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Bohumir Kryl

Bohumir Kryl

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Encyclopedia
Bohumir Kryl was a Czech-American financial executive and art collector who is most famous as a cornetist, bandleader, and pioneer recording artist, for both his solo work and as a leader of popular and Bohemian bands
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

. He was one of the major creative figures in the era of American music known as the "Golden Age of the Bands."

Biography


Bohumir Kryl (originally Bohumír Kryl, and sometimes spelled in the United States as Bohumil) was born in Hořice
Horice
Hořice is a name of several locations in the Czech Republic:* Hořice, a town in the Hradec Králové Region * Hořice, a village in the Vysočina Region...

, Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, near Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, on 2 May 1875. His first instrument was the violin, which he studied at age 10. While attending school in Hořice he was classmates with Jan Kubelík
Jan Kubelík
Jan Kubelík was a Czech violinist and composer.-Biography:He was born in Michle . His father, a gardener by occupation, was an amateur violinist. He taught his two sons the violin and after discovering the talent of Jan, who was aged five at the time, arranged for him to study with Karel Weber and...

, with whom he maintained correspondence. He spent time performing both the violin and the cornet for a circus
Circus
A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

 band in Prague. He also performed as an aerialist acrobat with the Rentz Circus in Germany, but an accident in 1886 ended this line of work. His father was a sculptor, and Bohumir also studied this art. He emigrated to the United States in 1889, paying the fare in part by performing with the ship’s orchestra. Moving to Chicago, English sculptor H.R. Saunders furthered his profession in that area. Bohumir followed Saunders to Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 and was soon employed, along with his brother, as a sculptor by General Lew Wallace
Lew Wallace
Lewis "Lew" Wallace was an American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, territorial governor and statesman, politician and author...

 and also working on the Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Monument
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (Indianapolis)
The Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a tall neoclassical monument in the center of Indianapolis, Indiana that was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz and completed in 1901....

. During this time he joined the When Clothing Company Band, playing the cornet and soloing on this instrument. Before long he was hired by John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known particularly for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is known as "The March King" or the "American March King" due to his British counterpart Kenneth J....

, but left in 1898 to join Thomas Preston Brooke’s Chicago Marine Band, where he spent the next two years. During this time he studied with Weldon of Chicago’s Second Regiment Band. In 1901 he spent some time with Phinney's United States Band, but he joined the Duss Band permanently that year. This group was based at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

, at $800 per-month and became its assistant conductor in 1903. This band, led by Frederick Innes, was not as well known, but he was hired as soloist, and the heavy touring schedule and two solos per concert gained him wide exposure. His solos would result in requests for multiple encores. Studying bandleaders Creatore and Vessela, he adopted a wild 'lionesque' hairstyle that became his trademark. He became acquainted with Joseph Jiran, who owned a Czechoslovakian music store in Chicago. With Jiran’s encouragement, he formed his own band in 1906 styled as Kryl’s Bohemian Band by 1910 with the Cimera brothers. This group worked for Columbia, Victor, and Zonophone, recording works by such composers as Smetana
Bedrich Smetana
Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. He is thus widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music...

, Dvorak
Antonín Dvorák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style is sometimes called "romantic-classicist synthesis". His works include symphonic, choral and chamber music, concerti, operas and many...

, and Safranek
Vincent Frank Safranek
Vincent Frank "V.F." Safranek was an Czech American musician. He was born in Bohemia and died in San Diego. He came to the United States at an early age...

. He earned the distinction of the first Czech musician to record on phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity , these cylinder shaped objects had an audio recording engraved on the outside surface which could be reproduced when the cylinder was...

s.

World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 interrupted his professional career, as he was serving in the U.S. Military. Here he attained the rank of Lieutenant and was given the title “Bandmaster of all the Military Camp Bands in the country". Immediately after the war he was touring with his bands, including many appearances on the Chautauqua circuit. This activity continued until he dismantled the band in 1931. From 1926 to 1929 he would spend winters at his mansion in Tarpon Springs, Florida
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Tarpon Springs is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 21,003 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2004 estimates, the city had a population of 22,554....

