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Ivan Zelenka

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Ivan Zelenka
Ivan Zelenka

Ivan Zelenka (* March 7th, 1941, Prague) is a Czech trombonist, composer, arranger, and choir director.


Ivan Zelenka graduated from The Prague Conservatoire in trombone and percussion (he graduated in 1965). He also took composition privately with Jan Truhlář and later Jan Rychlík. After his studies, he became a member of the orchestra at the ABC Theater in Prague from 1963-68.  He played in the Karel Vlach Orchestra from 1968-77. Until 1993 he played in The Czechoslovak Television Orchestra. He performed with these bands in many European countries during the Communist era. Currently as a trombonist, Ivan Zelenka is a soloist both in Ferdinand Havlík’s Swing Band and The Prague Film Orchestra.

After the dissolution of The Czechoslovak Television Orchestra, he worked five years in the library of The Czech Radio and then fourteen years in the Music Library for Radio Free Europe. He has also, for seven years, been a professor at Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory. He composes and arranges a variety of popular music and jazz, and music for and from films and musicals. He has directed and arranged orchestral  and choral recordings for TV shows and films (Hotel Herbich, Zdivočelá země, Slavné souboje, Pěsti ve tmě by Zdeněk Barták). As an arranger he has collaborated on several of Barták’s musicals performed in Seoul:

' The Tempest', which won two Asian Oscars, 'Romeo and Juliet', and 'A Christmas Carol'.

As an arranger and conductor, he worked on the musical 'Mefisto' by Daniel Barták.

In recent years, Ivan Zelenka has done more conducting. He arranged the scores of the Bartak's musicals 'Baron Prášil' and 'Sněhová královna' ('The Snow Queen'). He has helped record CDs for various singers. In the years 2009 - 2011 he directed the Seoul Symphony Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra at concerts in Busan and Seoul, South Korea.

He regularly works with the Czech Sokol Organisation arranging music for their gatherings (Slet).[1]

Since 1993, he has been the director of women's choir the Prague Lady Teachers Choir. He has composed and arranged many pieces for the choir. The bulk of Mr Zelenka’s compositions for the four-part women's choir fall into the classical music genre.

In 2016, Ivan Zelenka received an award for Lifetime Choir Directing from the International Festival of  Romantic Music in Vlachovo Březí.

In 2018, Mr Zelenka was given Lifelong Achievement Award from the Czech Trombone Association for his compositions for the trombone.


Chamber pieces

Collection of compositions for guitar and string quartet (received an award in Piestany, Slovakia)

Three preludes for harp (recorded at The Czechoslovak Radio studio)

Imagination for two guitars (recorded at The Czechoslovak Radio studio)

Saxophone quartet (recorded at The Czechoslovak Radio studio)

Foolishness for bass trombone and string quartet (recorded at The Czechoslovak Radio studio)

Christmas Meditation for flute, percussion, and piano

Five  feuilletons for low brass (recorded at The Czech Radio studio)

Elegy and Rondo for flute and guitar

Prelude, Fugue, and Toccata for two guitars (also version for cello and accordion)

Music for Films That Have Never Been Filmed  for flute, bass clarinet, and piano

Trombone is Easy (If You Can Play It)  for two tenor trombones, premiered at Prague Bone Fest 2018, Martinů AMU Hall, Praha, soloist Robert Kozánek and Lukáš Moťka

Playful pieces for English horn and harp

Basstrombonissimo for bass trombone and marimba, premiered at Prague Bone Fest 2018, Martinů AMU Hall, Prague, soloists bastrombon Zdeněk Němec, marimba Šimon Veselý

Palette - for wind quintet

Flétny si povídají trojdílný cyklus pro 2 flétny

Two dances for trombon and piano – Blues and Samba Concerts

Concertino for oboe and strings

Concert for guitar and chamber orchestra (recorded at The Czechoslovak Radio)

Concert for two guitars and chamber orchestra

Concert for trombone and symphonic orchestra

Concert for bass trombone and symphonic orchestra

Vocal-Orchestral Works

Stabat Mater for four soloists (SATB), mixed choir and symphony orchestra, premiered on Jan 16th, 2020, Hradec králové Philharmonic, conductor Miriam Němcová, Pražský filharmonický sbor, soprano Lucie Silkenová, alto Hannah Esther Minutillo, tenor Michal Bragagnolo, bass Ivo Hrachovec

Te Deum for 2 soloists ST, mixed choir SATB and symphonic orchestra

Skladby pro ženský sbor

Ave Maria



My Lord

The Teachers Are Having a Ball (Zelenka’s music and lyrics, with a jazz trio) – Učitelky mají bál

Firm Gelatine (a collection of 6 songs based on Jiří Dědeček's amusing poetry) – Uleželé želé

Cantate Domino (for solo soprano, women’s choir, and either piano or classical guitar)

Song about My Homeland (verses by Jaroslav Seifert) – Píseň o rodné zemi

In the Hills (lyrics and music by Ivan Zelenka) – Na horách

Barnodaj on the text of the poem of the same name based on artificial words by Jaromír Hnilička

A selection of Arrangements of Czech folk songs for women’s choir

Water is Flowing (Teče voda, teče)

In the Vicinity of Třeboň (Okolo Třeboně)

Bloom, Red Rose! (Červená růžičko rozvíjej se)

If the Lord Would Only Let Me Marry the Bagpiper (Kdyby mě to Pánbůh dal)

O, My Son (Ach synku, synku)

Other activities and memberships[edit]

  • Member of AHUV Composers Association
  • Member of the jury for musicals and operettas for the Czech Thalia Award (until 2020)
  • Member of the Cactus and Succulent Growers Association
  • Member of the Czech Fishing Association


Other articles of the topic Hudba

 : Ondřej Brzobohatý, Rosenberk Consort
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Category:Living people Category:1941 births Category:Czech conductors (music) Category:Czech composers Category:Czech musicians Category:Born in Prague

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  1. "HROMADNÉ SKLADBY – slet.sokol.eu" (in čeština). Retrieved 2021-05-04.