Cenek J. Vrba

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Cenek J. Vrba
Cenek Vrba playing Violin
Cenek Vrba performing in April 2013

Cenek J. Vrba (born 11 April 1947 in Brno, Czechoslovakia) is a violinist and concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra between 1975 and 2011. He is one of Canada's foremost violinists, being described as a "True inheritor of the Czech string tradition…violinist of a rare distinction". (Tokyo – Japan).[citation needed]

He began music training at the age of eight and six years later, he joined the state music conservatory.[1] Later he attended the music academy. He won prizes including the first place in the Beethoven National Violin Competition.[1] He went on to play with the Czechoslovakia Symphony Orchestra, before leaving Czechoslovakia due to the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.[1]

After immigrating to the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1968,[1] he pursued further studies in the United States and Europe. While a senior at the University of Calgary in 1970 he won the Greater Spokane Music and Allied Arts Festival Grand Award.[2] After two years at Calgary, Vrba moved to Indiana in order to continue his studies.[1] Vrba went on to play First Violin with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he stayed for four years.[1]

Vrba was appointed concert master of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in August 1975.[1] He remained there for 36 years until his retirement in 2011.[3]

Vrba is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[4]