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Tomas Svoboda


Born in Paris of Czech parents, December 6, 1939, Tomas Svoboda spent the years of World War II in Boston, where he began his musical education on the piano at the age of three. After his family's return to Prague in 1946, he continued his music studies, entering the Prague Conservatory in 1954 as its youngest student.
Unable to take formal classes in composition during his first years at the conservatory, Svoboda nevertheless composed his 36 min. SYMPHONY No. 1 (of Nature), Op. 20, at the age of 16. This work was premiered shortly thereafter by the prestigious FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra; Vaclav Smetacek, conductor.
By 1962, after graduating from the Prague Conservatory with degrees in percussion, composition and conducting, numerous performances and radio broadcasts of his music brought wide national recognition to Svoboda, clearly establishing him as Czechoslovakia's most important young composer.
In 1964, his family emigrated to the United States, where Svoboda enrolled at the Univ. of Southern California in 1966 as a graduate student.
In 1981, first publication of his music brought forth a front cover tribute to Tomas Svoboda by the highly respected PIANO QUARTERLY. In 1985 Svoboda was given the ASCAP FOUNDATION/MEET THE COMPOSER AWARD and was commissioned to write his CHORALE in E flat, for Piano Quintet, Op. 118 for Aaron Copland's 85th birthday celebration in New York.
In 1987, national music educators surveyed by THE PIANO QUARTERLY, voted Svoboda's CHILDREN'S TREASURE BOX piano series to be among the 40 most important composer collections of the 20th century for teaching piano.
In the summer of 1999, Svoboda's most well known orchestral work Overture of the Season, Op. 89 received a national radio broadcast with the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by the renowned Czech conductor, Libor Pesek.
In December 2003, Svoboda's Marimba Concerto was named in a Grammy Award nomination in the category of "Best Instrumental Soloist With Orchestra"; Niel DePonte, marimba; James DePreist, cond.; Oregon Symphony; [Albany Records]. To date, 21 CDs have been released with 43 works by Svoboda on them.
Important performances over the past few years include Svoboda's Marimba Concerto with the national orchestras of Costa Rica and Guatemala, with SONY Japan recording artist Nanae Mimura, soloist.
Today, over 1,300 known performances of his music have taken place throughout the world, including 450 symphonic performances, with such major orchestras as the Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, San Francisco, Monte-Carlo, Prague, Nagoya and national symphonies of Guatemala and Costa Rica.

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