. He built a bandshell on his property and would give numerous concerts each year. Through his compositions and band touring, he became a millionaire by the mid 1920s. The Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 did not affect his personal affluence as much as others, as he was a bank president and a known financier in 1932. He later formed a “Women’s Symphony Orchestra” that featured daughter Josephine on violin and daughter Marie on piano. He also formed and conducted the "Kryl Symphony Orchestra", which featured soloists such as Florian ZaBach
Florian ZaBach
Florian ZaBach was an American musician and TV personality.His recording of "The Hot Canary" sold a million copies and reached the top 15 on the Pop charts in 1951. "Believe It or Not" timed his violin performance of "The Flight of the Bumblebee" and wrote, "he plays 12.8 notes per second ......

 and vocalist Mary McCormic
Mary McCormic
Mary McCormic was an American operatic soprano and a professor of opera at the University of North Texas College of Music ....

. His public musical career ended in the late 1940s, when he had difficulties with the American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Musicians
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is a labor union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada...

, because although his musicians were well taken care of, he did not pay scale. His last groups played popular dance music as well as "heavier classics". Before his musical retirement, he had traveled more than one million miles and soloed more than 12,000 times. His touring included many small towns such as Albany, Oregon
Albany, Oregon
Albany is the eleventh largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon, and is the county seat of Linn County. It is located in the Willamette Valley at the confluence of the Calapooia River and the Willamette River in both Linn and Benton counties, just east of Corvallis and south of Salem. It is...

 and Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon
Bend is a city in and the county seat of Deschutes County, Oregon, United States, and the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and, despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population...

, where his orchestra was the first appearance by any symphony orchestra there. Aside from the United States, he toured Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 with his bands and orchestras and America and Europe with his daughters. He later formed booking agency and a music bureau. An Honorary Doctor of Letters was given to him in 1957. He died at his summer home in Wilmington, New York
Wilmington, New York
Wilmington is a town in Essex County, New York, United States. The population was 1,131 at the 2000 census. The town is named after Wilmington, Delaware.The Town of Wilmington is on the county's north border and is southwest of Plattsburgh...

, on August 7, 1961, leaving an estate valued at over 1 million dollars. His widow was Mary Jerabek Kryl.

Musical style



Kryl was one of the few musicians who enjoyed successful dual careers as a mainstream musical artist and as an ethnic recording artist. He transitioned from a star soloist with the Sousa outfit to a leader of ethnic Czech music, and made the transition back to the broader national audience. Because of his solo ability, he was branded “the Caruso of the cornet". He was a master of producing pedal tone
Pedal tone
Pedal tones are special notes in the harmonic series of cylindrical-bore brass instruments. A pedal tone has the pitch of its harmonic series' fundamental tone. Its name comes from the pedals of a pipe-organ. Cylindrical brasses do not naturally vibrate at this frequency.A closed cylinder...

s and the technique of multiphonic
Multiphonic
Multiphonics is an extended technique in instrumental music in which a monophonic instrument is made to produce several notes at once....

 effects. He would hold a high note for a duration of one minute. As a conductor, he was well regarded, and known for his disuse of a score and baton.

Legacy


While never a jazz player, his technique was an influence on Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

and Harry James
Harry James
Henry Haag “Harry” James was a trumpeter who led a jazz swing band during the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 1940s. He was especially known among musicians for his astonishing technical proficiency as well as his superior tone.-Biography:He was born in Albany, Georgia, the son of a bandleader of a...

.

Kryl became known as the "robber baron of the music field" because of his business talent and frugality. Upon not receiving his full fee, he was known to cancel concerts with audience members seated.

