... czech and slovak music guide ...

Karel Kovarovic

born: 1862-12-09
died: 1920-12-06
birthplace: Praha
diedplace: Praha

Czech compser and conductor. Born in Prague as third son of Frantisek Pavel Kovarovic in a musical family. In 1873-79 he studied clarinet, harp and piano at the conservatory of Prague. In 1878-1882 also composition under Zdenek Fibich. After finishing studies in 1879, he became the first Harp Player in the orchestra of Interim Theatre (since 1881 National Theatre). He also accompanied the most prominent Czech violinists on a piano. In 1885 he became the bandmaster of the Czech Theatre of Brno. Next year he got the same position in Plzen. In 1890 he came back to Prague to teach at the private Prague singing school. He became director there in 1898. In 1900-1920 he worked as conductor and director of the Opera of the Czech National Theatre. He propagated music of Smetana, Dvorak and Fibich. However, he did not recognize the talent of Leos Janacek, and refused to put his first opera on stage of the National Theatre for 12 years. When he finally did it, he took a lot of patience and also thanks to his corrections, Jenufa became famous all over Europe.
As compositor he was active in his early years only. He was influenced by the classicist-romantic style of Dvorak and tried to continue in the national spirit built by Smetana and Dvorak. After becoming the director ot the National Theatre Opera, he just concentrated on conducting and dramaturgy.

  • Operas
    • Zenichove , 1884
    • Cesta oknem , 1889
    • Psohlavci , 1897
    • Na Starem belidle , 1901
  • Other works
    • numerous chorals and songs
    • ballets
    • symphonical and chamber compositions


Wikipedia (more details in the Czech version)
Mala encyklopedie hudby (dr. Jar. Smolka; &kolektiv, Supraphon 1983)


Miners' polka for orchestra (MP3) (archive track of Czech Philharmony Orchestra, cond. Vaclav Talich, CD Talich Special Edition 17, Supraphon 2007)

  portret  portret2

Last update 2012-07-04