Bohuš Heran

Bohuš Heran

✱ February 7, 1907 Ústí nad Orlicí

† May 4, 1968 Prague

Bohuš Heran was born in Ústí nad Orlici in Lázeňská street in a small town with great musical traditions. At that time, young Jaroslav Kocian was reaping ovations worldwide. Heran´s musical talent was proved very early. His first teacher was his mother, a very good pianist, followed by five years of learning to play the violin with the excellent violinist Alois Sychra. When he was nine, he started to learn to play the cello. He was taught the basics by the teacher and excellent musician Jan Mazánek from Ústí. In 1919 he took Bohuš to nearby Brandys nad Orlici, where the already famous Czech cellist Hanus Wihan used to go for summer holidays. Very shortly after, Heran became his pupil, unfortunately Hanus Wihan died in 1920. Despite the relatively short time which Wihan could devote to the young artist, for a long time Bohuš Heran appreciated what he had learned from him. It even enabled him to skip two years of Prague Conservatoire, where he studied in prof. Jan Burian´s class. After graduating in 1925 he continued to study master school of Prague Conservatoire, also under prof. Burian.

After graduation, Bohuš Heran received a scholarship to study in France under the world-renowned virtuoso and pedagogue Gérard Hekkinga. Following after Wihan and Burian he also influenced heavily the style and techniques of Bohuš Heran´s playing. He got his first engagement in Winterthur, Switzerland. In 1930 he was called to Prague where he took the place as concert master and soloist of the Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for 23 years.

The pedagogical path is the next logical stage of his life. First teaching at the Prague Conservatoire, and in 1962 moving to Brno to Janáček Academy of Performing Arts, where he worked as Vice-Chancellor from the beginning. In 1965 he was awarded as a Distinguished artist and in 1967 on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday the town of Usti awarded him honorary citizenship.

In 1959 he initiated the idea of ​​organizing a competition for young talented violinists under Kocian´s name. He also became the first chairman of the jury. This competition impressed him so much that for the next ten years he was trying to push through a similar competition for young cellists.

The competition was launched as part of the tenth year of the international Kocian Violin Competition. Unfortunately, Bohuš Heran did not get the chance to fulfil his dream. During the final preparations his serious illness worsened that he could only manage to organise it from his bed. He died on 4 May 1968, just four days before the competition. The jury spontaneously came up with a proposal that the first competition would be held as Heran Cello Competition. The second edition in 1971 took place independently, but simultaneously with KHS. These days HVS is held every second year and always with excellent international participation.

Bohuš Heran has become, together with Jaroslav Kocian, the most famous citizen of Ústí and his hometown is very proud of him.