Prague Concert Life, 1850-1881

Event title:

Performance of new [polka-]françaises submitted as entries to composition competition

Venue: Konvikt

Event type: Popular social musical and dance events

Date: 07/12/1850 6pm

Season: Advent

Programme unspecified:

General participants:
  • ensemble of Infantry Regiment of Baron von Wimpffen: participating ensemble
  • WHIT, Emil: director of ensemble


Information about this event, and of two subsequent events in this series was published by Bohemia 14/11/1850. This text relayed details of a competition for the composition of new dances, submitted works for which would be performed on 30th November, 7th and 14th December in the Konvikt Hall. Entries and prizes fell into three categories: polkas; françaises [polka français]; waltzes. The wining polkas would receive prizes of 3, 2 and 1 ducats, and winners of the second two categories of 2 and 1 ducats each. Entrants were required to hand over their works in piano arrangement to the art and music shop of Mr Hoffmann (then managed by Hoffmann’s widow, Jan Hoffmann having died in 1849). A committee under the chairmanship of Kapellmeister Em. Whit would judge the entries and selected works were to be performed on the three dates outlined above. The final arbiter would be the public attending each event. The dances would be played through, and the public asked to tear off the name of a chosen work from the programme and drop it into a vase in the centre of the hall. Although the method of deciding the result was not reported by the Bohemia text, the winning dances were presumably those with most votes.

The profits from the three events and from the sales of the new compositions during the forthcoming Carnival season were to be donated to the Childrens’ Hospital at St Lazarus.

Brief details confirming the second event in this series were published by the Tagesanzeiger texts of Bohemia 5/12/1850 and 6/12/1850. These noted that on Saturday 7th December, ‘Evening 6pm in the Konvikt Hall: Prize concert for the two most successful Françaises’.

Summary of sources:

Bohemia, ein Unterhaltungsblatt (14/11/1850)
Bohemia, ein Unterhaltungsblatt (05/12/1850)
Bohemia, ein Unterhaltungsblatt (06/12/1850)