Václav Dražan (1917-1979)

Personality in Music Section

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Václav Dražan was born on 16th July 1917 to numerous family of miner Josef Dražan. The family lived together with mother’s brother Bohumil Soukup. He was a teacher, organist, singer and chorus master. In his free time, he educated musically talented brothers Josef and Václav. Václav Dražan graduated from Grammar School in Příbram in 1937 and began to study History of Music at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague.

When the Nazis closed down universities in November 1939, he began to work as a clerk and individually studied organ and piano play, conducting and composition. Even though he was very talented, he decided to return to Příbram and in 1944 replaced Bohumil Fidler, director of the church choir. He finished his studies after the war, defended his doctoral thesis Po stopách hudby kantorů na Podbrdsku and became Doctor of Philology in 1947. He was a teacher at grammar school, composed church music, played the organs and led church choir. He married PharmD. Libuše Fáměrová in 1948.

At the beginning of the 1950s, he took the lead of Philharmonic Orchestra in Příbram. He was politically terrorised for his participation in the church and had to leave education in 1956. Then he became the archivist of Ore Mines and was no longer politically bullied. He liked to dedicate his free time to Philharmonic Orchestra in Příbram. In 1959 he was appointed bandmaster of Regional Theatre Orchestra in Příbram. He composed scene music for theatre.

In 1968 he returned to Grammar School in Příbram to record carols with children's choir for local television. Recorded songs were broadcasted during Christmas 1969 in Příbramské betlémy programme. Political Normalization and grammar school director’s complaining on Dražan’s low participation in politics were making his life more difficult. He retired in 1977 and died unexpectedly in a sanatorium in Pleš on 22nd February 1979.

His pieces of music are kept in State District Archives in Příbram. There are more than 40 opuses in the collection – 8 masses, smaller vocal compositions of the church, scenic, ballet and orchestral music.


Vladimír Vepřek: Písemná pozůstalost PhDr. Václava Dražana. Státní okresní archiv Příbram, 1994.

Author: PhDr. Věra Smolová, ředitelka SOA Příbram