|Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, Zdenek Macal
is now an American citizen. At the age of four he began violin studies
with his father. He went on to study conducting at the Brno
Conservatory and then at the Janácek Academy of Music, where he
graduated with highest honors in 1960. Zdenek Macal's previous
positions include Music Directorships of the Czech Philharmonic
(2003-2007), the New Jersey Symphony (1993-2002), the Milwaukee
Symphony Orchestra (1986-1993), the Cologne Radio Symphony and the
Radio Orchestra of Hannover. He has also served as Chief Conductor of
the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of Chicago's Grant
Park Summer Festival and Principal Conductor of the Prague Symphony
Orchestra, where he conducted both symphonic concerts and operatic
performances. He first received international attention by winning two
prestigious contests, the 1965 International Conducting Competition in
Besançon, France, and the 1966 Dmitri Mitropoulos Competition in
New York, chaired by Leonard Bernstein. In May, 1998, the Westminster
Choir College honored Maestro Macal with an honorary doctorate.
A respected musical force, conductor Zdenek Macal is renowned in the world of classical music for his masterful interpretations and graceful conducting style. He has guest conducted over 160 orchestras worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestra della Scala, the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Hamburg Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.
Mr. Macal has also conducted at the Prague National Theater, the Smetana Theater, the Brno Opera, and the opera houses of Cologne, Geneva, Turin and Bologna. He has taken part in major international festivals including those of Vienna, Lucerne, Edinburgh, Prague, Zurich, Besançon, Athens, Montreux and Holland; as well as the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and the Ravinia, Tanglewood and Wolf Trap festivals in the United States.
Since his American debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1972, he has conducted widely throughout North America, regularly leading the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the New World Symphony and the symphony orchestras of Montreal and Toronto.
This interview was recorded at his hotel in Chicago on July 26,
1990. Segments were used
on WNIB a month later, and again in 1994 and 1996. It was also
used on WNUR twice in 2012, and on Contemporary Classical Internet
Radio also in 2012. The
transcription was made and posted on this
website in 2013.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.