About us

About The Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music

What the Dvořák Society does

Founded in 1974, the Dvořák Society, is one of the most active music societies in Britain. Though it is firmly based in Great Britain, it has members in many countries. The Society promotes interest in and encourages performances of music by all Czech and Slovak composers and artists, past and present — in this country and elsewhere — and publishes articles and information about all aspects of Czech and Slovak musical life. The Society’s services and publications are widely respected.

Sylvie Bodorová, composer

Sylvie Bodorová

Since the Dvořák Society was founded in 1974, the world has changed in ways that most people could not have imagined: but the Dvořák Society still has a role to play because the importance of the Czech and Slovak contribution to classical music remains under-appreciated.

Beyond Dvořák’s last three symphonies and the American string quartet there is a great deal of masterly music to explore including his operas. Even more than Dvořák, Smetana remains generally known for a handful of pieces. Every music lover knows Vltava and the overture to The Bartered Bride, but a performance of the complete Má vlast (My Country) is still quite rare outside the Czech Republic and is always a special event. Martinů’s rehabilitation is making progress but much remains to be done on his behalf. Janáček’s operas and quartets are now deservedly an established part of the international repertoire, but Josef Suk’s orchestral music remains largely the preserve of the specialist when it deserves a place alongside the compositions of Mahler (whose own Bohemian roots are frequently undervalued).

Composers before Smetana — such as Biber (1644 – 1704), Zelenka (1679 – 1745) and Rejcha (Reicha) (1770 – 1836, a teacher of Berlioz) — demonstrate the importance of the Bohemian contribution to the baroque, classical and early romantic movements in european music. Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915 – 1940) and Sylvie Bodorová (born 1954) are important figures in breaking down the barriers to the acceptance of women composers, as well as being substantial musical figures.

Here are a few examples of our activities —

  • Fund raising and charitable activities — our work in these areas is described in detail HERE >
  • Study Events — these are aimed at the general music lover rather than musicologists. Often we participate in these with a provider such as a university or college. More information is given HERE >
  • Providing Information — our Quarterly Newsletter includes reviews of performances and recordings in addition to news on a variety of topics. Subject to the usual editorial discretion, any member may contribute material to the Newsletter.
  • Journals — whenever sufficient material is available, the Society publishes a Journal. This covers particular topics in more depth than is possible in the Newsletter and the articles in it are written by experts in the subjects. MORE >
  • Other Publications

Benefits of membership

You do not need to have a deep technical knowledge of music to enjoy and benefit from membership of the Dvořák Society. Our members come from all walks of life, including many non-musicians as well as professional and amateur musicians. They range from ordinary music lovers to internationally acknowledged experts. The one thing we all have is a love of Czech and Slovak music.

Membership of the Dvořák Society brings:

  • The Journal of Czech & Slovak Music — this is a prestigious journal that contains papers on various aspects of Czech and Slovak music and its personalities, performance and performers. It also includes authoritative reviews of books and recordings.
  • Newsletters — these include reports of concerts and other performances, members’ activities, new recordings and a diary of future events.
  • Yearbook — this useful resource provides a record of the Society’s activities during the preceding year. It also lists UK and overseas members together with relevant cultural organisations.
  • Dvořák Society Occasional Publications — these provide in-depth information on selected topics. Members receive free copies of the Society’s new Occasional Publications issued during their period of membership and enjoy discounted prices on earlier ones.
  • A Record Service for members to buy records, CDs and tapes (especially Czech and Slovak) at a discount.
  • Library — the Society’s significant collection of books, records, scores, exhibition materials and other items are now held at Senate House Library. > more
  • Discounts on some books on music and scores.
  • Talks about Czech and Slovak musical topics, often in conjunction with other organisations.
  • Social events where you can meet other members. We do not have branches, but regional events are increasing features of the Society’s activities.
  • Tours to the Czech and Slovak Republics. Our friends have enabled us to visit some very special places normally closed to the public.

How to join the Dvořák Society

For details about joining the Dvořák Society, > please click here .

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Journal material —
Patrick Devine
m patrick.devine@mu.ie

Musicological questions  —
Graham Melville-Mason
m graham.melvillemason@googlemail.com

Hon Secretary —
David Roberts
m Please click here to contact the Hon. Secretary

Membership questions —
Terry Heard (Membership Secretary)
m Please click here to contact the Membership Secretary

Corporate membership questions —
David Bridges
m Please click here to contact for Corporate Membership Questions

Library service —
The contents of the Dvořák Society Library has been relocated to Senate House Library, University of London…  > more

Sales of publications and other items —
Sales Manager (Vacancy). Messages using the link below will be forwarded to the Hon. Secretary.
m Please click here to contact the Sales Manager

Record service —
Bill Marsden (Record Service Administrator)
m billandvera@btinternet.com

Web pages —
Roland Smith (Webmaster)
m Please click here for contact form

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Chairman —
Annette Percy,
Apt 5 St John's Lodge
36 Thorley Lane
WA15 7AG
m Please click here to contact the Chairman

Secretary —
David Roberts,
13 Church Lane,
ST5 6DU,
United Kingdom
m Please click here to contact the Hon. Secretary

Treasurer —
Gordon Watts,
1 Blacksmith Cottages
Station Road
GU33 7AW
United Kingdom
m Please click here to contact the Treasurer

Membership Secretary —
Terry Heard,
67 Lewisham Hill,
London SE13 7PL m
Please click here to contact the Membership Secretary

Corporate Membership Administrator —
David Bridges
2 Field Place Cottages
Byfleets Lane
West Sussex
RH12 3PD
m Please click here to contact the Corporate Membership Administrator

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