Tuesday, November 8, 2011:Musical Institutions

Prague Conservatory students will perform in a special concert this Wednesday at the Conservatory

Musical Institutions

A musical institution (esteemed teacher Eduard Douša) plans a concert at a musical institution (the Prague Conservatory) to mark a musical institution (60 years of life with music)

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“It happened to me – that which has happened to many others: I’ve been in this world for six decades,” writes composer/teacher/writer Eduard Douša. “Six milestones, six sharps [music notation #] – musically speaking, F Sharp, a beautiful tone.”

Six sharps in musical notation

This is a loose translation of the essay he’s penned in preparation for his Jubilee concert at the Prague Conservatory Nov 9 at 7 pm.

The concert, performed by conservatory students, features several premieres by Dr Douša and shows his range of writing talents, with compositions ranging from a concerto to children’s songs, for instruments from a wind quintet to violin, piano, recitation, and voice.

Dr Douša explains his career choices — today it’s almost impossible to earn a living as a classical music composer – he writes; so “for my profession I became a teacher.” He earned his PhD in music theory and pedagogy, was named an assistant professor in 2006, and continues to teach at both the Prague Conservatory and Charles University. “I don’t regret [teaching] at all. On the contrary!” he continues.

But he describes composing as his obsession. “It’s very beautiful to see the final score when it’s finished. Writing music which no one has yet played, sung, or heard. To enjoy the moment when the song is introduced to listeners.” He compares writing a composition to writing a personal letter, and although he supposes that some modern composers use a computer, he always writes his pieces by hand.

Eduard Douša

In his essay he defends the belief as still true today that a composition is valid when a composer strives to present a strong melody, interesting harmony, and logical form. “So I’m still attracted to writing simple melodic songs for children, practical incidental music, or ‘cutting-edge’ swing instrumentals,” he says.

He also is active in organizations promoting contemporary music as well as music of all genres.

“Mr. Dousa is an extraordinarily gifted composer; his pieces are very witty and nice,” Conservatory deputy director Aleš Kaňka tells Opus Osm. “I look forward to his concert very much.”

The Jubilee concert Nov 9 is an opportunity to hear a wide range of compositions by this composer and teacher whose future plan is to continue “to do honorably what I’ve done so far.” Not a bad plan at all. – oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Top: Miroslav Setnička; music: just plain Bill; bottom: Prague Conservatory

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