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Jarmila Novotná, My Life in Song: Book Launch and Musical Tribute with House of Time Ensemble

  • Bohemian National Hall 321 East 73rd Street New York, NY, 10021 United States (map)

Join us for the exclusive American introduction of the memoirs of Czech-American opera star and film actress, Jarmila Novotná (1907-1994). Author and editor William V. Madison will speak about the international triumphs of this multi-talented celebrity, who acted as a cultural ambassador for the Czechoslovak nation throughout her career - beginning in Prague with her opera debut as a lyric soprano at age 17 and including 16 years with New York's Metropolitan Opera. Her granddaughter, Tatiana Daubek, with Daubek’s ensemble House of Time, will pay musical tribute with a program featuring music of Mozart, Krommer, and Dvořák. Visit the Dvořák Room exhibition of archival Novotná images, courtesy of the George Daubek Collection.  See also: and

The book, Jarmila Novotná, My Life in Song (University Press of Kentucky, 2018), will be available for purchase and signing.

Presented with support from Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association and Consulate General of the Czech Republic. 

Free admission.  Seating is limited, first come, first served.

Celebrating 100 Years of Czechoslovak Independence, 1918-2018

WVM original Photo by Catherine Karnow IMG_8050 copy.JPG

WILLIAM V. MADISON, a former associate editor of Opera News, interviewed Jarmila Novotná while he pursued his MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. A former producer for Dan Rather at CBS News, he is the author of Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). His writings about music and singers have appeared in, Houston Grand Opera’s Opera Cues, lingua, and The Forward, as well as his blog, Billevesées.

Photo Credit:  Catherine Karnow

Image Credit: Tatiana Daubek

Image Credit: Tatiana Daubek

HOUSE OF TIME known for their “fluency and command” (San Francisco Classical Voice) is dedicated to both well-known and underperformed repertoire of the 17th through the 21st century played on period instruments. Members and guests include Juilliard and Curtis faculty and alumni of The Juilliard School, as well as prize-winners of major international competitions. Using the instruments and techniques of the past to express the vivid passions in the music, House of Time has moved audiences and keeps them coming back for more. Critics have declared oboist, Gonzalo X. Ruiz, “one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell); Tatiana Daubek, is known for her "sleekly elegant playing" (Gazettes Long Beach); Avi Stein, one of NYC’s finest, is described by the New York Times as “a brilliant organ soloist” and Beiliang Zhu, is described by the New Yorker as “elegant, sensual and stylishly wild”. Currently in their 6th season as ensemble in residence at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, home audiences continue to grow. House of Time has been presented by the Berkeley Early Music Festival, Czech Center New York, Early Music Festival: NYC, Music Before 1800, San Diego and San Francisco Early Music Societies, The University Club in NYC, the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. This season the group with perform and give masterclasses at Michigan State University. House of Time continues to give free outreach concerts at Mount Sinai Concerts for Patients in New York City and may be seen giving impromptu pop up concerts in casual venues such as local cafes. House of Time is also on the roster of GEMS Live! Artists.

Tatiana Daubek, a “sleekly elegant” player (Gazettes Long Beach) is regular as concertmaster for New York’s oldest Bach cantata series, Bach Vespers Holy Trinity. In addition, she performs with the American Classical Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Musica Angelica, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Ms. Daubek is a founding member of House of Time, a chamber ensemble with a thriving series in Manhattan dedicated to performing music on period instruments. They are currently in their sixth season as ensemble in residence at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan and have been presented by The Czech Center New York, Berkeley Early Music Festival, Early Music Festival: NYC, San Diego and San Francisco Early Music Societies, The University Club in New York City and Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. Ms. Daubek has taken part in multiple tours across North and South America with Musica Angelica/Wiener Akademie of The Infernal Comedy and The Giacomo Variations starring John Malkovich. An active member of her Czech heritage, Ms. Daubek helped start the Festival Jarmily Novotne, a festival in the Czech Republic commemorating the life of star soprano and grandmother, Jarmila Novotna. She has collaborated abroad with the Czech ensemble, Musica Florea and was a featured soloist broadcast live on Czech Radio.  Daubek holds degrees from the University of North Texas, Boston University and The Juilliard School. Aside from music, Tatiana is also a photographer specializing in portraiture and street photography and her work can be seen at

