Milan Svoboda

Composer, conductor, band leader, jazz pianist

Milan Svoboda Quartet

March 8, 2018 21:00

Praha, U malého Glena

Milan Svoboda Big Band

February 25, 2018 21:30

Praha, Reduta Jazz Club

Milan Svoboda Piano Solo

Milan Svoboda - Jiří Bárta Duo

Milan Svoboda Sextet

Prague JJ Conservatory Jazz Orchestra

March 15, 2018 19:00

Praha, Reduta Jazz Club

Cimrman v říši hudby

March 18, 2018 19:00

Praha, Divadlo Járy Cimrmana

MS & Symphony orchestra

Milan Svoboda - Michal Gera Duo


Composition plays an important part in Milan Svoboda's artistic expression besides performing, conducting and teaching music. Compositions for jazz ensembles comprise a substantial portion of his work. Svoboda began composing for his Prague Big Band from the time of its inception and to this day his compositions constitute a major part of the orchestra's present repertoire. "Ecce Homo" (LP Portrait) - the very first piece which he wrote for the Prague Big Band in 1975 was a great success at festivals at the time and received several awards. Another composition honored at an international jazz festival in Prague in 1977 was his extensive piece "Reminiscence of an old choral" (CD Reminiscences). At the end of the 1980s Svoboda received an annual prize from the Musical composers union for his three-part composition "Gemini" (CD The Boston Concert) scored for a big jazz orchestra which he completed and recorded during his stint at the well-known Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA in 1984. There are over 50 original compositions for a big jazz orchestra authored by Svoboda and most of them were recorded on CD. The Music Scores - Arrangements section of the e-shop on this website contains downloadable full scores and individual instrument parts of nearly all compositions. Many of them have become very popular and are played by orchestras all over the world, including Brasil - Cyclops and the USA - Monkey Diet. Svoboda's compositions are the foundation of the repertoire of his big bands. Among the most played are for example: "Tribute to G.E.", "Good News from Beyond" (CD Good News), "With Joy Unbounded, Con Funebrio" and "In the Sign of Sagittarius" (CD Sunday Session) or compositions inspired by the music of Jaroslav Ježek: "Ezop Story" and "Homely Ghost" (CD Homage to Jaroslav Ježek).

Needless to say, Milan Svoboda composes and arranges music also for small ensembles - for jazz combos, notably his quartet and sextet, and for duos and solo recitals. His quartet plays Svoboda's own music almost exclusively. Svoboda often strings themes together in extensive formal units which constitute characteristic suites as in "Open the Window Wide", "Tonight- Tomorrow Morning" and "Merging".


Aside from jazz music Milan Svoboda writes also symphonic and chamber music. His double concerto for violin, piano and string orchestra "Concerto Grosso" was premiered in 2000. The piece was originally written for the Virtuosi di Praga featuring Oldřich Vlček on solo violin. The composition was rendered many times by numerous first-class orchestras including among others PKF, Talich Chamber Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, JKF, KSO and the North Czech Philharmonic Teplice. The solo violin part was played by, e.g. Pavel Fischer, Helena Jiříkovská, Vít Mužík and Sylvie Hessová. The piano part is usually played by the author himself. In 1996 Milan Svoboda composed music for Mowgli, a full-length ballet for the National Theater in Prague. Later he created Mowgli Ballet Suite, a 40-minute symphonic composition based on the original work. The Mowgli suite was premiered and conducted by Svoboda during his whole evening performance at Prague's Rudolfinum hall in 2001. The symphonic suite was performed several times by prominent Czech symphonic orchestras within their subscriber series (e.g. Zlín, Hradec Králové and Mariánské lázně), sometimes conducted by the author (e.g. Olomouc, Karlovy Vary and Teplice). Recently Svoboda wrote three compositions for symphonic orchestra and jazz quartet entitled "In the Sign of Sagittarius", "When the Twilight Comes" and "Good News Messenger" where he combined the sound of a large orchestra with his jazz ensemble. These compositions have been successfully rendered by various symphonic orchestras.


