Karel Ancerl

Karel Ancerl (original Ančerl, * 11. April 1908 in Tučapy, at that time Austria Hungary; † 3. July 1973 in Toronto, Canada) was a Czech conductor.

The director/conductor of many years of the Czech Philharmonic Concert Halls was already with eleven years as violonists orchestra member in his homeland municipality. Against the will of its parents it studied composition, a directing and percussion instruments at the conservatoire in Prague. Also the new toner Alois Hába as well as the principal conductor at that time of the Czech Philharmonic Concert Hall Václav Talich exerted large influence on it in this time.

Up to the outbreak of the Second World War 1939 he worked and others as a boss of the opera 5. May and Mitarbeiter of the broadcast, until it lost all offices after the invasion of the Germans and 1942 were deportiert even in the KZ Theresienstadt. As only its family survived Karel Ancerl the following detention in Auschwitz.

In October 1950 Ancerl was appointed the artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic Concert Hall, for which he secured a point place under the orchestras of the “Eastern Bloc” and invitations in the following years to 1968 into the whole world. It extended the repertoire particularly by modern music (beautiful mountain, Bartók, Britten) and sat down with devotion also for unpopular composers of its homeland (Martinu).

After the politically jerky autumn 1968, which terminated hopes for a more humaneren course of the socialist states in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, Ancerl emigrierte to Canada and led there until 1972 the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The typical, frequently as “darkly” described colors of its orchestra and Ancerls interpretatorische achievements were held on an extensive CD edition of the company Supraphon of 42 volumes, which extends also to abseitiges Czech repertoire (e.g. Novák: In the Tatra, castle houses: Filters reliefs).

The French classical period label Tahra published excellent since beginning of the CD era many running photographs with different orchestras under the line Ancerls, which results in a good overview of its repertoire. Belonging to its lifetimes to star the music scene Ancerls did not develop call in the last decades among interpretation connoisseurs to a cult status.


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