Late composer Tomáš Svoboda Photo: © Jan Kavan

Remembering Tomáš Svoboda

The All Classical Portland team is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of local and world-renowned Czech-American composer and pianist Tomáš Svoboda. His catalog includes 6 symphonies,12 string quartets, and numerous other works ranging from solo pieces to large ensemble compositions. His body of work will stand as an amazing testament to a lifetime of musical achievements.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to Tomáš’s family, friends, and all of the musicians who have performed his music.


On Saturday, December 3, 2022, host John Pitman will honor Tomáš on air on The Concert Hall. Join us at 7:00 PM PT for a retrospective program celebrating the composer’s creative contributions to Oregon and the world of music.

Hear Tomáš Svoboda’s Overture of the Season, his Marimba Concerto, choral works performed by the PSU Chamber Choir, his 2022 release, String Quartet No. 12, and more. Listen at 89.9 FM in Portland or worldwide via the live player on our website.


Born in Paris on December 6, 1939, Tomáš Svoboda composed his first opus at age 9 and was admitted to the Prague Conservatory in 1954 as its youngest student.

In 1957, his Symphony No. 1 (Of Nature), completed at age 16, was premiered by the Prague Symphony Orchestra. By 1963, premieres and radio broadcasts of 7 other orchestral works brought the composer national recognition, establishing Svoboda as one of Czechoslovakia’s most important young composers.

In 1964, the Svoboda family departed Czechoslovakia and settled in the United States, where Svoboda enrolled at the University of Southern California in 1966, graduating 2 years later with honors.

Today, 1,300+ known performances of his music have taken place throughout the world, including 500+ orchestral performances by major orchestras in Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, San Francisco, Toronto, Monte-Carlo, Japan, plus the national orchestras of Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Continue reading his bio at

Rest in peace, Tomáš.

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