Czech conductor (b. 11 December 1841 in Prčice; d. 27 December 1903 in Prague), born Adolf Jan Antonin Tausik.
The son of a singing instructor, Čech first trained as an engineer in Prague prior to following a career in music. From 1862 he was choirmaster at the Provisional Theatre, and deputy conductor at the Czech Theatre in Olomouc. From 1876 he was principal conductor at the National Theatre in Prague, where he premiered operas by Smetana, Dvořák and many other Czech and Slavic composers. He was also a translator of opera librettos.
On 16/28 July 1882, Čech conducted the Czech premiere of The Maid of Orleans in Prague: the first production of an opera by Tchaikovsky outside Russia. Čech ceded the conductor's rostrum to Tchaikovsky for the first performance of Yevgeny Onegin in Prague on 24 November/6 December 1888 (the first production of that opera outside Russia), but, four years later, on 30 September/12 October 1892, he conducted the Czech premiere of The Queen of Spades at the National Theatre, in the presence of the composer.
Correspondence with Tchaikovsky
6 letters from Tchaikovsky to Adolf Čech have survived, dating from 1888 to 1891, all of which have been translated into English on this website:
- Letter 3676 – 22 September/3 October 1888, from Frolovskoye
- Letter 3687a – 5/17 October 1888, from Frolovskoye
- Letter 3702 – 17/29 October 1888, from Frolovskoye
- Letter 3745 – 23 December 1888/4 January 1889, from Saint Petersburg
- Letter 4489 – 30 September/12 October or 1/13 October 1891 (?), from Maydanovo
- Letter 4513 – 16/28 October 1891, from Maydanovo
5 letters from Čech to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1888 and 1891, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive