Czech composer, editor and musicologist Viktor Kalabis was born in Červený Kostelec on 27 February 1923. He had to wait until the end of World War II before studying music in Prague.
Kalabis wrote ballets, symphonic music (including five symphonies and instrumental concertos), choral, vocal, chamber and instrumental music.
He married Zuzana Růžičková, who later became a well-known harpsichordist. They both boycotted the Communist Party, which hindered the beginnings of their musical careers.
After Manuel Rosenthal played Kalabis' cello concerto in Paris in 1957, his began to receive commissions from high profile musicians and organisations such as Camerata Zurich, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, János Starker, Josef Suk, Maurice André and the Prague Spring Festival.
Kalabis became president of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation, creating a competition, festival and institute to further the Martinů cause.
Viktor Kalabis died on 28 September 2006 and the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Růžičková Foundation was created in his memory.
CD Spotlight. Tremendously Attractive and Exciting - Gerald Fenech recommends this Hyperion recording of Czech harpsichord concertos. 'All praise to Mahan Esfahani and his Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra team for compiling this hugely attractive programme, which is in fact a voyage of discovery of twentieth century Czech music.'
CD Spotlight. The Harpsichord's Newest Reincarnation - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to twentieth century harpsichord concertos. 'Not many harpsichord players are as multifaceted and expressive as Jory Vinikour when interpreting modern music.'