May 25, 1950
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. His father then was sound engineer with
Czechoslovak Radio, later held technical office jobs in various industrial
companies. Mother was shop-assistant, from childbirth on disability
First lessons in piano and music theory, initially private, then, from
1959, at state music school. Music teachers encourage young student´s
penchant for composition.
Music school piano professor initiates meeting with Jan Zdeněk Bartoš
who teaches composition at Prague Conservatory. During the following three
years Bartoš prepares O.K., free of charge, for Conservatory entrance
exam. From then O.K. devotes himself systematically to composition (early
attempts include sonata for violin, sonata for piano, wind quintet, string
quartet, and symphony).
Beginning of studies at Prague Conservatory courses of organ and
composition. Teachers include Josef Kubáň (organ), Miroslav Raichl,
František Kovaříček, J.Z. Bartoš (composition; forms and analysis;
instrumentation), Zdeněk Hůla (harmony;counterpoint). During Conservatory
studies writes a number of composition studies, apart from that composing
“for himself” (typically while on holiday), works including a concerto for
piano and orchestra, and another symphony.
Enrols for studies at Prague´s Academy of Music, Department of
Composition, class of Jiří Pauer (opening term in the class of Emil
Hlobil). His compositional thinking of the time, influenced by Classical
European music (intensive study of J.S. Bach´s legacy inspired by previous
Conservatory “organ-oriented” erudition; on the whole, a tendency to
embrace the “Classical” line of Bach – Mozart – Beethoven – Brahms –
Dvořák – Tchaikovsky – Franck – Hindemith – Prokofiev – Shostakovich), is
newly confronted with study of “Musica Nova.” Simultaneously with
composition study, work as performing musician (organ, piano,
Marriage with fellow-student from organ class, Miluška Wagnerová
(daughters Eva, b. 1974, and Martina, b. 1977). By then O.K. assumes a
more sharply defined standpoint on the future development of his
compositional style: namely, while adopting from Musica Nova a number of
technical elements (concept of “colour”, so-called aleatory technique,
option of loosening time zones assigned to
Completes studies at Academy of Music, submitting as his degree thesis
Symphony for Organ and Orchestra. By then he is already employed as voice
coach at the Prague National Theatre opera company. After graduation he
engages in extensive compositional activity, often motivated purely by
inner creative impulse. Of crucial importance for O.K.´s further
development as composer is his involvement in a friendly association of
composers of the same generation (Vladimír Tichý, Miroslav Kubička, Pavel
Jeřábek, Štěpán Rak, Juraj Filas, Jiří Gemrot, plus occasionally others).
The group´s regular meetings offer platform for in-depth study of works of
all periods and styles. The outcome of this process is the reaffirmation
of O.K.´s pursuit in the line of “synthesis” between Classical style and
certain elements of Musica Nova.
After return from yearlong national service (in the Army Art Ensemble), he takes up a job as music director in Czechoslovak Radio. At that time, he earns comparatively early repute as composer, thanks to several prizes from composers contests, as well as to several relatively successful premieres (Piano Trio; Sinfonietta “Metamorphosis,” etc.). O.K.´s works are performed on prestigious Czech platforms (New Compositions Week; Young Platform at Karlovy Vary; Smetana Youth Fest at Litomyšl; and subsequently, Prague Spring; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra´s subscription series); admission as member of Composers´ Union; appointments to various posts connected with organizing Czech music life; commissions from prestigious chamber ensembles for new works which are performed in his home country and internationally; release of O.K.´s compositions on records, and publication of sheet music. His performed works are mostly acclaimed by musicians, audiences and a section of the critical community, while others tend to reject them for the alleged conservatism of the Classical foundation of the composer´s style. Consequently, he proceeds to undertake an introspective reassessment of the underlying principles of his musical thinking. The outcome is a more radical integration of elements from Musica Nova (involving the use of more elaborate means in both melodics and chordal structure, as well as in stylization and compositional structure; all of this, however, without ever renouncing the need for lucid thematic groundwork as the basis of musical message), which is reflected in several compositions dating from around 1980 (String Quartet No. 4; first version of Symphony in E flat major, and others).
From Sept. 1, employed as secretary of the Composers
Radical change of the country´s social structure
His wife dies; three years later, marriage with
Otomar Kvěch died in Prague on March 16, 2018.