Jaromír Vogel (1943) comes from a musical family, and therefore has been influenced by various types of music. He has also been a theatre lover since his childhood. At the age of 17, he co-founded a little amateur theatre of small forms named “Frmol” where he acted, sang, composed songs, wrote screenplays, and played the upright bass in the theatrical band.
After the army (1963) he established various dance and jazz bands such as a monumental rock band of 40 members named Heaven’s Angels where the symphonic orchestra merged symphonic classical music with classic rock music. It was the first band of this kind in the Czech Republic. As time went by he worked with some other popular and important artists.
Later on, Jaromír was inspired by Renaissance music. He started to study conducting and composition at the so-called Folk Conservatory since he wasn’t allowed to study at the State Conservatory thanks to the communist regime. (After the Velvet Revolution he ended up teaching at the University.) Furthermore, he studied composition under Jan Zdeněk Bartoš.
In the early 1970’s he received his first offers to compose scenic and movie music. He also founded the ensemble numbering 75 members called Ala Bohemica. At the beginning Jaromír, with his ensemble, dug into interpretations and he edited Renaissance music. Soon he started composing his own music which had gradually grown into the whole repertoire. He came up with the term “Inspirenes” (which means inspired by the Renaissance) for the work of this period. The ensemble stopped working together in 1985 but its repertoire is still well-regarded today.
Recently, Jaromír has mainly been concentrating on classical music influenced by themes from the Old Testament. For example, he composed Judith’s Song for the Jewish Community of Prague – it was heard at the occasion of the Pinkas’s Synagogue reopening. The violoncello solo was rendered by the docent Jiří Hošek.
Jaromír Vogel formed the symphonic orchestra called Šarbilach (it is a name made-up by the founder). Its repertoire consists mainly of its own music in Jewish style and traditionally arranged Jewish melodies. The ensemble style is original and very varied from the dramaturgy point of view thanks to the unique merging of classical, popular and folk music. The ensemble Šarbilach regularly takes part in the Vyšehraní music festival in Prague and presents some other premieres there.
The Yom Kippur and Sarah’s orchestral compositions were debuted by the Virtuosi Pragenses ensemble (the violin solo played by Alexander Shonert, the harp played by Pavla Jahodová-Vondráčková, the clarinet played by Michal Kostiuk) at the Non-conventional Žižkov Autumn 2001 music festival. Jaromír also composed more for other years of this festival. It was presented by the Šarbilach orchestra.
In 2005, there was the world premiere of a three sentence symphonic suite for symphonic orchestra, solo, ensemble, children’s ensemble and recitation. It was dedicated to the memory of Holocaust and victims of terrorism and held in the Jubilee Synagogue in Prague. It was conducted by Vjačeslav Grochovski.