Kryl's two daughters became established musicians, performing with Bohumir's "Bohemian Band" as early as 1912. Kryl was insistent that his daughters become professional musicians. He offered each $100,000 if they were to remain single until the age of 30, so that their careers would not be stalled by the distractions of romance. Josephine (1897–1960), a pupil of Eugène Ysaÿe
Eugène Ysaÿe
Eugène Ysaÿe was a Belgian violinist, composer and conductor born in Liège. He was regarded as "The King of the Violin", or, as Nathan Milstein put it, the "tzar"...

, spurned this offer in order to marry Dr. Paul White, director of the Rochester Civic Orchestra, in 1924, even though Bohumir managed to delay the wedding twice. Marie initially took the same course of action when she became engaged to Greek Count Spiro Hadji-Kyriacos. However, Marie broke her engagement and was able to collect the full amount from her father. Marie did wed at age 35 to composer and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 conductor Michel Gusikoff.Marie's age stated as unknown in article, they assumed she had not yet reached age 30, Other articles mistakenly refer to her as being 26 years old, but in fact she was 35, having been born in 1897. See New York Times obituary. Given the number of articles that cite her age as 26, it is likely the story was largely a publicity stunt by Kryl, and her true age was disguised. It is otherwise possible the birth-date found in her obituary is incorrect Both daughters continued their musical career after marriage.

A popular Conn cornet model formally named the "Conn-queror" was nicknamed the "Kryl Model."

His band furthered the career of many Czech musicians, including Vlasta Sedlovská, Jaroslav Cimera on trombone, Leo Zelenka-Lerando on harp, František Kuchynka on double-bass, J. Frnkla on french horn, Jaroslav Kocián
Jaroslav Kocian
Jaroslav Kocián was a Czech violinist, classical composer and teacher.- Life :He studied in Prague under Otakar Ševčík, and is considered together with Jan Kubelík as the most important representative of "Ševčík´s school"....

 on violin, and multi-instrumentalist Alois Bohumil Hrabák.

At one point, Kryl was considered to have one of the best private art collections in the United States. Kryl donated 16 paintings to St. Joseph's College.

Compositions

  • King Carnival, published 1909 by Carl Fischer Music
    Carl Fischer Music
    Carl Fischer Music is a major publisher of sheet music based in New York City that has been in business since 1872. As one of the few remaining family-owned music publishers, it supplies educational materials to professional and beginning musicians of all ages, as well as new music works.Notable...

  • Hoch Hapsburg marsche
  • Josephine Waltz, published 1909 by Carl Fischer

As soloist


Label
Record label
In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Most commonly, a record label is the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion,...

 
Catalog # Title Format Year Notes
Columbia 1091 Alice Where Art Thou 7-inch 78rpm duet with Leroy Haines on trombone
Trombone
The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate...

