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Václav Neumann

Biography

Born: October 29, 1920; Prague, Czech Republic   Died: September 2, 1995; Vienna, Austria  
The career of Czech conductor Václav Neumann was closely tied to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, for which he served as chief conductor during three separate tenures, totaling 25 years, starting in 1948 and ending in 1993. He also garnered other important podium assignments, including chief conductor of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and musical general-director of the Leipzig Opera.

As a child Václav Neumann showed
Read more musical talent early on and by his mid-teens could play the violin with considerable proficiency, if not seasoned mastery. He entered the Prague Conservatory in 1940, where he spent the war years receiving instruction on the violin from Josef Micka. Liked many violinists Neumann also developed impressive skills on the viola during this period. In addition, he studied conducting at the conservatory with Pavel Dedecek and Metod Dolezil. In 1945, Neumann helped found the Smetana Quartet, a group for which he played viola. He also played that instrument as one of the members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in the early postwar years. In 1948, he accepted the appointment of conductor of the CPO, but his selection seemed a stopgap one in light of the political instabilities and other difficulties afflicting Prague during this period. Once the services of veteran Czech conductor Karel Ancerl were obtained in 1950, the 33-year-old Neumann had to step down. He took on the post as chief conductor at the Karlovy Vary State Philharmonic Orchestra that same year. He served but three years there, then accepted the music directorship of the Brno Symphony Orchestra in 1954, where he remained for just two seasons. In 1956, he began a lengthy association with the Berlin Comic Opera, where he was a conductor for eight seasons -- two as the company's chief conductor. He stepped down in 1964 and that year accepted the post of chief conductor of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Neumann's first important recordings came during his tenure with Leipzig and included an impressive performance of the Mahler Symphony No. 5, released on Vanguard Records. Because of the invading Soviet troops who had arrived in Prague, Ancerl departed his CPO conducting post in 1968, eventually to serve as music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1970-1973). Ironically, Neumann replaced him, assuming the chief conductor's duties that year. Under his guidance, the CPO, already a world-class orchestra, grew in both ability and prestige. He made numerous successful tours abroad, as well as a number of critically acclaimed recordings over the next two decades, including complete cycles of the symphonies of Mahler and Martinu. From 1970-73, Neumann concurrently served as the musical general director of the Stuttgart Staatsoper. Here and in his earlier opera position in Berlin, Neumann developed a broad repertory that encompassed Janácek (The Cunning Little Vixen was an especial success in Berlin), Mozart (Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro), Wagner (Tristan und Isolde), and Shostakovich (Katerina Ismailova). Although his symphonic output on records was large, he turned out relatively few operatic efforts on disc. Among them was the Janácek pair The Cunning Little Vixen and From the House of the Dead. In 1989, Neumann led protests against the now-weakened Czech Communist government, which helped hasten its collapse later that year. He stepped down as chief conductor of the CPO in 1990, but because of wrangling among orchestra members and other complexities regarding a successor, he returned for one more season in 1992-1993. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Dvorak In Love? / Julian Lloyd Webber
    Label: Firefly Entertainmen (Dvd)   Catalog: 8102 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Bruckner: Complete Symphonies / Rogner, Konwitschny, Neumann, Sanderling
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94686 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Franz Konwitschny,  Kurt Sanderling,  Heinz Rögner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 3.
    Dvorak: Piano Concerto And Piano Quintets / Firkusny, Neumann
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802212 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek
    Performer:  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
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  • 4.
    Gluck: Orfeo Ed Euridice / Bumbry, Rothenberger, Neumann
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94703 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Ruth Margaret Pütz,  Walter Olbertz
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Dvorak: Orchestral Works & Concertos
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4123 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Josef Suk
    Performer:  Milos Sádlo,  Ivan Moravec,  Václav Hudecek,  Josef Suk
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bohumil Gregor,  Jakub Hrusa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonia  ... 
    On sale! $56.98
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  • 6.
    Kalabis: Symphonies, Concertos / Kosler, Neumann, Kalabis, Belohlavek
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4109 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Viktor Kalabis
    Performer:  Zuzana Ruzicková,  Petr Skvor,  Miroslav Kejmar,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek,  Viktor Kalabis,  Václav Neumann,  Milos Konvalinka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Orchestra,  Czech Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $145.49
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  • 8.
    Best Of Brahms
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300344 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Jan Vogler,  Bruno Canino,  Peter Rösel,  Peter Damm  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Hartwig Eschenburg,  Günther Herbig,  Helmut Koch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Solistenvereinigung
