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Miloslav Penicka (1935-2019) : Represented Artist

After Dvorak's return from America he was appointed head of Prague Conservatorium and taught composition at its Master School.When one budding composer asked 'What style should I write in?' the Master answered: 'Sing the way your beak is grown!'

Random Audio Sample: Up in the fluffy clouds by Miloslav Penicka, from the CD 2002 Education Program

Photo of Miloslav Penicka

Miloslav Penicka was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) in 1935. In 1950 he moved to Prague, where he matriculated in 1953. Five years of study at the Prague Conservatorium of Music were rewarded with a high distinction Diploma in Composition in 1958. Two years of compulsory military service followed. Then he enrolled at the Charles University's Philosophical Faculty which included the Prague Academy of Music Arts, graduating in 1964, also with high distinction in Composition, equivalent to BA Hons or MA.

In 1964 Penicka married Australian violinist Janet Harvey, and followed her to Australia. He taught piano, and worked in the ABC's music library and as NSW music librarian to the SSO, positions which informed his composition style. In 1977 he took up a position at Abbotsleigh Secondary School in Sydney, and the same year married violinist and teacher Sandra Parton.

Penicka received Czech Government Scholarships for 1953-58 and 1960-64 and commissions, in Czechoslovakia and Australia, from organisations and ensembles such as the Pilsen Radio Orchestra (1962), Vycpaleks' Ensemble of Dances and Song, Sydney Grammar School (1980), Lane Cove Youth Orchestra, and Nova Youth Orchestra. He composed a number of solo instrumental works, popular on the HSC syllabus, including Kookaburra's Friends for solo piano, premiered by Ross Hamilton, and Cavatina for cello and piano, which Miloslav's son Martin has performed widely, including for broadcast on the ABC. Cavatina also featured on Volume 2 of the Hush Collection in 2002. In the same year, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra included a movement of his Gemini Suite (1993), 'Up in the Fluffy Clouds', in its education program.

Miloslav Penicka died in Sydney on 6 February 2019 at the age of 83.

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Movement 1 : for alto saxophone with multiphonics and piano (1998) Commissioned by Franziska Schroeder.
Digital sheet music sample Once upon a time : full orchestra : youth orchestra (1995) Commissioned by Anne Phelan for Public School Symphony Orchestra (N.S.W.)