Obituary: Ivan Sedlacek Passes Away at 91

By Afton Wooten

Czech conductor and choirmaster Ivan Sedláček passed away July 20, 2023.

In 1956, Sedláček founded and led the award-winning children’s and youth choir Kantiléna (previously known as the Šlapanicky Children’s Choir). He led the choir on several foreign tours. In March 1957, the Šlapanicky Children’s Choir won the district round of the Youth Creativity Competition and again in years to come as well as in regional and central competitions. The choir was invited to perform on the Czechoslovak Radio in Brno and with the National Theatre Brno (then Brno Opera).

Several well-known opera professionals, including mezzo-sopranos Magdalena Kožená and tenor Pavel Černoch, were members of Sedláček choir.

While Sedláček was not formally trained in music, he learned the basics of conducting from Zdenek Kaňák and choirmaster Libor Coufalík. He studied with Professor George Bar to improve his vocal education. Sedláček lectured at various choirmaster seminars, served as a member of competition juries, and mentored many young artists and students. He was a member of the Expert Council of the ARTAMA Prague information and advisory center for children’s choirs.

The František Lysek Award (1989), City of Brno Award – awarded to the Kantiléna Choir (1996), a Medal of Merit 1st degree. (2022) and the Artis Bohemiae Amicis Medal (2022) include only some of the awards Sedláček received for his work.