. take 1 issued
Columbia 1091 Alice Where Art Thou 10-inch 78rpm duet with Leroy Haines on trombone. takes 1 and 5 issuedAlso appeared on Oxford 1091.
Zonophone 5226 Alice Where Art Thou 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903 duet with Leroy Haines on trombone
Edison 50613 Aloha Oe 10-inch vertical-cut 78rpm ~1919
Edison 80523 Ambassador polka 10-inch vertical-cut 78rpm ~1917
Edison 3833 The Ambassador polka 4-minute celluloid cylinder 1919
Edison 8254 Answer 2-minute wax cylinder 1902
Zonophone 5218 Answer 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Edison 8327 Arbucklenian Polka 2-minute wax cylinder 1902
Edison 822 At the Mill 4-minute wax cylinder 1911 Re-issued on Blue Amberol 1995
Zonophone 5219 Be My Own 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Edison 3547 Ben Bolt 4-minute celluloid cylinder 1918
Columbia 1189 Birds of the Forest 10-inch 78rpm ~February 1903 duet with duet with Leroy Haines, trombone. also appears on Columbia A221
Edison 8253 Carnival of Venice 2-minute wax cylinder 1902
Victor 2598 Carnival of Venice 10-inch 78rpm 1903 euphonium solo
Columbia 1188 Carnival of Venice 10-inch 78rpm ~February 1903 also appears on Columbia A213
Zonophone 5220 Carnival of Venice 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Victor 35298 Carnival of Venice 12-inch 78rpm May 17, 1911 with Kryl's Bohemian Band. take 3 issued
Edison 80718 Carnival of Venice: Variations 10-inch vertical-cut 78rpm
Pathé 29216 Carnival of Venice 11.5-inch vertical-cut 78rpm ~1918
Edison 8609 Cary waltz 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Zonophone 5769 Cary waltz 7 and/or 9 inch 78rpm ~1903
Edison 80412 Cleopatra Polka 10-inch vertical-cut 78rpm ~1917
Edison 8307 Columbia 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Zonophone 5616A Columbia, Fantasia Polka 10-inch 78rpm Also released on Oxford 5616A
Columbia 1081 Columbia Polka 10-inch 78rpm ~1903 also appears on Columbia A226 and Marconi 167
Zonophone 5221 Columbian Fantasie 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Victor 63578B Děvčátko darovalo mi prstýnek 10" 78rpm May 16, 1911 ethnic series. with Kryl's Bohemian Band. take 2 issued
Zonophone 5221 Down Deep Within the Cellar 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Victor 2595 Du, Du 10-inch 78rpm 1903 euphonium solo
Zonophone 613 Du, Du, with variations 10-inch 78rpm ~1906
U.S. Everlasting 1305 Du, Du 2-minute celluloid cylinder 1909
Columbia 1089 Facilita 7-inch 78rpm take 3 issued
Zonophone 638 Gobble Duet from "The Mascot" 10-inch 78rpm duet with Jaroslav Cimero, trombone. Also released on Oxford 5346B
Victor 35195 Grand trio (Attila. Te sol quest'anima) (Verdi) 12" 78rpm May 16, 1911 take 1 issued. Also on Victor 68316
Zonophone 5227 Il Trovatore: Miserere 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903 duet with Leroy Haines, trombone
Columbia 1094 Il Trovatore: Miserere 10-inch 78rpm ~Nov. 1902 duet with Leroy Haines, also appears on Columbia A187, Oxford 1094 and Silvertone 1094
Edison 8308 Inflamatus from Stabat Mater 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Zonophone 5223 Inflamatus from Stabat Mater 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Pathé 29216B Irish Fantasies medley 11.5-inch vertical-cut 78rpm ~1918
Pathé 20381 Killarney 10-inch 78rpm
Victor 2596 King Carnival 10-inch 78rpm 1903 on euphonium
Edison 8663 King Carnival polka 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Edison 8745 Kryl's favorite 2-minute wax cylinder 1904
Columbia 1199 Last Rose of Summer 10-inch 78rpm also issued (take 5) on Columbia A187, Oxford 1199, and Aretino D621
Edison 9860 Lvi silon 4-minute celluloid cylinder 1913 Bohemian series
Zonophone 5616B Miserere 10-inch 78rpm
Edison 9861 Na prej 4-minute celluloid cylinder 1913 Bohemian series
Edison 8482 National fantasia 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Edison 9005 O Promise Me 2-minute wax cylinder 1905
Zonophone 89 Oh, How Delightful 10-inch 78rpm ~1905 Also released on Oxford 89
Edison 9812 Orly Polskie 4-minute wax cylinder Bohemian series, Re-issued on Blue Amberol 9862
Zonophone 5228 The Palms 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903 duet with Leroy Haines, trombone
Edison 9807 Pode mlejnem 4-minute wax cylinder Bohemian series, Re-issued on Blue Amberol 9857
Edison 9813 Povidky s. Vidensky lesu 4-minute wax cylinder Bohemian series, Re-issued on Blue Amberol 9863
Edison 790 Praise Ye 4-minute wax cylinder Re-issued on Blue Amberol 2054
Berliner 03451 Robin Adair 7-inch 78rpm March 1899
Victor 35239 Rigoletto quartet 12-inch 78rpm May 18, 1911 "Brass Quartet." take 1 issued. Also on Victor 68346
Edison 8208 Russian fantasia 2-minute wax cylinder 1902
Zonophone 5225 Russian Fantasie 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903
Victor 2597 Serenade Pierne 10-inch 78rpm 1903 euphonium solo
Columbia 1185 Short and Sweet Polka 10-inch 78rpm duet with Leroy Haines, trombone
Zonophone 90 Short and Sweet Polka 10-inch 78rpm ~1905 duet with Leroy Haines, trombone. Also released on Zonophone 5346A
Edison 8418 Sing, Smile, Slumber 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Zonophone 111 Sing, Smile, Slumber 10-inch 78rpm ~1905 Also released on Oxford 111
Victor 68338 Sweet Is the Dream 12-inch 78rpm May 17, 1911 with Jaroslav Cimera, trombone. Ethnic series. take 2 issued
Edison 8811 Sweet Sixteen waltz 2-minute wax cylinder 1904
Zonophone 5229 Tyroleans 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903 duet with Leroy Haines, trombone
Columbia 32033 Utility polka 2-minute wax cylinder 1903
Zonophone 5230 Utility polka 7 and/or 9-inch 78rpm ~1903 duet with Leroy Haines, trombone
Edison 80578 Where the River Shannon Flows 10-inch vertical-cut 78rpm
Pathé 20381 Where the River Shannon Flows 10-inch 78rpm
Edison 9808 Zeleny hajove 4-minute wax cylinder Bohemian series, Re-issued on Blue Amberol 9858

