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MINT CONDITION

SEPAN SUCHÝ - VIOLINIST

Three page autographed letter to a friend, by the Czech violinist, un-translated and signed “Prof. Suchý”, February 17, 1910.

Suchý (1872-1920) was a pupil of Ottokar Sevcik, who became his mentor. Suchý studied with him from 1893, to 1897 at the Prague Conservatory, earned a first prize upon graduation. (Jan Kubelik won the first the following year.)  Sevcik immediately hired him as his deputy, where he prepared all of Sevcik’s Conservatory pupils in many cases he worked more with the students than Sevcik himself.  When Sevcik went to Vienna in 1906, Suchy was promoted to his professorship.  Suchý was considered a tough teacher and his pupil, the composer Bohuslav Martinu wrote about the experience in his autobiography.  The Professor was a stern taskmaster who expected perfection from his pupils.  The violinist Jan Marak, also a Professor at the Prague Conservatory described him as a “born teacher”.  His pupils while working as Sevcik’s deputy included Marie Hall and Vaclav Talich.  His own pupils besides Martinu included; Maria & Henriette Bach, Josef Barton, Ervin Brokesova, Enric Casals (Pablo Casals’s brother) Jaroslav Celeda, Jindrich Feld, Karel Kalik, Agnes Knoflicek, Jan Kubelik Jr., Frantisek Kudlacek, Bohuslav Leopold, William Macphail, Otto Meyer, August Molzer, Jaroslav Pekelsky, Jan Rezek, Jan Slais, Stepan Stojanovic, Friedrich Voldan and Richard Zika among others. Suchý was Rector of the Conservatory at the time of his early death at 48.

Suchý also found time to perform, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician.  He was often a performer on the festival stages around the various Bohemian venues.  He also was the violinist with the original Czech Trio, which was formed at about the same time as the Bohemian Quartet.  The trio was initially made up of Suchý, pianist Karel Hoffmeister and cellist Bedrich Vaska.  They formed in 1899 and after a year, cellist Jan Burian took over for Vaska and remained until 1902, when Arthur Beatty took over for their final year together in 1903.  They were part of the Czech Chamber Association with the Bohemian Quartet and played throughout the Czech Republic, Vienna and Budapest.  Their repertoire was heavy on Czech composers, Smetana, Dvorak, Novak, Foerster and Fibich, but they also played works by Schubert, Brahms, Chopin and Saint Saëns.  Several of the works were written for them by the Czech composers.

An exceedingly scarce letter by an important Czech violinist.