“Czech national artist”
Josef Bohuslav Foerster (1859-1951), the son of Josef Foerster (also a composer and the teacher of Franz Léhar) was born and studied in Prague. He composed a lot: five symphonies, and at least five operas, and numerous pieces of chamber music, but for the longest time he made his living as a critic and a teacher. First in Hamburg, where he became a close friend of Gustav Mahler’s, and later in Vienna. In 1921 Foerster was appointed professor for composition at the conservatory in Prague, and led the institution for ten years before becoming the head of the Tchech academy of science and art. In 1946 he was made “Czech national artist”. Foerster was married to an acclaimed opera singer, Bertha Lauterer, and his knowledge of voice shows in his pleasant-to-sing songs.