Karel Ančerl

~ Person



Karel Ančerl (11 April 1908 – 3 July 1973) was a Czechoslovak conductor, 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. Unlike his wife and young son, Ančerl came out of Auschwitz alive.

After the war, Ančerl conducted for Radio Prague until 1950, when he became artistic director of the Czech Philharmonic, a post he held successfully for eighteen years. Following the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Ančerl emigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he worked as music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra until his death in 1973.

As a conductor, Ančerl helped foster a distinctly Czech orchestral sound, both with the Czech Philharmonic and elsewhere. Highly regarded also as a studio artist, Ančerl made a wide range of recordings on the Supraphon label, including repertoire by various Czech composers (remastered in the Karel Ančerl Gold Edition).

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1963 Symphonie N° 9 En Mi Mineur, Op. 95 "Nouveau Monde" Dvorak, Orchestre Philharmonique Tchèque, Karel Ancerl 1
1965 Mein Vaterland Friedrich Smetana; Tchechische Philharmonie, Karel Ančerl 1
1988 Bartók: Concerto For Orchestra / Janáček: Sinfonietta Bartók, Janáček; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ančerl 1
1988 Dvořák: Violin Concerto, Romance / Suk: Fantasy Dvořák, Suk; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ančerl, Josef Suk 2
1992 Requiem / 6 Biblischen Lieder Antonín Dvořák; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ančerl 1
2003 Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Vol. 13 Antonín Dvořák; Karel Ančerl, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2003 Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Vol. 19 Antonín Dvořák; Karel Ančerl, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2003 Oedipus Rex / Symphony of Psalms Stravinsky; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ančerl 1
2005 Karel Ančerl Gold Edition, Volume 39: Symphonies nos. 1 & 5 Shostakovich; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Karel Ančerl 1

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