Born: March 25, 1928 - Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died: July 2, 1995 - Prague, Czechoslovakia
The Czech conductor, Zdeněk Košler, studied in Prague with Grüinfeldová (piano), Jeremiaš and Řídkżý (theory and composition), and Dĕdeček (conducting). He then took conducting courses with Karel Ančerl, Brock, and Doležil at the Prague Academy of Music (Arts) from 1948 to 1952.
Zdeněk Košler made his conducting debut at the National Theater of Prague with Il barbiere di Siviglia in 1951 and conducted there until 1958. He then became chief conductor and music director of the Olomouc Opera from 1958 to 1962, and of the Ostrava Opera from 1962 to 1966. He distinguished himself early in his career by winning in 1956 the st prize in the Besançon Conductors' Competition, and in 1963 the 1st prize in the Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition in New York. The prize in the second of these enabled him to work as assistant-conductor with Leonard Bernstein for one year.
Zdeněk Košler was chief conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra in 1966-1967. He also served as Generalmusikdirektor of the Komische Oper in East Berlin from 1966 to 1968. Then he was chief conductor of the Slovak National Theater Opera in Bratislava from 1971 to 1979. He also underook engagements at the same time with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague. As permanent conductor of the latter he travelled widely, in addition to guest appearances with major orchestras abroad, in Europe, Canada and the Far East. He was chief conductor and artistic director of the Prague National Theater Opera from 1980 to 1985, and was again chief conductor from 1989 to 1991.
In 1974 Zdeněk Košler was made an Artist of Merit, and in 1984 received the highest national honour, the title National Artist, from the Czech government, while winning awards abroad for his recordings.