    CD: $14.99
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  • 9.
    Stravinsky: The Firebird, Les Noces, Symphony In C, Etc. / Neumann,  Czech Philharmonic, Tokyo String Quartet
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350057 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Tokyo String Quartet,  Prague Radio Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $32.98
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  • 10.
    Gute Nacht, Schlafe Sacht: Klassische Musik Fur Kinder (Good Night, Sleep Tight)
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300346 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Pistorius,  Norman Shetler,  Igor Oistrakh,  Peter Rösel  ... 
    Conductor:  Günther Herbig,  Franz Konwitschny,  Václav Neumann,  Herbert Blomstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen Wind Soloists
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Kinderklassik: Classical Music For Children, Vol. 2
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300347 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Hans Sotin,  Georgine Resick,  Gerhard Erber  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Bernhard Klee,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 12.
    Dvorak: Symphonic Works / Neumann, Czech
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4090 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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    On sale! $56.98
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  • 13.
    Winter Classics: Klassische Musik Zum Kuscheln
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300194 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Erwin Kretzschmar,  Rolf-Dieter Arens,  Dieter Zechlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel,  Otmar Suitner,  Helmut Koch,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 14.
    Sensual Classics: Vision
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300258 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Franz Konwitschny,  Kurt Masur,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 15.
    Bohemian Impressions
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4058 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Vitezslav Novák,  Bohuslav Martinu  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Jiri Belohlávek,  Libor Pesek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Dvorak: Violin Concerto; Suk: Fantasy, Etc. / Neumann, Suk, Czech Philharmonic
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4047 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Josef Suk
    Performer:  Josef Suk
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    Dvorak: Symphony No 9; Janacek: Missa Glagolitica / Vaclav Neumann
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101535 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek
    Performer:  Gabriela Benacková,  Drahomíra Drobková,  Jozef Kundlák,  Sergej Kopcak  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Smetana: Mein Vaterland / Neumann, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300067 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Best Of Classics - Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Chopin, Mozart
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4013 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Jiri Reinberger,  Jan Kalfus,  Miroslav Kejmar,  Zuzana Ruzicková  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohumil Kulínsky,  Jaroslav Krcek,  Milan Munclinger,  Josef Vlach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Children's Chorus,  Musica Bohemica,  Ars Rediviva  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 20.
    Danse Macabre: Dances At Dusk From Liszt To Stravinsky
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300103 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Gustav Mahler,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Süher Pekinel,  Güher Pekinel,  Nelson Freire,  Christian Funke  ... 
    Conductor:  Jörg-Peter Weigle,  Günther Herbig,  Herbert Kegel,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    In Fremden Landern (Foreign Lands)
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300087 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Güher Pekinel,  Süher Pekinel,  Cécile Ousset
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Günther Herbig,  Jörg-Peter Weigle,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Music Of Viktor Kalabis
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1350 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Viktor Kalabis
    Performer:  Zuzana Ruzicková,  Josef Suk
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek,  Zdenek Kosler,  Václav Neumann,  Karel Sejna
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Soloists,  Vlach String Quartet
    Recommendation
    On sale! $43.98
    CD: $37.99
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  • 23.
    Dvorak In America
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4025 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Josef Chuchro,  Milos Sádlo,  Jaroslav Soucek,  Gabriela Benacková
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek,  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Panocha String Quartet,  Smetana String Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 24.
    Czech Opera Highlights
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4026 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Performer:  Daniela Sounová-Brouková,  Ivana Mixová,  Benno Blachut,  Gabriela Benacková  ... 
    Conductor:  Jiri Pinkas,  Zdenek Kosler,  Jaroslav Krombholc,  Zdenek Chalabala  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague National Theatre Orchestra,  Brno Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Leos Janacek: The Excursions Of Mr. Broucek
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3985 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leos Janácek
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
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    CD: $18.99
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