Vladimír Jelínek

Jelínek, Vladimír. Conductor, composer, b Nove Strašeci, Czechoslovakia, 16 Aug 1923, naturalized Canadian 1975, d Montreal 23 Nov 1989; diploma in orchestra conducting (Prague Academy of Music) 1951.

Jelínek, Vladimír

Jelínek, Vladimír. Conductor, composer, b Nove Strašeci, Czechoslovakia, 16 Aug 1923, naturalized Canadian 1975, d Montreal 23 Nov 1989; diploma in orchestra conducting (Prague Academy of Music) 1951. After brief studies in architecture he enrolled at the Prague Cons and spent 1947-51 at the Prague Academy of Music. He was music director 1950-65 of the orchestra of the National Ballet of Czechoslovakia.

Jelínek settled in Montreal in 1965 and was the regular conductor of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens orchestra until his death. With this company he toured Canada, the USA, Europe, South America and the Far East. He conducted the company's ballet version of the Carl Orff trilogy Carmina burana, Catulli Carmina, and Trionfo di Afrodite in many performances 1966-70, including those at Expo 67 and on the 1969 European tour. Jelínek directed the orchestra for the troupe's 'Hommage à Pierre Mercure' in 1976 and for the recording of Donald Patriquin's Hangman's Reel with Jean Carignan (1980, McGill University Records 80010).

The critic Claude Gingras wrote in La Presse (Montreal, 21 Dec 1966), 'Vladimír Jelínek is an authentic ballet conductor, a competent accompanist who follows the dancers step by step and gives them priority'.

Jelínek has conducted the MSO frequently, notably on CBC TV in Wolf-Ferrari's The Secret of Susanna (1971) and Ravel's L'Heure espagnole (1975) and in concerts in 1978 in Plattsburgh, NY, and at the Maurice Richard Arena, Montreal. He wrote several arrangements of Czech folksongs for choir and orchestra 1955-65, the folk ballet Une Journée comme une autre in 1961, and a Suite québécoise for orchestra in 1965.

In 1957 Jelínek married Sonia Jelínková - b Pečmanová, violinist, teacher, b Hamburg 15 Sep 1923, naturalized Canadian 1975; L MUS (McGill) 1943. She began her violin studies at five, in Lille, France, and continued them 1939-43 with Rachel Gilbert at McGill University in Montreal and 1944-8 with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. She made several tours of Czechoslovakia 1948-65. She was a member of the McGill Chamber Orchestra and, 1966-89, of the MSO. A teacher of violin at the CMM 1971-3 and 1977-8, she also taught at McGill University after 1965.