Bendl, Karl

1838-1897

Bohemian dramatic composer. Born at Prague. His musical talent developed very early and he studied first with his grandfather. Later he entered the Organ School of Prague, where he studied under Blazek and Pitsch and took the first prize. In 1864, wishing to broaden his musical horizon, he went to Brussels and became second conductor of the opera, but made only a short stay, going on to Amsterdam, where for a brief time he was chorus master to the German Opera, then to Paris, but returned to Prague, in 1865, and became director of the male singing society, Hlahol. This position he held until 1879, when he became conductor of the private band of the Baron Dervies in Italy. Bendl aided Dvorak and Smetana in bringing about a general knowledge of Bohemian music. Bendl's most important works are his operas, among the best of which are Lejla; Bretislay a Jitka; Stary Zenich, a comic opera; Cernohorci and Dite Tabora, both prize operas; and Karel Skreta. He also wrote a number of orchestral works; an operetta, Indicka Princezna; a D minor mass for male voices; a ballad, Smanda dudak; and about two hundred Bohemian songs and choruses.