Orchestral Works
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World premiere recordings of this major composer's orchestral output, including his Symphony No. 1, written at age 16.

Born in Paris of Czech parents, Tomas Svoboda spent the years of World War II in Boston where he began his musical education on the piano. Showing a early talent for composing, Svoboda completed his first opus, now published, at the age of 9. After his family's return to Prague in 1946, he continued his music studies entering the Prague Conservatory in 1954 as its youngest student. The premiere of the First Symphony (recorded on this CD) in 1957, performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vaclav Smetacek, caused a sensation, for until Svoboda walked onto the stage to acknowledge the applause, many in the audience had not realized the 36-minute symphony had been composed by a 16 year old boy not yet even formally schooled in composition or orchestration. In 1962, after graduating from the Prague Conservatory with degrees in percussion, composition and conducting, Svoboda entered the Academy of Music in Prague. By this time, performances and radio broadcasts of his orchestral works had brought him national recognition, clearly establishing him as one of the finest young composers of his generation. In 1964, his family escaped communist-ruled Czechoslovakia and settled in the United States where Svoboda enrolled in the University of Southern California as a graduate student in 1966. His skills were already so far advanced that the department allowed him to forego the usual courses and study privately with Ingolf Dahl and Halsey Stevens, the Chairman of the Department, a composer and Bartok scholar. Stevens has written: "It was almost embarrassing to have him come to lessons with his work so completely and satisfactorily realized that it needed almost nothing in the way of criticism." After receiving a master's degree in 1969, Tomas Svoboda accepted a teaching position at Portland State University in Oregon where he taught composition and music theory. He retired from active teaching duties in June 1999.
Tomas Svoboda, composer
Overture of the Season, Op. 89
Oregon Symphony, James DePreist, conductor

Tomas Svoboda, composer
Concerto for Marimba and Orchetra, Op. 148
Oregon Symphony, James DePreist, conductor, Niel DePonte, marimba

Tomas Svoboda, composer
Symphony No. 1, Op. 20
Oregon Symphony, James DePreist, conductor

"This is definitely a worthy program..." (American Record Guide)
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PACIFIC NORTHWEST COMPOSERS Portland State University Choir