Gonzalo X. Ruiz is one of America’s most sought after historical woodwind soloists.  In recent seasons Mr. Ruiz has appeared as principal oboist and soloist with leading groups in the U.S. and Europe, such as The English Concert, Sonnerie, Wiener Akademie, Philharmonia, Trinity Wall Street, The Boston Early Music Festival, and Musica Angelica, under such conductors as McGegan, Savall, Manze, Antonini, Huggett, Goodwin, Pinnock, Hasselböck, Rattle, Hogwood, and Egarr.  He has been featured in numerous recordings of orchestral, chamber, and solo repertoire and his reconstructions of the original versions of Bach’s Orchestral Suites received a Grammy nomination in 2010.  Critics have declared Mr. Ruiz “one of only a handful of truly superb baroque oboists in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell) and “a master of expansive phrasing, lush sonorities, and deft passagework” (San Francisco Chronicle).  For years he has taught at Oberlin Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, and most recently was appointed professor at The Juilliard School.  Mr. Ruiz has given master classes at Yale University, Indiana University, the New World Symphony, and his former students now fill the ranks of many top groups across the country.  Equally accomplished on the modern oboe, he has been principal oboe of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, the New Century Chamber Orchestra, with recent performances including the concertos of Mozart, Vaughn Williams, and Strauss.  For many years Mr. Ruiz led the ensemble American Baroque, specializing in new music commissions, for which he received the 2000 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.  He is an acknowledged expert in historical reed techniques and examples of his work are on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Boston-Based cellist Jacques Lee Wood enjoys an active career as performer, educator, scholar, and composer. His eclectic interests have led to a diverse range of musical genres and styles: historical performance on period instruments, commissioning new works for both modern and baroque cello, improvisation in both classical and non-classical styles, and most recently composing his own works. Recent compositions include a multi-movement work for 5 string electric cello with live electronics, and a collaborative composition for guitar and cello with StringLab partner, Simon Powis. Dr. Wood is a founding member of StringLab, Antico Moderno, a period chamber ensemble that commissions new works for period instruments, and the NYC-based bluegrass band Cathedral Parkway where he adopts a multi-faceted role as a vocalist, mandolin, banjo, and cello player. An avid chamber musician and orchestral musician, Wood is a member of the Pedroia String Quartet and recently appointed principal cello of the Cape Symphony. He is a frequent guest artist with A Far Cry, Aston Magna, Yale Schola Cantorum, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Bachsolisten Seoul, Bach Collegium Japan, Juilliard 415, Firebird Ensemble, and the Handel and Haydn Society. A recognized pedagogue, Wood is an Artist-in-Residence at the University of New Hampshire and holds faculty positions at Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (Intensive Community Program) and Milton Academy. He has held residencies at Yale University, University of Ulsan, Tufts University, and the Boston Conservatory. Wood is currently on the faculty of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Yale Summer School), Summer Youth Music School (University of New Hampshire), and is a frequent guest artist at the Great Mountains Festival (South Korea), Korea Strings Research Institute, Bari International Music Festival, Banff Centre, Avaloch Farm, Aston Magna, and the Manchester Summer Chamber Music Festival. As a recording artist, Wood has released recordings on the Hyperion and Navona labels, and is currently recording a new album with the Pedroia Quartet for Naxos/Navona Records. Dr. Wood completed his BM at the New England Conservatory of Music under Laurence Lesser, and holds a MM and DMA from Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. 

Alissa Smith, violist, holds music degrees from the Australian National University and the Juilliard School, where she was a Teaching Fellow. Her chamber music experience has included recitals at Carnegie Hall; performances at the Park City, Aspen, Bravo! Colorado, Steamboat Springs, and Verbier music festivals; and a residency with the Emerson String Quartet. A versatile performer on modern and baroque violas, Alissa has appeared with The Knights at the Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, and toured Australia and North America with The Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, American Composers Orchestra, Klangforum Wien and the Houston Symphony Orchestra. International festival appearances include the Sydney Festival alongside Lou Reed and at the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. As a baroque violist Alissa currently performs with Clarion, NYBI and The Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and recently appeared with Apollo’s Fire, The Sebastians, Opera Lafayette, NY Collegium and at the Staunton and Carmel Bach Festivals. Alissa can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including “Casanova”, “Julie and Julia”, “True Grit” and “Keeping Up with the Joneses”; on period instrument recordings of Bach Motets (The Trinity Choir) and Mozart Symphonies (Apollos Fire);  and on the multi Grammy award winning album “Winter Morning Walks” with Dawn Upshaw and The Australian Chamber Orchestra.