses for Women’s Voices a cappella (eds. Lucie Slivonová and Robert Škarda, foreword Karla Hartl). In addition, previews and reviews of performances and recordings of the composer’s music appeared in a number of periodicals and online blogs. The English Symphony performance of Partita was favourably reviewed by Musical Opinion (Guy Rickards), Classical Source (Robert Matthew-Walker), and Classical Music Daily (Keith Bramich). Performance of the composer’s song Sbohem a satecek (Waving farewell) by the soprano / pianist duo Bockova and Vaskova received favourable reviews in Opera Plus (Karla Hofmannova and Ondrej Musil). In addition, Gramola discs (Kapralova’s Concertino for violin, clarinet and orchestra, songs For Ever and Ritournelle pour violoncelle et piano) were reviewed for Kapralova Society Journal by Peter Herbert and Karla Hartl. Kapralova was also the subject of three articles: by Pat Kremer (LCMS Magazine), Karla Hartl (Kapralova Society Journal), and George Henderson (Off the Tracks).
Women in Music
In 2019 we published the seventeenth volume of the Kapralova Society Journal. Karla Hartl’s article “Kapralova as a Composer of the Week: The BBC Interview” appeared in the spring issue, while Ludwig Semerjian’s research “Clara Schumann: New Cadenzas for Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor. Romantic Visions of a Classical Masterpiece” was published in the fall issue, a timely contribution to the world-wide celebration of Clara Schumann’s bicentenary.
Our women in music internet project continued to attract visitors to the society website also in 2019. Among them, the database of women composers has remained the most popular but all the other resources received increased traffic last year. Most importantly, the number of college libraries that link to our Woman Composer Question bibliography and Kapralova Society Journal has been also growing steadily over the years, attesting to their increased relevance, particularly to young musicians and musicologists. In 2019, our resources on women in music were also mentioned by Matthew Hoch and Linda Lister in their guide So You Want to Sing Music by Women, a project of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
We would like to thank all of those who helped promote the music and the memory of Vitezslava Kapralova:
and all the others: 95bFM Auckland, American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition, AntoniterCityKirche Koeln, Ars Production, Balabanov House Music, Bargemusic, Jindriska Bartova, BBC Radio 3, Jessica Bogado, Keith Bramich, Paul Burik, CBC Radio, Central Washington University Department of Music, Centre Tcheque Paris, Centrum Bohuslava Martinu v Policce, Cesky hudebni slovnik online, Chamber Music Female Composer Series (Dublin), Chopin Festival (Marianske lazne), Classical Music Daily, Classical Source, College de Maisonneuve (Montreal), Concentus Moraviae Festival, Cornell University, Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center (Temple, Texas), Czech Museum of Music (Prague), Czech Radio 3, Czech Radio Archives (Brno), Czech Radio Publishing House, Delos Music, Patrick Devine, Divadlo Viola, Katherine Duncan, ELLAS CREAN Festival, Erik Entwistle, Escuela Superior de Canto in Madrid, Ferst Center for the Arts, Peter Fribbings, Fundacion Juan March (Madrid), Eugene Gates, Viviane Goergen, GRADUS AD PARNASSUM: the 4th Annual Festival of Instructive Piano Music, Martin Handley, George Henderson, Peter Herbert, Matthew Hoch, Karla Hofmannova, Monika Hola, Jana Honzikova, Marketa Kabelkova, Kings Place London, knihovna Slezskeho zemskeho muzea v Opave, Robert Kolinsky, Ted Krejsa, Pat Kremer, LCMS Magazine, Linda Lister, Susana Martin, Vera Martinkova, Martinu Festival (Basel), Robert Matthew-Walker, Tatjana Medvecka, Eve Meyer, Jaroslav Mihule, Moravian Autumn Festival 2019, Moravian Museum Department of Music History (Brno), Musical Opinion, Ondrej Musil, Naprstkovo museum (Prague), National Association of Teachers of Singing, Lenka Nota, Pavel Novotny, Off the Tracks, Opera Plus, Ostrava University Faculty of the Arts, Esther Park, Piano Salon Christophori Berlin, Ondrej Pivoda, Prague Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series, Princeton University Concerts, Alice Rajnohova, Guy Rickards, Richmond Chamber Players’ Interlude Series, Martin Rudovsky, Guy Sauve, Zoja Seyckova, S.F. Botanical Garden, Robert Skarda, Lucie Slivonova, Spolek Nas Martinu, Iveta Svobodova, Ivana Kalina Tabak, Theater Basel, Chris Trotman, Turun Konservatorio, University of Wisconsin, the Venus Unwrapped Concert Series (Kings Place, London), Helen Wallace, Washington Performing Arts, Waterlooo Chamber Music Society, WGTE-FM Classical, Natalie Widmer, Dawn Wohn, and Sarka Zahradkova.
This report is by Karla Hartl, Chair, The Kapralova Society. Toronto, January 1, 2020.