History of The Czech Madrigalists

Vocal ensemble Czech Madrigalists was founded in 1929 under the initial name Prague Choral Association. In 1935 the ensemble was granted a honorary title Litterati cantores Universitatis Carolinae Pragensis, translated as Literate singers of Prague's Charles University. The founder and the first artistic leader of the ensemble became Bohumil Špidra, a professional conductor and composer, who led the ensemble until his death in 1964. In that year the artistic guidance was undertaken by Prof. Stanislav Štipl. He succeeded, step-by-step, in stabilizing singers on 16-18 members. He continued the most valuable tradition of the ensemble, i.e. performance of ancient Czech vocal music. In addition, the Czech Madrigalists studied and presented also European Renaissance music (madrigals and motets), chorals and cantatas of J. S. Bach as well as ancient Slavonic and Russian vocal music. The basic repertoire has grown by this way from 170 up to nearly 500 compositions.

(Photo by Jiří Skupien, 2012)

In 1984 František Xaver Thuri, a professor at the Prague Conservatoire, became the third conductor and artistic leader. The ensemble significantly profited from his extraordinary personality and experience; either as an oboe, harpsichord and organ player, or with his knowledge of ancient music, being often called "The last living Baroque composer". He reintroduces compositions, which have been lying in the dust of archives for a long time, and which prove now, in their renewed performances, that the strength of their artistic and composition levels attract contemporary audience.

Veronika Hádková, a profesional oboe player, became an artistic leader and a conductor in 2012.

The Czech Madrigalists have collaborated with the forefront Czech instrument players and with broadcasting and TV stations. They performed several times abroad - Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland or Finland. In 1991, the first CD in cooperation with Prague Chamber Orchestra was recorded, capturing the Czech Christmas Mass from Jan Evangelista Kypta. Up today, they have recorded 10 CDs in total.

Active members of The Czech Madrigalists

Conductor:Mgr. Veronika Hádková   
     
Soprano:Eva Geyerová Alto:Ivana Buďárková
 MUDr. Helena Menšíková  Barbora Mechúrová
 Mgr. Marie Mlejnková  PhDr. Alena Prouzová
 Mgr. Adéla Šmilauerová, Ph.D.  MUDr. Irena Sobotková
 Marcela Špačková  Alena Svobodová
 Veronika Vojířová  
     
Tenor:Martin Frei Bass:Mgr. Pavel Krč
 Doc. Ing. Karel Kolář, CSc.  MUDr. Vojtěch Petr
 Ing. Jiří Kopečný, Ph.D.  Doc. Ing. Vít Šmilauer, Ph.D.
 Tomáš Rus  
 

Former members of The Czech Madrigalists

Conductors:Bohumil Špidra, Stanislav Štipl, Václav Dvořák, Vladimír Roubal, František Xaver Thuri
Soprano:Mgr. Vlasta Beščecová, Veronika Kalivodová, Miroslava Plecitá, Vlasta Prischingová, Magda Prokopová, Doc. Mgr. Daniela Tinková, Ph.D.
Alto:Marika Pečená, RNDr. Hana Tillmanová, Alena Veverková
Tenor:Jan Křížek, Ondřej Rus, Jan Šobáň, Josef Vlasák
Bass:Mgr. Miroslav Beščec, JUDr. PhDr. Petr Kolář, Ph.D., Ing. Ladislav Pícha, Václav Šobáň