Vilém Tauský in Cornwall

Vilém Tauský (1910-2004), born in Prerov, Moravia, was a Czech conductor and composer who from the beginning of the Second World War, lived and worked in the United Kingdom.

He was from a musical family and because of his Jewish ancestry, and the rise of Nazi Germany, he moved to France, joined the Free Czech Army and in 1940 arrived in Britain. As Sergeant Tausky, he became well known as the conductor of the Czech Army Choir and Band.

Once settled in Britain he became very involved in many aspects of musical life here – orchestral, band and choir and later, with intriguing links to Cornwall.

Perhaps his fondness for brass music should not have been a surprise as it is written: “From an early age he was addicted to music and, as a small boy, would follow local brass bands when they played on Sundays”. He was the first foreign conductor to conduct the Band of the Coldstream Guards in 100 years and was an instructor/adjudicator at Kneller Hall for some years, as well as an adjudicator at brass band competitions including the BBC’s weekly Challenging Brass competition.

1000 Cornish Male Voices

During his time as a Czech Military bandmaster, he wrote the marches Mount St Michael and Trelissick Gardens, but what even more clearly links him with Cornwall is the fact that he was chosen to lead the 1,000 Cornish Male Voices concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983. No doubt organiser and compere, Richard Radcliffe, wanted someone independent of the choirs so as not to be accused of favouritism but equally he wanted someone of international standing. This was a spectacular and memorable event and the man with the baton needed to be someone with the reputation, quality and personality to match – that man was Vilém Tauský. He visited Cornwall for the final few rehearsals and, of course, led the choir and band in the concert that still lives on in the memories of those who experienced the wealth of talent brought together for this unique Cornish occasion.






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