The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) Blog

Studying at the Jaroslav Ježek Jazz Conservatory in Prague: An Introduction

Posted in Eliška_Cílková by iawmblog on January 25, 2010

As my first report to the IAWM blog, I would like to say few words about The Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. I have been studying there since 2006. The Conservatory / Higher Specialized School is one of only a few schools of its kind, one which is focused on the field of jazz and other forms of nontraditional art. So if you study there you don’t learn only classical music, but also jazz. Actually you must study both – for example you should attend the music history course, but also jazz history course. You learn classical harmony and jazz harmony. You take private lessons in both classical piano and jazz piano as well.

I have been studying composition there. In addition to composing classical music, I have composed a lot of jazz. My teacher has taught me a lot about jazz music and that has been very interesting for me. I have learned big band instrumentation, arranging for a jazz combo, jazz improvisation and more. I really like it.

The school doesn’t have its own symphonic orchestra, but it has an excellent big band. This big band is directed by Milan Svoboda and it is very successful. In 2007, the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory Big Band took part in the Next Generation Festival in Monterey, California. It was the only big band from Europe to reach the finals and it placed as one of the six best big bands.

The school also offers a lot of interesting international courses with foreign guest lecturers. I clearly remember the visits of Maria Schneider and Skip Wilkins. They were fantastic.

Even thought I am in Bratislava more than in Prague now, I really appreciate the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory. I had many important experiences and learned many skills there.

If you are interested in the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory, you can visit its website:


Eliška Cílková recently moved to Bratislava, Slovakia where she is in her first year studying composition at Academy of Music.


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