When music professor Dr. Ted Stern traveled to the small Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlow, he entered a concert being conducted by Jarsolave Krcek one night.
Krcek’s piece “Wisdom of Life” was being performed, and Stern described that night’s concert as a “drop dead” performance. He immediately knew that arrangements had to be made to perform the symphony in the United States.
Krcek’s Symphony No. 4 “Wisdom of Life,” completed in 2000, had its United States premier on the Glendale College auditorium main stage Sunday.
“Wisdom of Life” is composed of four movements: “Joy,” “Rest in Peace,” “Vitality” and the title piece “Desiderata (Wisdom of Life)” whose subtitle denotes Krcek’s inclusion of the 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann and was sung by soprano soloist Holly Shaw Price.
The concert Stern attended that night in Cesky Krumlow was the first time the piece was performed in front of an audience.
Stern later met up with Krcek to arrange the symphony to be played at Glendale College. Krcek was more than happy to, and days later the music department received the section pieces for the symphony.
Since the piece was going to have its debut in the U.S., Stern wondered why the music department could not bring Krcek himself to the performance.
“The administration said that it did not have the money,” Stern said. So the music department raised the money themselves. “We were getting close in the amount of money,” said Stern. However, they encountered another roadblock.
The music department could not secure Krcek a visa.
“We will send him a recording of this performance,” Stern said.