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^ Posted 10 January 2019
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The AGM of the Dvořák Society will take place on
Saturday, 27th April 2019
Velehrad 39, Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London SW13 9JP
Current Committee members, offer themselves for re-election. Nominations for places on the Committee should be made in writing to the Honorary Secretary (address in the Year Book) by Friday, 12th April 2019
To be followed by refreshments and a song recital given by Katherine Nicholson and Joan Taylor. Music will include songs by Dvořák and newly commissioned songs by Karel Janovický set to poems of A.E Housman.
1) Chairman’s welcome
2) Apologies for absence
3) Matters arising from the Minutes of last AGM
4) Acceptance of Minutes of last AGM
5) Chairman’s Report and Review of Year
6) Honorary Secretary's Report
7) Honorary Treasurer's Report and Presentation of Accounts
8) Membership Secretary's Report
9) Other Reports
• Record Service Report
• Library Report
• Corporate Services Report
• Society Sales Report
10) Election of Officers and Committee *
• Ratification of existing Honorary Memberships
11) Any Other Business
Date and Venue for next AGM
* All current Officers and Committee Members are willing to stand again.
^ Posted 11 January 2019
John Tyrrell (1942–2018) by Nigel Simeone
John Tyrrell died in Beeston, Nottingham, on 4 October at the age of 76. He was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) and studied at Cape Town, then at Oxford where he wrote his PhD on Janáček’s operas. Author of several of the most important books on Janáček in any language, his vast learning was lightly worn – it was often shared in disc notes and programme books. Many others will have read his superbly informative essays for the Decca series of Janáček operas conducted by Charles Mackerras. He was also involved in that series in an editorial capacity, working with Mackerras on the edition of Jenůfa that stripped away Karel Kovařovic’s retouchings to present the opera in Janáček’s own orchestration. Recorded in 1982 as the last of Mackerras's Decca series and published by Universal Edition in 1996, their version allowed us to hear an authentic Jenůfa for the first time and it quickly became the standard text of the opera. Tyrrell also worked extensively on From the House of the Dead and in a poignant parallel with Janáček’s own life, Tyrrell’s edition turned out to be his last major project. Tyrrell’s edition was finished before he died and first heard in its final form at the Royal Opera House in April 2018. When Tomáš Hanus conducted the trial performances of the edition at Welsh National Opera in October 2017, John invited a number of his friends to the premiere in Cardiff: it was a double celebration, of the opera and of John’s seventy-fifth birthday (which fell on 17 August 2017). Memories of our convivial gathering in a restaurant afterwards will be cherished by everyone who was there: John was the most modest of men, and for him the occasion was all in honour of the composer to whom he had devoted his working life.
Tyrrell’s book on Kát’a Kabanová (1982) was followed by his masterly survey of Czech Opera (1988); then came Janáček’s Operas: A Documentary Account (1992), the revelatory correspondence between Janáček and Kamila Stösslová in Intimate Letters (1994), My Life with Janáček: The Memoirs of Zdenka Janáčková (1998) and the magisterial two-volume biography, Janáček: Years of a Life (2006 and 2007) the first volume of which has already been published Czech. I had the extraordinary pleasure of co-writing two books with John. We collaborated on Janáček’s Works (1997, with Alena Němcová), the first comprehensive catalogue of Janáček’s music and writings, and working on this project was a joy from start to finish. John had been a mentor and friend ever since I first contacted him while I was a student in the 1970s and we often attended Janáček performances together over the years, as well as going to sadder occasions such as Charles Mackerras’s funeral. Soon after that we started our second collaboration, co-editing the book Charles Mackerras (2015), another immensely happy and untroubled collaboration. A month before he died, John took the time to read the draft of my latest book – wonderfully useful, and a typical act of kindness. As a university teacher he will be remembered with enormous affection and gratitude by students at Nottingham and Cardiff. John loved the music of many Czech composers – especially Dvořák and Suk – and he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Dvořák Society. As Janáček’s most devoted and inspiring chronicler, his work is a magnificent memorial; as the most loyal and generous of friends, he is irreplaceable.
^ Posted 28 November 2018
Prague Concert Life 1850-1881: an annotated Database
If you don't already know of, or have never investigated the Prague Concert Life Database, this is a free online resource that offers fully searchable records of all manner of musical events (barring opera) taking place in Prague during the third quarter of the 19th Century. These records, all in English, are taken from first-hand sources – from Prague newspapers and journals – and offer fascinating insights into the city's musical, social and cultural environment, its venues, institutions, societies and individuals. From the most scintillating and exciting public concerts down to daily musical soirées at the local hostelries, all manner of events are in there!
The resource was first developed at Cardiff University between 2005-2008. During the last year, thanks to the generosity and enthusiastic support of the late Professor John Tyrrell, the database has been comprehensively redeveloped, and is now maintained and hosted independently. Most excitingly, it now has the facility to to display original sources texts (these are in the process of being added), and benefits from a host of new features, including a very useful calendar view. I hope that over the next few years its coverage of the whole span of an intended 31 years will be completed.
If you haven't visited the site before then please take a look and enjoy a little browse – the new address is www.prague-concerts.info.
Currently the database holds records of more than 6000 events spanning over 250 venues, encompassing some 260 societies and institutions and some 1800 individuals.
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