TROJAN, VÁCLAV (1907-1983)

Václav Trojan (24 April 1907, Plzeň – 5 July 1983) was a Czech composer of classical music best known for his film scores. He studied organ, conducting and composition at the conservatory of Prague. Trojan studied composition at the Prague Conservatory under Jaroslav Křička and Otakar Ostrčil from 1923 to 1927. He continued his studies in the composition masterclasses of Alois Hába, Josef Suk and Vítězslav Novák until 1929. This was the time that Trojan wrote his first compositions. He was not interested in experimental music, but he created a music which was understandable for everybody, without being influenced by the taste of the day.  After he graduated, he became a free-lance musician and teacher for piano and violin, he performed as a violist and was also repetitor. In the meantime he kept writing music. His jazz-compositions were performed at national broadcasting by the orchestra of E. Schulhoff. He also worked with the Mila Mellanova's Theater, where he met the librettist for his later children's opera Kolotoc.

A composer and arranger of dance and jazz music in the 1930's, he was a music director for Radio Prague from 1937 to 1945. In 1940 he worked with the producer Jiří Frejka and together with him he wrote several pieces for the National Theater (Narodni Divadlo). In 1950 he wrote works based on the pre-Smetana tradition of the Czech national revival movement, which were very popular: "Pani Marjanka," "Matka Pluku," etc. After the end of World War II, Trojan composed most frequently for film, stage and radio, and developed a close association with director Jiří Trnka, earning international fame for his music for Trnka's popular animated puppet films. Trojan's music is mostly written in a neo-classical style, and he often drew inspiration from the traditions of Czech folk music. In 1940 he was given the Czech National Prize for his remarkable children’s opera Kolotoč (The Merry-Go-Round), and in 1960 the K. Gottwald State Prize for his music for "Sen noci svatojánské" ("A Midsummer Night’s Dream").