Josef Tragy (1830–1914)

A lawyer involved in music education in Prague. He studied law and attended the organ school. As a representative of the Association for the Promotion of Music in Bohemia, he played a major part in the merger of the Prague organ school with the Conservatoire, and in selecting teachers for the newly restructured Conservatoire. He enlisted the services of Antonín Dvořák for composition tuition at the school and remained in close contact with him, advising him in legal matters during his contractual negotiations with the New York Conservatory. Dvořák wrote the cantata Festival Song to mark Tragy’s 70th birthday, set to words by Jaroslav Vrchlický, a work he himself conducted during its premiere on 29 May 1900.