The genius of Rafael Kubelík

David Mellor, Sunday 10 August 2014, 7pm. David Mellor looks at the extraordinary life and career of the great Czech conductor.

In this the centenary year of the legendary Czech conductor Rafael Kubelík, David Mellor invites you to join him in paying homage to this great maestro who escaped Communist Czechoslovakia to direct the world's greatest orchestras. 

His life was filled with extraordinary events; he went into hiding during the Second World War after a number of forthright actions - including declining to use a Hitler salute and refusing to conduct Wagner during the war. He was later dismissed from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for introducing too many contemporary works, demanding exhaustive rehearsals and engaging several black artists. 

We’ll hear Kubelík’s recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, with plenty of fine music including favourites by Mahler and Smetana.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Cat composer Alexander Livitsanos

This utterly adorable kitten is the ultimate distraction from work

chocolate bar musical taste

Can we guess your favourite chocolate bar from your favourite composer?

broken e-string violin

This clip captures the sheer horror of an E-string snapping halfway through a live radio broadcast