As leader


Label Catalog # Title Format Year Notes
Victor 68338 Bartered bride: Selection (Bedřich Smetana) 12-inch 78rpm May 18, 1911
Victor 68335 Bartered bride : Sextette 12-inch 78rpm May 16, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 2-070003.
Victor 16891 Dance of the Wood Nymphs 10-inch 78rpm May 16, 1911 take 1 issued. Also on Victor 63472.
Victor 35195 Grand trio (Attila. Te sol quest'anima) (Verdi) 12-inch 78rpm May 16, 1911 "Brass trio with band" take 1 issued. Also on Victor 68316.
Victor 63578A Kukčka valčik (Cuckoo waltz) (Antonín Dvořák) 10-inch 78rpm May 19, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued.
Victor 63645 Láska a život ve Vidni 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-70013.
Victor 68335 Libušse overture 12-inch 78rpm May 19, 1911 ethnic series. take 1 issued. Also on Gramophone 2-070004.
Victor 63303B Lvi silou pochod 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 1 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-70001.
Victor 35298 Marche fantastique 12-inch 78rpm May 19, 1911 take 1 issued. Also on Gramophone 0427.
Victor 35258 Marche Indienne 12-inch 78rpm May 18, 1911 take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 0387.
Victor 63782B Na prej 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-70008.
Victor 63302A Národin kalop 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 1 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-70011.
Victor 68296 Pepe polka 12-inch 78rpm May 16, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 2-070001.
Victor 63303A Pode m'lejnem pochod 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-70010.
Victor 63302B Prodná nevěsta : March 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-7009*.
Victor 31832 Sakuntala overture (Carl Goldmark) 12-inch 78rpm May 16, 1911 take 2 issued.
Victor 68296 Směs čes kých písní 12-inch 78rpm May 17, 1911 ethnic series. take 1 issued.
Victor 63645 Sokol's triumphal march 10-inch 78rpm May 15, 1911 ethnic series. take 2 issued. Also on Gramophone 7-70006.
Victor 63782A Zelený hájové march 10-inch 78rpm May 17, 1911 ethnic series. take 1 issued.

External links