Prominent among Milan Svoboda's works are his compositions for theater, film and television. He authored scenic music for over seventy theater productions. His cooperation with theaters began already during his studies at the Conservatory in Prague, especially with the Disk theater at DAMU (Theater Academy) for which he wrote music for "Štěnice" (The Bedbug), "Rytíř hořící paličky" (The Knight of the Burning Pestle), "Sen noci svatojánské" (A Midsummer Night's Dream). In the 1980s and 1990s Svoboda wrote music on a regular basis for Prague's National Theater Drama company, notably for director Miroslav Macháček's productions "Vévodkyně Valdštejnských vojsk" (The Duchess of Waldstein's Armies), "Hamlet" and "Chuť medu" (A Taste of Honey) and for Václav Hudeček's productions, including "Faust", "Noc pastýřů" (Shepherds' Night), "Věc Makropulos" (The Makropulos Case), "Vy jste Jan" (Thou Art John). Svoboda also wrote music for "Lev v zimě" (The Lion in Winter) directed by Luděk Munzar at the National Theater and in the 1990s he composed music for "Peer Gynt" directed by Jan Kačer. Besides the National Theater Svoboda worked with other prominent directors such as Vlado Strnisko, Petr Novotný, Zdeněk Kaloč, Petr Palouš and others and wrote music for other Czech theaters, e.g. ABC, Rokoko, Komedie, Na Vinohradech, Činoherní klub, Brno, Ostrava and Olomouc.

In 1994 Milan Svoboda composed music for Prague's ABC theater's production of "Pěna dní" (Foam of the Days), a musical based on Boris Vian's novel with libretto by Jan Vedral. In this sizable project Svoboda also participated as conductor and music director and performed the music live with his Contraband orchestra during the play. In 1996 Svoboda was commissioned by the National Theater to compose original music for "Mauglí" (Mowgli), a full-length ballet based on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book in a production directed by Vlastimil Harapes and choreographed by Libor Vaculík. Mowgli was performed successfully for several seasons in the historic building of the National Theater. Subsequently several ballet companies in the USA showed interest in the music. In 2009 the State Street Ballet Company of Santa Barbara, California did a production of the ballet under the name of "Jungle Book" with a new choreography by Rodney Gustafson. Another Californian Ventura Ballet Company performed Mowgli in 2011 and in 2014 Roxey Ballet in New Jersey did another production of Mowgli with Mark Roxey's choreography.

During recent years Svoboda has been collaborating with Prague's Kalich theater. His latest stage music work was for "Tartuffe Impromptu!" directed by Jan Nebeský at the National Theater where Svoboda also plays the piano on stage.


Milan Svoboda further composed music for ten full-length movies. During the late 1980s he collaborated principally with director Karel Kachyňa. He wrote music for Kachyňa's four films: "Kam pánové, kam jdete?", "Oznamuje se láskám vašim", "Blázni a děvčátka" and "Poslední motýl" (The Last Butterly) - a joint international production where Svoboda contributed to the music together with American composer Alex North. In 1990 Milan Svoboda wrote music for American director Samuel Fuller's TV film "Day of Reckoning" (Den zúčtování). Among other movie scores that Svoboda composed are "Súkromné životy" directed by Dušan Hanák, "Království za kytaru" by Drahomíra Králová and "Křížová vazba" by Antonín Kopřiva. Svoboda has also composed music for over seventy short documentaries and animated films, numerous television productions and radio plays.


Songwriting and arranging rank high among Milan Svoboda's strengths. Svoboda wrote music to over 200 songs, most of which were composed for theater performances and animated films. Many songs were written for his wife Jana Paulová, an actress and singer. His jazz arrangements of Czech Christmas carols gained popularity and were performed by his Contraband jazz orchestra with well-known singers and recorded on a CD entitled "Vánoční písně a koledy" (Christmas Songs and Carols). Recently Svoboda created original adaptations and arrangements of The Beatles' songs for solo piano and string orchestra (CD Hommage aux Beatles) and has been performing these in concert.

Booking and contact


Na Hajensku 183, 252 02 - Jiloviste, Czech Republic
Tel.: 420 / 257 730 176
Mob.: +420 / 602 210 567

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