Ladislav Slovák ranked as one of the most distinguished personalities in Slovák music life. After finishing the organ course at the City Music School he entered the Conservatory in Bratislava, where he studied organ and conducting with Professor K. Schimpl. Graduating in 1945, he became a producer for Czechoslovak Radio in Bratislava. In 1946 he founded an amateur chorus, which was engaged in 1948 as a professional body by the Czechoslovak Radio. Under the ten-year guidance of Ladislav Slovák the ensemble achieved the highest artistic level.
Two great conductor personalities,Václav Talich and Evgeny Mravinsky, influenced Slovák’s artistic growth and development. Under Talich’s guidance Slovák completed in 1953 his conducting studies at the Music Academy in Bratislava. Talich was the first to discover his exceptional talent and organisational abilities, his persistence and uncompromising approach to creative work. In 1954–55 Slovák became Mravinsky’s assistant with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, where he turned his attention to the rich treasury of Russian orchestral music. After his return Slovák was appointed Principal Conductor of the Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava. In autumn 1959 he served as a guest conductor with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in an extended tour to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, India and the USSR. In 1961 Slovák was appointed Principal Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. At the same time he undertook more engagements abroad, conducting important orchestras in Europe and in Asia, particularly in Japan, while accepting some longer lasting engagements in Australia, notably with the Radio Orchestras in Melbourne and Adelaide. In 1968 he undertook an extended tour of Canada and the United States with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, alternating with the conductor-in-chief of the orchestra, Karel Ančerl. He was invited to conduct Martinů’s opera Greek Passion and from 1972 to 1976 was also Principal Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK. He died after a long illness on 22 July 1999.
For Naxos, Slovák recorded the complete cycle of Shostakovich symphonies with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava.
|Box Set Release
|20th Century Classics
|SHOSTAKOVICH Complete Symphonies Vol 1
|SHOSTAKOVICH Complete Symphonies Vol 2