Chalabala, Zdenek

Chalabala, Zdeněk


Born Apr. 18, 1899, in Uherské Hradiště; died Mar. 4, 1962, in Prague. Czechoslovak conductor. People’s Artist of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1958).

Chalabala studied conducting with F. Neumann from 1919 to 1922 and composition with L. Janaček in 1925 and 1926. He founded the Slovak Philharmonic Society and served as its director from 1924 to 1926. From 1925 to 1936 and from 1949 to 1952 he conducted opera at the National Theater in Brno, and from 1936 to 1945 and from 1953 to 1962 he was conductor and producer at the National Theater in Prague, to which he returned in 1953. From 1945 to 1949, Chalabala was director of the Opera in Ostrava, and from 1949 to 1952 he held the same post at the State Theater in Brno. In 1952 and 1953 he was chief opera conductor at the National Theater in Bratislava.

An exponent of Russian music, Chalabala conducted classical Russian operas in Brno and between 1956 and 1959 conducted Russian, Soviet, and Czech operas in Moscow. In 1959 he conducted Dvořák’s The Water Sprite and in 1961, Prokofiev’s The Tale of a Real Man in Leningrad. He performed on tour in many countries. Chalabala composed a number of musical works, and he contributed articles to Czechoslovak periodicals.