Born Mar. 11, 1881, in Modřany, near Prague; died July 2, 1957, in Prague. Czech cellist and teacher. People’s Artist of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1947).
Zelenka studied with J. Burian at the Prague Conservatory (1896–1902) and with H. Becker in Frankfurt am Main (1902–04). From 1904 to 1911 he taught at the Musical Conservatory of the Odessa Section of the Russian Music Society. He played in O. Ševčík’s Quartet (1911–13) and was a member of the Bohemian (Czech) String Quartet (1913–32) and the Czech Trio (1934–45) in Prague. He was a soloist and was especially noted for his performance of Dvořák’s Concerto. Zelenka’s performance was distinguished by a striking tone, perfect technique, and a fine feeling for style. In 1922 he became professor of chamber music at the Prague Conservatory and in 1928 of the cello. He became a professor at the Master School in 1936, and from 1946 to 1957 he was a professor at the Academy of Musical Arts. Among Zelenka’s students are K. P. Sádlo, V. Černý, I. Večtomov, and S. Večtomov.