2001–2021: 20 Years of Striking the Right Notes for the Radio

9. únor 2021

The year 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Music Publishing House (Vydavatelství a nakladatelství) of Czech Radio. Established in 2001, the entity followed in the tradition of producing and purchasing sheet music – a tradition harking back to the beginnings of music broadcasting and the radio orchestra in 1926.

Up until 2001, the Central Sheet-Music Archive (later the Sheet Music Fund) fulfilled tasks such as keeping a music sheet archive of all radio ensembles (SOČR – Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, TOČR – Czechoslovak Radio Dance Orchestra, JOČR – Czechoslovak Radio Jazz Orchestra, Czechoslovak Radio Choir etc.) and preparing material for studio production. Occasionally, it offered music-sheet hire services to other orchestras.

After 1989, foreign publishers entered the Czech market and gradually became the holders of the copyright on many compositions by Czech authors including works that had been commissioned by Czech Radio and to which Czech Radio had produced performance material. The publishers started asking fees for the broadcasting (and repeating) of such works.

The main goal of the Music Publishing House was to protect the copyright of the compositions from the radio archive and to minimize costs of their broadcasting. Another, no less important goal was to make the works, which are kept by Czech Radio as musical notations, accessible to the public and to offer them for performance or recording. Apart from hiring orchestra materials, the business activities later included also selling newly published sheet music publications intended primarily for music schools of all grades.

Today, the Music Publishing House is an important player in the Czech musical life and radio operation and it has a unique position within the European public service radios. It helps new and forgotten compositions to become known and it cooperates with young composers and musicians.

The celebrations of the 20th anniversary shall have three components spread over the year. On February 2, a special concert was held and broadcasted life on the Vltava station. Its programme included selected pieces from the catalogue of Czech Radio and it was dedicated not only to the anniversary of the publishing house, but also to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czech composer Jan Novák, whose compositions have been published by Czech Radio on a systematic and long-term basis.

In the first quarter of the year, we will present a special brochure (both printed and electronic) summarizing the 20 years of history of the publishing house, offering unique material, photographs and recollections of prominent projects.

Throughout the whole year, we will be offering twenty new miniatures from twenty Czech authors who feature prominently in the radio catalogue. To commemorate our anniversary, each of the twenty composers wrote a brief piece of music mostly of instructional nature and for an instrument of their choice. We will gradually publish them on our website. Apart from the notation, we shall provide also recordings, which will be prepared during January and February in the radio studio.

Click here for more information and to view the catalogue of the publishing house, read the profiles of the authors and enter the database of compositions.

Czech Radio Hire Catalogue is exclusively represented by SCHOTT MUSIC GmbH & Co. KG abroad.

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