Celebratory concert on prof. Jan Kasal´s 90th birthday

21. 6. 2018 - 7:00 PM

Prague Hlahol, Masarykovo nábřeží 16, Prague 1

VUS UK is very happy to participate in this congratulatory concert to celebrate birthday of our former conductor (1980-1984) prof. Jan Kasal.

Jan Kasal was born on June 4, 1923, in Přerov. His father was a solicitor, mother stayed in the household. He studied grammar school and as early as 1944 was accepted to the so-called master school of the Prague conservatory, where he specialised in conducting. In 1948, he served as the choirmaster in Hlahol and the Choir of Prague Teachers but the February coup in 1948 meant an end to his promising career. Immediately when the communists seized the power there were checks and purges. Jan Kasal was marked as an undesired student and he could finish the school only thanks to the director Holzknecht. Pressed by the authorities, both choirs fired him. He was banned to work even as a répétiteur in the theatre in Ústí, where he was accepted and fired after just five weeks. In the early 1950s, at the time of the severest communist repression, he went to serve in the army, where he was persecuted and after he had refused to sign a condolence following Stalin’s death, he was accused of subversion. The accusation was later withdrawn, but the consequences of the trial showed only later. He was allowed to work only as a labourer and he could start conducting as late as 1957 when he was, for two years, the choirmaster at Czech Radio Choir. Shortly he worked as an organist in the Strašnice crematorium. In 1964 he became the choirmaster of the National Ensemble of Songs and Dances and the Choir of Prague Teachers. A year later he went to Prague conservatory as a teacher and in 1968 he was a member of the rehabilitation committee. Since 1980 he served as the choirmaster at Hlahol and the Charles University Choir (VUS UK). On June 4, 2018, he celebrates his ninety-fifth birthday.

Performing choirs:

Mixed Choir Hlahol (Zpěvácký spolek Hlahol) – conducted by Klára Ježková
Foester Female Chamber Choir (Foerstrovo komorní pěvecké sdružení) – conducted by Jaroslav Brych
Prague Mixed Choir (Pražský smíšený sbor) – conducted by Jiří Petrdlík
Charles University Choir (VUS UK) – conducted by Jakub Zicha

Programme of VUS UK:

B. Smetana: Proč bychom se netěšili (a joint performance with the other choirs)
B. Smetana: Slavnostní sbor
J. B. Foerster: Rodné brázdy, Trikolora, Pražské zvony