Čeněk Svoboda was born in 1978 in Liberec, where he also studied violin at the Music and Art School. During his years at the F. X. Šaldy grammar school, he had already dedicated himself to choir singing and from 1993 to 1998 he sang at the Liberec mixed chamber choir Rosex. In 1994 he founded an ensemble called Vokální Oktet, whose artistic director he remained until 2003. Since 2000, he has been choirmaster of the Liberec grammar school choir Cum decore, and since 2004 he has been conducting Prague early music ensemble Collegium 419. Since 2006 he has been co-operating with the choir Ještěd from Liberec, whose resident conductor he became in January 2007.
Čeněk Svoboda studied choral conducting at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University in the class of Jiří Kolář and Marek Valášek. As a choral conductor, Čeněk Svoboda has won several awards at national and international choir and choral conducting competitions. In 2005 he won a national award from the Union of Czech Choirs, “Junior Choirmaster”, and between 2003 and 2007 he won many awards with Cum decore at important international festivals (Praga cantat 2004, Jihlava 2005, IFAS 2006, Bratislava 2007). With the same choir, he has put on several important works of world choral repertoire, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s motets, Vespro della Beata Vergine by Claudio Monteverdi, Felix Mendelssohn’s psalms, the cycle of cantatas Membra Jesu nostri by Dieterich Buxterhude, and other works.
Besides being a choral conductor, Svoboda is also a solo singer (he has been studying with Svatava Šubrtová). In recent years he has been a professional ensemble singer and a soloist in leading domestic and international vocal early music ensembles (Collegium Vocale 1704, Doulce Mémoire, Collegium Marianum, Musica Florea, Ensemble Inégal and others). Since 2011 he has been co-operating with Dresden Kammerchor.
“Nacket werde ich wiederum dahinfahren,
der Herr hat’s gegeben,
der Herr hat’s genommen, der Name des Herren sei gelobet.”
Prof. Ludvík Lukuvka was a teacher of Czech language, history, music and Latin at the F. X. Šaldy grammar school. For almost thirty years he played keyboard instruments (piano, organ, accordion) in jazz and pop orchestras of various kinds (from big bands to combo-orchestras). His teaching led him to work with chamber choirs, usually girls, which participated in various competitions at the district, regional and national level. After coming to Liberec in 1991, he founded the mixed choir Cum decore at the F. X. Šaldy grammar school, and it was thanks to him that the choir gradually achieved the high standard it maintains today. Prof. Lukuvka was also the choir’s keyboard accompanist and arranger of most jazz compositions in the choir’s repertoire.
After graduating from F. X. Šaldy grammar school in Liberec, Jan Hron studied at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Charles University in Prague, and in 2001 became a student of the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University (subject comparatistics). For several years he studied violin at the Art and Music School in Liberec. From 1998 he was a member of Cum decore, and 2 years later he took over the post of 2nd choirmaster. From 2001 he was a member of the Liberec ensemble Vokální oktet.