František Bláha

Born in 1955 in Strakonice, František Bláha began devoting to music as a child, first learning the piano and then, at the age of 12, the clarinet, which he was taught by Bedřich Zákostelecký. When he was 15, he enrolled at the Plzeň Conservatory, where he studied in the class of František Vacovský, under whose guidance he was among the prize-winners of the 1971 Concertino Praga international radio competition. In 1972 and 1973 he won the Dušek Bertramka contest in Prague.

After graduating from the Plzeň Conservatory in 1974, he continued to study the clarinet at Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts in the classes of Vladimír Říha and Milan Etlík. During the time of his studies, he won numerous competitions (1975, 1977), with his greatest successes being first prize and receiving the laureate title at the Prague Spring 1977 and the prize of the City of Prague Council for the competition’s overall winner.

After completing his studies, he was named first clarinet of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, where he was engaged from 1980 to 1985. Since 1985, he has been first clarinet of the Czech Philharmonic.

František Bláha has appeared at numerous concerts both as a soloist and a chamber player. The ensembles with which he has performed most frequently include the Panocha, Pražák and Stamic Quartets. In the early 1980s, some of his recordings were selected for the OIRT international radio festival.