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Vaclav Talich (1883 - 1961)

At the time of Talich’s birth his father, Jan Talich, was teaching music in the southern Moravian town of Kromĕříž. Shortly afterwards he became a conductor in two other small towns, Roznov and Klatovy, and here he taught his sons Václav the violin and Jan the cello. Václav entered the Prague Conservatory in 1887, studying violin with Jan Mařak and Otakar Sevčik, two outstanding proponents of the Czech school of playing. He graduated in 1903 and immediately joined the violin section of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Arthur Nikisch, shortly afterwards gaining promotion to the post of leader and solo violinist. Illness forced him to leave this position in 1904, but not before Nikisch had made a profound impression upon him, to the extent of deciding that he should seek a career as a conductor. Talich joined the Odessa Opera as leader of the orchestra in 1904, here making his first appearances on the conductor’s podium; and the following year he moved to Tiflis (now Tbilisi) to become professor of violin at the Imperial Academy of Music.




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