Viktor was born in the Bohemian town of Cerveny Kostelec in 1923 and came from a family steeped in musical tradition. His great-grandfather, Tomas Hruska of whom a portrait still exists, was a graduate of the Prague Conservatoire. He died in Prague in September 2006.
At the age of six Viktor was giving public piano performances. Hopes of studying music in Prague were dashed by the Nazi occupation, which forced him to become a factory worker. He, nevertheless, found enough spare time to conduct a choir, play as a pianist in a local trio and commute to Prague where he took lessons in composition with Jaroslav Ridky at the Academy of Music, and in conducting with Pavel Dedecek.
After the war, Viktor completed his studies at the Prague Conservatory (class of prof. Emil Hlobil) and inscribed at the Academy of Music and Charles University (philosophy and musicology). There he passed all the examinations but was denied his doctorate because his thesis on Bartok and Stravinski was not accepted, both being dubbed by the regime as “formalistic and decadent.”
Only after the fall of communism in 1990 did he receive his doctorate in a rather poignant ceremony together with many other outstanding personalities in arts and sciences who had shared the same fate.
At the Academy of Music, Viktor met Zuzana Ruzickova. They were married in 1952. They both refused to join the Communist Party and faced many difficulties… Read more >>
Zuzana Ruzickova is one of the world’s leading harpsichordists. Her more than 65 recorded albums and thousands of public performances from the early 1950s to 2006 have won her legions of fans and thrilled audiences across the world. She was born in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, in 1925, and has become a force for good music off the stage as a teacher and mentor to young students, as a director over many years at the Prague Spring Festival and as a leader in the overlapping stages of outstanding Czech musical performance and J.S. Bach. Zuzana is the winner of many honors in many countries for her performances and her recordings of Bach, and she often says that it has been his inspiration that has not only imbued every facet of her musical life, but the very spirit of her life as well. Zuzana had a wonderful marriage with Viktor that spanned more than 50 years. Read more >>