Maestro jailed for child abuse dies at 59

Maestro jailed for child abuse dies at 59


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2018

The gifted Czech conductor Bohumil Kulínsky, jailed in 2009 for sexual abuse of 23 underage girls, will be buried today in Prague.

Among other posts, Kulinsky was chief conductor of the National Teatre opera orchestra from 1997 to 2002, and of the Bambini di Praga children’s choir, which was founded by his parents.

Freed from jail after two years, he returned to running the Bambini while also driving a taxi.


  • Brettermeier says:

    “Freed from jail after two years, he returned to running the Bambini”

    He wasn’t allowed to have contact with the choir, though.

    • Alex Davies says:

      Even so, it’s kind of astonishing that he was allowed to go back to running the choir, even if it was with the guarantee that he wouldn’t have personal contact with children. I was reading up a little on the specifics and apparently all his victims were girls he had contact with through the choir. According to Radio Praha he “had full intercourse with choir members despite knowing they were underage”. Isn’t that called rape in most jurisdictions? Apparently he also had two ex wives, both of whom were former singers in his choir. Allowing him to come back after such prolific offending does send a very odd message about how seriously his crimes were taken. One must wonder what the parents thought. If I were looking for a choir for my daughter to join I certainly would not choose one that was run by a guy who’s just got out of jail after serving a sentence for raping girls in the choir, even if there were undertakings that he wouldn’t actually have contact with my daughter. It sounds about as appropriate as appointing Rolf Harris to be Chief Scout on the understanding that he wouldn’t actually be allowed to have contact with children.

  • Doug says:

    Example #65,789: conductors are sociopaths. It’s in the job description.

    • jaypee says:

      Tell us, dog: are you stupid because you voted for cretin donald the pussy grabber or did you vote for cretin donald the pussy grabber because you’re stupid?
      Because, honestly, from your postings, I can’t tell…

      Seriously: don’t you have any pride?

      • Doug says:

        Did I just hear a sheep bleating those same tired old slogans? Maybe it should move to Afghanistan where it will get reamed good and hard in the sphincter.

    • Sue says:

      A silly comment, but defending yourself from luvvies who support Democrats and sexual McCarthyist witch-hunts is an exercise in futility. These are one and the same group who were supporters and luvvies of people like serial abusers Kennedy and Clinton – not to mention a Democrat guilty of manslaughter of Mary Jo, when Kennedy disappeared like a rat up a drain pipe leaving her to drown when the car went over that bridge. Never mind; he was a luvvie with impeccable moral credentials and an ace virtue-signaller.

      Don’t buy into the hypocritical cant of the American left. They’re full of it. Self-awareness not their strong suit.

  • Alex Davies says:

    Actually, I did some more reading about this, trying to get what sense I could out of the Czech… This is on the Czech Wikipedia page for the choir:

    28. června 2011, nedlouho po podmínečném propuštění Bohumila Kulínského z výkonu trestu, sbor oznámil, že závěrečným koncertem v Městské knihovně v Praze v úterý 28. června v 18 hodin sbor ukončil svou činnost. Důvody ukončení činnosti nebyly na webu zveřejněny, podle televizních zpráv z téhož dne je důvodem neúspěch náboru nových členů po aféře sbormistra.

    Which seems to mean roughly:

    On June 28 2011, shortly after Bohumil Kulínský was conditionally released from serving his sentence, the choir announced at the closing concert at the Prague Municipal Library at 6 p.m. on Tuesday 28 June, that the choir would cease to operate. While the reason for its cessation was not published online, it was, according to television news broadcast the same day, because of a failure to recruit new members following the scandal involving the choirmaster.

    This is at odds with the claim, ‘he returned to running the Bambini while also driving a taxi.’

    There’s also an article online at the Czech tabloid newspaper Aha! The crucial sentence is: ‘Po rozpadu pěveckého souboru, který svojí kauzou výrazně poškodil (nepřicházeli noví členové), se krátce živil jako taxikář’, which I translate as, ‘Following the collapse of the choir, which was severely damaged by the scandal (no new members joined), he briefly earned a living as a taxi driver.’

  • Alex Davies says:

    More here:

    Apparently the girls involved were under 15. Shocking. I had assumed that the situation was like in the UK and they were perhaps 17 and it was only illegal because of the position of trust. But it turns out he was abusing girls who were *at most* 14.

    • Karl says:

      The age of consent in the Czech Republic is 15, so the girls were not much underage.

      • Anon says:

        Oh, that’s all right then.

      • Alex Davies says:

        I know, that is in the article linked, isn’t it? A few considerations:

        1. The age of consent is what it is. You can’t say, well, she was only a year below the age of consent, so it’s not really that bad.

        2. Where a jurisdiction sets an age of consent that is towards the lower end of the scale, it doesn’t mean that it’s somehow not as bad to have sex with someone a certain number of years below that age. It’s not like sex with a 14-year-old in Italy is good, sex with a 14-year-old in Czech Republic is illegal but not that bad, sex with a 14-year-old in the UK is really pretty bad, sex with a 14-year-old in Ireland is very bad indeed, and sex with a 14-year-old in Malta is absolutely despicable. What would you say about having sex with a 13-year-old in Italy (since the age of consent in Italy is 14)? That it’s basically the same as having sex with a 17-year-old in Malta?

        3. He was in a position of trust. I think his crimes took place just before a change in the law in the Czech Republic (around the same time as a similar change was introduced in the UK in fact) which raises the age of consent where a position of trust is involved and/or where the young person may believe that they will benefit from allowing the older person to have sex with them. He was a choirmaster, he had control of their life in the choir and a degree of influence over their future career prospects. That makes it really reprehensible to be having sex with them.

        4. Towards the end of his offending, this guy was in his 40s. What kind of a man in his 40s wants to be having sex with girls as young as 14, maybe younger, it’s not specified? I didn’t even want to have sex with 14-year-olds when I was 14! Let’s be clear, we are talking about a middle-aged man having sex with children.

  • Karl says:

    I’m not the one who made the age of consent 15 in the Czech Republic. Don’t blame me. The age of consent is even lower in Germany, Italy, and Hungary. Again – not my doing.

  • Jamey says:

    What a guy…