RYCHLIK, CHARLES VACLAV (26 June 1875-6 Dec. 1962), Cleveland-born composer and violinist, son of Vaclav and Karoline Cermack Rychlik, was, at 14, the youngest member of the Cleveland Musicians Union. In 1891 he began studies at the Prague Conservatory, joining the Bohemian String Quartet, performing throughout Europe and meeting Brahms and Bruckner in Vienna. Brahms, in fact, played viola with the group on a piece he had written. Rychlik boarded at the home of Antonín Dvořák, graduated from the conservatory in 1895, and in 1897 joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 1901, Rychlik's father died and he came back to Cleveland. He played violin in the forerunner of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA under JOHANN BECK and then EMIL RING. In 1908, he replaced Carl Dueringer as 2d violinist in the PHILHARMONIC STRING QUARTET, playing with the group until its demise in 1928. Rychlik also played with the Cleveland Orchestra from its inception in 1918 for 2 years. During this time, Rychlik began teaching and composing. He wrote numerous works for violin. His Rhapsody in 4 contrasting movements (1923) was premiered in 1933 by the Detroit Orchestra. He composed and taught at his home/studio; his students included F. KARL GROSSMAN and child prodigy Erni Valasek. Forty of his pupils became members of the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1940, 400 pupils, friends, and colleagues gathered in the Hotel Cleveland ballroom to pay him tribute. Rychlik was internationally known through his 25-volume Encyclopedia of Violin Technique, which took 20 years to complete. Rychlik was unmarried and buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Article Categories