František Václav Svoboda
Franz Wenzel Swoboda
Svoboda, František Václav (c.1815-1856). Miltary music and dance music director and composer. Director of the Prague Artillery Regiment during the 1840s and into the early 1850s. He was also the director of the short-lived Patriotic Music Society founded in Prague in 1850, and established and became the director of the Society for the Advancement of Military Music also in 1850. According to Bohemia 11/5/1851 in May 1851 he obtained the position of Kapellmeister of the Infantry Regiment of Count Gustav von Wasa. He gave up that post in 1854 and founded the Civil Musical Ensemble or Civil-Orchestra, a band of 35 musicians probably along the lines of a military music ensemble and intended to perform in concerts, balls and outdoor musical entertainments. In September 1854 he announced in the Prague newspaper Mercy’s Anzeiger (over three days on 3, 4 and 5/9/1854) that musicians wishing to be engaged in his ensemble attend auditions at Nr.311 Charles Square daily between 8am and 10am. He compositional oeuvre mainly comprised popular dance pieces.
Mercy’s Anzeiger 5/8/1854 noted the arrival of Swoboda [Svoboda] in the city, were he was ‘well known’, especially by virtue of his being Director of the Military Music Society. Lumír 5/9/1854 also reported that Svoboda ‘know firstly as director of music of the artillery regiment, then of the regiment of Prince Vasa’ was assembling a civil orchestra to which musicians were invited to apply.