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Miloš Vacek, Czech composer, conductor and choirmaster was born at Horní Roveň on 20 June, 1928, Dolní Roveň and died on 29 February, 2012 at Prague. He spent his childhood in the rough but charming region of Vysočina, in Kamenice nad Lipou, where he acquired rudiments of his music education, not only theoretical, but also practical, represented by violin, piano, clarinet and oboe playing, with his father, composer, teacher and choirmaster. At the age of eleven he substituted for his seriously ill father at the organ and as choirmaster.
 
In 1943 he was admitted to the organ department of the Prague Conservatoire in the class of Professor B. Krajs. He studied Gregorian chant and theoretical subjects with professors Němec, Doležil, Hůla and Hlobil. The school year 1944-1945 meant for many students total mobilisation as a consequence of school closing. Miloš Vacek returned home to Včelnička Kamenice nad Lipou to work in the local glassworks as a help and glass packer. After the war he completed his studies graduating from the organ department in 1947. In the same year he was admitted to the composition department of the newly established Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, to study first with Professor František Pícha and from the second year on with Professor Jaroslav Řídký, with whom he graduated in 1951 with  Symphonietta for large orchestra, performed at the graduation concert in the Smetana Hall by the Symphony Orchestra of the Prague Radio under the baton of Professor Řídký.
 
Further development of Miloš Vacek as composer was importantly marked by his years in the Art Ensemble of the Army (1951-1954) where performing practice refined his sense of immediate impression, communicativeness and dramatic nature of his compositions, which later became characteristic of his musical language. At a six-month China tour of the Art Ensemble of the Army (1952) he scored adaptations of songs and choruses and wrote ballet music – dance scene called Meeting at Jang-c’-ťiang River (mostly in hotel rooms or dining cars of the trains the ensemble travelled with), also working as the speaker there. He was “seconded” by the art Ensemble to work for the Army Film Studio where he helped create a full-length documentary on the Chinese tour of the Army Ensemble directed by Vojtěch Jasný and Karel Kachyňa with music by Vacek and Svatopluk Havelka. This was his first film experience which he successfully developed in the following period. After completion of his army service he became a free-lance composer.
 
Vacek´s inclination towards drama in music was already reflected by his first opera, the historic fresco called Jan Želivský(1952-1955), written at the age of 25 and followed by ballets Komediantská pohádka (Comedians Fairy Tale) about the origin of the Czech puppet named Kašpárek (performed  in 1958 in Plzeň and in 1059 in Olomouc), and Vítr ve vlasech(Wind in the Hair), first performed in 1962 in the Karlín Music Theatre followed by Plzeň, Ústí nad Labem, Košice, Cottbus, Magdeburg, Dessau, Gera and the then Karl-Marx-Stadt. His ballet Poslední pampeliška (The Last Dandelion) was first performed in Ústí nad Labem in 1964 and then in 1965 staged by the Ballet Ensemble of the National Theatre in Prague and performed in the Smetana Theatre. The following ballets included: Milá sedmi loupežníků (Mistress of Seven Highwaymen), staged by the National Theatre of Prague, the National Theatre of Brno, Olomouc and Liberec, Meteor (National Theatre in Prague, National Theatre in Brno, Liberec and an original staging by the Czech TV), and Šťastná sedma (The Lucky Seven), staged in Liberec in 1967 and 1978, by the Art Ensemble of the Army, and further in Ostrava, Brno, by the Ballet Studio of Prague, in České Budějovice, Ostrava, Ústí nad Labem, and Frankfurt an der Oder. The latter three ballets were staged by ballet ensembles on their international tours: in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Mexico and Spain. In early sixties Vacek attempted at musical. The life of the singer Bessie Smith inspired in 1962 his blues – drama Noc je můj den (Night is My Day) with the libretto by Ivo Havlů and Josef Pávek, first performed in Frankfurt an der Oder in 1964. The Budapest staging by the Fovaroszi operetta Shinház had 106 repeats in 1965. In 1967-1968 the radio adaptation of this musical was made by the Czechoslovak Radio. At the same time another musical was written in 1962 under the title Císařovy nové šaty (Emperor´s New Dress) with the libretto by Miroslav Homolka. Due to the sharply satiric libretto attacking the period political situation no theatre dared to stage the piece. The first performance only came after the death of the author in the Komische Opera Berlin in 2012. Madame Sans Gene was written by Vacek in 1968 and first performed immediately afterwards by Plzen and Teplice in 1969. The fourth musical inspired by Hašek´s short stories Vítr z Alabamy (Wind from Alabama) was written in 1970 and first performed in Plzen in 1973, followed by the staging by the Nusle Theatre of Music in 1974 and Kleist Theater Frankfurt O. in 1976.
 
In early seventies Vacek turned towards chamber, vocal and symphonic genres, his works from that period including: Šumavské metamorfózy (The Šumava Mountains Metamorphoses) for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello, Sonata drammatica per piano, Organum Pragense for organ, Zatoulané listy z milostného deníčku… (Lost pages from lover´s diary) for piano, later orchestrated for small orchestra, Lovecká suita (Hunting Suite) for 4 French horns, Večery na Peklůvce (Peklůvka Evenings), suite for French horn and piano (strings), Jarní suita (Spring Suite), Serenade, Musica poetica, all for strings, Dialogue for oboe and piano, Three Impromptus for flute and piano, Bucolic Suite for 4 trombones, Ladův rok (Lada´s Year) sixteen miniatures inspired by pictures by Josef Lada, for piano (orchestrated for nonet), Dětské motivy (Children´s Motives) for wind quintet, Příběhy (Stories) for solo clarinet, Commedia dell´arte trio for trumpet, French horn and trombone, Glosa (Annotation) for cello and piano, Metafora (Metaphor) for solo flute, Podzimní akvarely(Autumn Watercolours) for oboe, cello and piano, Duettina for two tubas, Herbář (Herbarium) for wind quintet.
 
