Skraup, Franz



Renowned Bohemian composer and conductor; best known by his sacred and chamber-music and by his charming songs, many of which have been adopted by the Bohemians as genuine folk-songs. He was born at Wositz, and first attended the Gymnasium at Koniggratz, where he was a pupil of Rollert. He became interested in music and he decided to devote himself to it, so went to Prague, where, in 1827, he was appointed orchestral leader at the subsidized theatre. He later went to Rotterdam, where he was conductor of the German Opera. Here he died, after a successful career. Skraup was the first composer of Bohemian operas. Several of his compositions were produced at Prague. He stood in the foremost rank as a conductor. While orchestra leader in Prague he gave many of the earlier works of Wagner. Skraup composed the Bohemian hymn, Where is My Fatherland? Besides his operas he wrote much incidental music to plays; overtures; trios for piano and strings; quartets for piano and strings; a festival march; and many songs. The best known of his operas are Dratenik; Fete des Cordonniers (Shoemakers' Festival); Swiss Family; a fairy opera; Udalrich and Bozena; Libussa's Wedding; and Columbus, which last was brought out after the composer's death.