Czech conductor, violinist and viola player
Legal name: Václav Neumann
Václav Neumann (29 September 1920 – 2 September 1995) was a Czech conductor, violinist and viola player.
Neumann was born in Prague, where he studied at the Prague Conservatory with Josef Micka (violin), and Pavel Dědeček and Metod Doležil (conducting). He co-founded the Smetana Quartet, playing 1st violin and then viola, before conducting in Karlovy Vary and Brno. In 1956, he began to conduct at the Komische Oper in Berlin, leaving in 1964 to become conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He stayed there until 1968, when he became principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, a post he held until 1990.
Neumann taught conducting at the Prague Academy for Music, where his students included Oliver von Dohnányi and Vítězslav Podrazil.
Neumann was particularly noted as a champion of Czech music, and made the first studio recording of Leoš Janáček's opera The Excursions of Mr. Brouček in 1962.
Neumann can be seen conducting the Czech Philharmonic in a recording of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with Julian Lloyd Webber. This is featured in the 1988 film Dvorak - In Love? by director Tony Palmer.