(Ján Bogumír Práč). Born in the mid-18th century in Silesia; died 1818 in St. Petersburg. Russian musical folklorist, composer, and educator. Of Czech origin.
Prach began working in St. Petersburg in the late 1770’s, teaching piano at the Smol’nyi Institute and the Theatrical School. He is best known as the joint compiler (with N.A. L’vov) of the Collection of Russian Folk Songs With Their Parts (1790; latest edition 1955). Prach harmonized the melodies, a number of which he took from V.F. Trutovskii’s collection of 1776. His collection for voice and piano is an extremely valuable source of Russian musical folklore. Its melodies have been utilized by many Russian composers, as well as by Beethoven—in his String Quartet, Opus 59—and by Rossini.
Prach composed works primarily for the piano including sonatas and variations on Russian folk themes. He also wrote a manual entitled The Complete School for the Piano (1816).
REFERENCESFindeizen, N.F. “Dva stareishikh pechatnykh sbornika narodnykh pesen.” In Sbornik statei ν chest’ akademika A. I. Sobolevskogo. Leningrad, 1928.
Findeizen, N.F. Ocherki po istorii muzyki ν Rossii…. [vol. 2] fasc. 6. Moscow-Leningrad, 1929.
Steŝko, F. Jan Prač, Prague, 1932.
E. V. GIPPIUS