Karel Ancerl (Conductor)
Born: 11th April 1908, Tučapy in southern Bohemia
Died: 3rd July 1973, Toronto
Karel Ančerl was a Czechoslovak conductor and composer, renowned especially for his performances of contemporary music and for his interpretations of music by Czech composers.
Ančerl was born into a prosperous Jewish family in the village of Tučapy in southern Bohemia. After graduating from the Prague Conservatory, he pursued his conducting studies under Hermann Scherchen and Václav Talich. He was the assistant conductor at the Munich premiere of Alois Hába's quarter-tone opera Mother (1931) and conducted the orchestra of the avant-garde theatre Osvobozené divadlo in Prague (1931–1933). Conducting work for Czechoslovak radio was interrupted by World War II which resulted in his being imprisoned with his family in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 and then sent to Auschwitz in 1944.
Further Reading: Karel Ancerl
The live recordings by the great Czech conductor Karel Ančerl, and Bohemian musical culture are explored by Rob Cowan and Matouš Vlčinský from Supraphon records.