Antonín Kubálek

Noted for his interest in Czech and Canadian music, Antonín Kubálek premiered works by Walter Buczynski (The August Collection, Monogram, Piano Concerto, Piano Sonata No.


Antonín Kubálek

 Antonín Kubálek. Pianist, teacher, b Libkovice, Czechoslovakia, 8 Nov 1935, naturalized Canadian 1974, d Prague, 19 Jan 2011. After being injured in an explosion as a child, Antonín Kubálek began piano study with Otakar Heindl at a school for the visually impaired, continuing 1952-7 at the Prague Conservatory with Oldřich Kredba and 1957-9 at the Academy of Music with Zdĕnek Jílek and František Maxián. While teaching 1961-8 at the Prague Conservatory he performed in public and on radio and recorded for Supraphon. He moved to Canada in 1968, made his North American debut 24 Oct 1969 at Walter Hall, University of Toronto, and shortly thereafter made the first of several solo appearances with the Toronto Symphony. Frequent solo recitals and CBC broadcasts followed; he also appeared as soloist with other Ontario orchestras, in chamber concerts with Paul Brodie, the Vághy and Orford string quartets, and the York Winds, and as accompanist to Victor Braun, Lois Marshall, Roxolana Roslak, and others. In the 1974-5 season at St. Paul's Centre in Toronto he presented the complete piano sonatas of Mozart (repeating them in other cities in 2006), and in 1986 repeated the series at the Jane Mallett Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre. He returned to Europe for a tour in 1974, and revisited Czechoslovakia for the first time in the fall of 1991 to give concerts and a live radio broadcast of Canadian piano music. He continued to perform often in The Czech Republic, eg at the Prague Spring Festival and the Prague Music Festival.

Premieres and Recordings

Noted for his interest in Czech and Canadian music, Antonín Kubálek premiered works by Walter Buczynski (The August Collection, Monogram, Piano Concerto, Piano Sonata No. 3, Sonata De Cameron); Ka Nin Chan (Cosmopolitan Suite); Paul Kilburn, (Reflections on Ice, Sonata, and Trio for Piano Solo); Rudolf Komorous (for piano); Milan Kymlicka (Five Preludes, Four Pieces for Piano, Four Valses); Marjan Mozetich (Three Pieces); Norman Sherman (Aquarium); and Peeter Tammearu (Fantasy on a Theme of Bach, Piano Sonata No. 1); among others. He participated in such unusual projects as a recording of Korngold's Sonata No. 1, produced by Glenn Gould, and an LP commemorating the US bicentennial with several of his own arrangements of Sousa's music. He began to record, write liner notes, and act as a producer for Dorian records in 1986.

Teaching Positions; Awards

Kubálek taught privately, 1969-75 at the Brodie School of Music and Modern Dance in Toronto, and summers 1975-6 at the Blue Mountain School of Music, Collingwood, Ont. He began teaching at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1979, later at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto (1996-2003), and at Toronto's York University (1997-2002). In 2002, he received the Unesco award as well as the Czech Music Council's Honorary Award for the "promotion of Czech music and the representation of Czech performing arts abroad." The following year he opened the first Antonin Kubálek International Piano Courses in Zlate Hory, The Czech Republic.

Discography

Antonin Kubalek in Recital: Brahms - Schumann. 1977. Citadel CT-6027

Antonin Kubalek Plays Canadian Music:

- Album I: Joachim - Papineau-Couture - Kilburn - Somers. 1974. Mel SMLP-4023/(Somers) RCI 452

- Album II: Coulthard - Archer - Jaque - Pentland - Southam. 1976. Mel SMLP-4031

Brahms Sonata No. 3, Opus 5; Waltzes, Opus 39; Intermezzi, Opus 117. 1990. Dorian DOR-90141

Brahms Fantasias, Opus 116; Rhapsodies, Opus 79; Six Piano Pieces, Opus 118; Four Piano Pieces, Opus 119. Dorian DOR-90159

Buczinsky August Collection, Bohuslav Polkas, Études and Preludes. 1993. MVCD 1059 CBC

Chausson 'Concert' for Piano, Violin and String Quartet, Opus 21. Dawes violin, Orford Str Quar with O. Armin violin. 1974. CBC SM-246

Czech Miniature Masterpieces: Kymlicka Five Preludes - Suk - Dušek - et al. 1988. Dorian DOR-90121 (CD)

Dvořák: The Piano Quintets. With the Lafayette String Quartet. 1995. Dorian DOR-90221

Franck Prelude, Chorale and Fugue - Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Piano Suite No. 2. 1973. Golden Crest RE-7057

Grieg: The Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano. With Ivan Zenaty, violin. 1996. Dorian DOR-90234

Hindemith 1922 Suite for Piano - Janáček In the Mist - Martinu° Étude in F; Polka in A; Étude in F. 1972. Golden Crest RE-7050

Janáček The Diary of One Who Disappeared. Love mezzo, Hirst tenor, Women's Ens of Columbia Pro Cantare, Dawson conductor. 1983. Arabesque ABQ-6513 (CD)

Korngold Sonata, Opus 2; Fairy Pictures, Opus 3. 1973. Genesis GS-1055

- The Wunderkind; The Snowman (selections); Don Quixote; Sonata No. 1. 1976. Citadel CT-6009

Suk - Janacek - Smetana Memories of Bohemia. 1994. DOR-90185 Dorian

Morawetz - Kilburn - Kymlicka - Smetana - Vorisek. 1973. CBC SM-187

Mozart Rondo in A Minor - Beethoven Sonata in F, Opus 54 - Janáček On an Overgrown Path. 1970. CBC SM-125

"My Gift to You": A Treasury of Favourite Piano Encores. (1996.) Dorian DOR-90218

Other Side of Sousa. 1975. Antilles AN-7015

Paderewski Sonata, Opus 23; Variations and Fugue, Opus 21. 1978. Citadel CT-7001/Mus H Soc MHS-4103

Retrospectives, Vol. 1 (Vorisek, Smetana, Janáček, Kymlicka, Morawetz). Echiquier 003

Schubert Winterreise. Victor Braun baritone. 1992. DOR-90145 Dorian

Schumann Carnaval, Opus 9; Kinderscenen, Opus 15; Drei Phantasiestücke, Opus 111; Gesänge der Frühe, Opus 133. 1988. Dorian DOR-90116 (CD)

Smetana Czech Dances (complete). 1975. Genesis GS-1064

- Czech Dances (complete). 1988. Dorian DOR-90122/2005 Brilliant 92451

- Memories of Bohemia; Reveries. 1976. Citadel CT-6010

-Antonin Kubalek Plays Smetana. 1995. CTD 88112 Citadel

Smetana - Kymlicka - Vorisek - Morawetz - Janacek. 2001. Echequier 003

Sonics: Buczynski Monogram - Anhalt 'La Fuite' - Dolin Queekhoven and A.J. 1982. Centrediscs CMC-0382/RCI 567

Tchaikovsky The Seasons - Chopin Ballade No. 3 - Kymlicka Four Valses. 1986. Dorian DOR-90102 (CD)

Also two recordings for the European label Supraphon (pre-1968)

See also Discographies for Victor Braun, Paul Brodie, Vághy String Quartet.


Further Reading

  • Gerber, Leslie. 'A talk with Antonin Kubalek,' Fanfare, vol 13, Jan/Feb 1990

    McAlear, Robert. 'Sound Czech,' Music, vol 13, Feb/Mar 1990