František Černý was a Czech bassist, teacher and composer. He was born on 23
January 1860 in Pardubice and studied at the Prague Conservatoire (1876-82) and
in Paris, where he later became a member of the Orchestre Colonne-Lamoureux
from 1884-1890. He returned to Czechoslovakia in 1890, when he was appointed
Principal Bass of the National Theatre Orchestra in Prague (1890-1900), and it was
at this time that he discovered the wonderful Grancino double bass of 1693, later
owned by Oldrichs Sorejs and František Pošta.
Černý was an outstanding teacher and taught at the Prague Conservatoire for 31
years (1900-31) and many of the leading Czech bassists at the beginning of the
20th-century were taught by him. He was not a prolific composer and most of his
works were written for the double bass, including a Method (1906), 30 Etudes-
Caprices (1923), Technical Studies in Thumb Position (1927), 4 Concertos and ten
salon pieces for double bass and piano.
Černý studied composition with Antonín Dvořák and much of his music reflects the
salon style of the late 19th-century. All his works are melodic and appealing,
combining the late-Romantic idiom of Dvořák and Brahms, with Czech lyricism and
influences, and he makes full use of the solo capabilities of the double bass.
František Černý died in Prague on 3 September 1940.