Opera Scotland

Jaroslav Krombholc Suggest updates

Born Prague, 30 January 1918.

Died Prague, 16 July 1983.

Czech conductor and composer.

Jaroslav Krombholc studied with Vitezslav Novák, Otakar Ostrcil and Vaclav Talich.  and joined the Prague National Theatre in 1940 as a staff conductor, staying until 1944. He spent one year as music director at Ostrava, before returning to Prague as chief conductor. He stayed there for the rest of his career, conducting most of the company’s repertoire. He did not work much outside Czechoslovakia, but did visit Vienna, Budapest and Stuttgart as well as London.

His two visits to Covent Garden were for his British debut to conduct Boris Godunov (1959) and then The Bartered Bride (1961). In 1978 he paid a visit to the Coliseum (where Sir Charles Mackerras, with close links to Prague, was chief conductor) to conduct ENO’s production of Don Giovanni, an opera originally premiered in Prague.

He brought his National Theatre company to two Edinburgh Festivals in 1964 and 1970. On the first visit he conducted Kátya Kabanová and the British premieres of Resurrection and Dalibor. In 1970 he also conducted The Bartered Bride, repeated Dalibor, and gave the British premiere of The Excursions of Mr Brouček.



He recorded a significant number of Czech operas, including works by Smetana (Dalibor - twice, LibušeThe Two Widows - twice, The Secret), Dvořák (Rusalka), Janáček (Kátya Kabanová), and Martinu (Julietta).

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