Also his vocal compositions from that period are numerous and varied. His concert song cycles mainly set to music verses by Nadia Mauerová and include: Žena (Woman) for soprano and piano, Sonety předjaří (Early Spring Sonnets) for soprano and piano (orchestrated for chamber orchestra), Hledám tě, kráso… (I am Looking for you, Beauty) for alto and piano (strings), Věčný duel (Endless Duel) – four comic songs for bass and strings (piano), Milostná preludia (Love Preludes) for soprano, flue and piano, Čtveroroční hrátky (Four Season Plays) for soprano, flute and guitar. His chorus achievements are represented by the mixed choruses called Země má…, Lidice, Vyznání Josefu Ladovi, Cesta světla(My Country…, Lidice, Profession to Josef Lada, Way of Light). Children choruses include: Pět pohádek pro Tomáška, Ladovské Vánoce and Moucha v piáně (Five Fairy Tales for Little Tomášek, Lada´s Christmas and Fly in the Piano), the latter with a text by Dagmar Ledečová. He also composed cantatas, including: O Praze (About Prague) and Krajinou mého dětství (Landscape of My Childhood). Symphonic works from this period are represented by (including but not limited to): May Symphony (1974-1975) for large orchestra, Poema o padlých hrdinech (Poem on fallen heroes) for symphony orchestra, Olympijský oheň (Olympic Flame), symphonic image, Osamělý mořeplavec (Lonely Seafarer), symphonic image, 17 November 1939, symphonic poem, Mé Kamenici nad Lipou (For My Kamenice nad Lipou), symphonic suite, Festive Prologue for symphony orchestra, Dances in Old Style for various instrument settings, Svědomí světa (Lidice) [Conscience of the World (Lidice)] for symphony orchestra, Concerto for trombone and strings, Jarní neděle(Spring Sunday) for large wind orchestra, Symphony no. 2 for large symphony orchestra, Concerto capriccioso for French horn and symphony orchestra.
 
The following three works, certainly also belonging to this period, were written for an actress and orchestra, or chamber ensemble. They are: O Šípkové Růžence (Sleeping Beauty) – fairy-tale melodrama and U veselých medvědů (At Merry Bears´) – a merry fairy-tale for an actress – story teller and wind quintet, both works on verses by Nadia Mauerová. He also wrote a rococo image Marquise de Pompadour for an actress and a chamber orchestra with harpsichord.
 
Together with this inclination towards concert stage the composer prepared for a repeated entry on the theatre stage, this time operatic. This trend was foreshadowed in 1974 by a new version of Jan Želivský (staged in Olomouc in 1984), which  was not a mere revision of the older work but indeed a new composition from rewritten and simplified libretto (in cooperation with N. Mauerová) to a new grasp of the theme of his early piece. This was followed by further operas. In 1976 – 1978 the composer and the librettist Nadia Mauerová prepared a new libretto inspired by Olbracht and his stage adaptation by Eva Katůrková for the opera Bratr Žak (Brother Jacques) written on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the National Theatre in Prague). This opera was first staged by the National Theatre in Ostrava in 1982 and the Czech Television a year later in 1983. In 1980-1981 Miloš Vacek composed a lyric chamber opera with the libretto by Nadia Mauerová inspired by František Hrubín and called Romance pro křídlovku (Romance for flugelhorn). This opera was also written to celebrate 100th anniversary of the National Theatre. The opera was recorded by the Czechoslovak Radio and broadcast on the eve of the anniversary. The first staging of the piece came in České Budějovice in 1987. The last opera written in 1981-1982 on Josef Lada theme Kocour Mikeš (Mikeš the Tomcat) with the same librettist was staged by the Janáček Opera in Brno in 1986 and remained in the repertory of the theatre for six seasons. Subsequently the staging was adapted by the Czech Television in Brno.
 
The big line of the composer’s career starting from ballet, musical, dramatic and extensive film music achievements (including music to 26 full-length films, 47 short films, 12 full-length artistic documentaries, 13 TV programmes (fairy tales), 169 animated films (series) and one full-length animated film), and continuing via concert stage to operatic stage is complemented with no less significant music for various occasions, of popular and light nature, for different instrumental settings. This group also includes instructive pieces for various instruments and ensembles, radio compositions, suites, marches, concertos of the high popular. In the last period of his life Miloš Vacek recorded in authorial and dramaturgic cooperation with his librettist and writer Nadia Mauerova-Gajerova several dozen audio cassettes with spoken word (mostly fairy tales and contemporary titles) with his music with Supraphon, Bonton, Tommü Records and MAM (Media Agency of Most) music publishers, which he also directed. This is an integral part of Vacek´s musical achievement as composer, as is evidenced by the concentrated seriousness, systematic and professional approach with which he worked in this area on the one side, and the response to these works of his on the other side.
 
Miloš Vacek is an author who, in addition to his sense of drama and talent for processing themes breathing with contemporary emotionality, left behind him pleasant, optimistic light music taking pleasure of life. He was able to discover the spells of everyday life and the greatness of bare feelings and express them with warm tunes taking from the best traditions of the Czech national music” (quotation of Dr. B. Vítek)
 
The composer Miloš Vacek never betrayed his motto written in the heading of the programme of the concert of his best achievements and exhibition about his life and work to his fiftieth birthday in 1978 held in the House of Culture in Kamenice nad Lipou:
 
“I would like my music to bring pleasure to people,
to help them materialise their dreams and hopes,
to smell to them like bread that never overeats.”