Jan Boleslav Sedivka AM (in Czech: Šedivka) (Slaný, 8 September 1917 – Hobart, 23 August 2009),[1][2] Czech-born, was one of Australia's foremost violinists and teachers.[3]

Jan Sedivka, Mount Nelson, 1988


Educated in Czechoslovakia (Otakar Ševčík[4] and Jaroslav Kocián), France (École Normale de Musique, Classe Jacques Thibaud) and England (Max Rostal), Jan Sedivka made his reputation overseas as a soloist, chamber music player and teacher before coming to Australia in 1961.[5][6]

As a performer, Jan Sedivka gained special merit for his efforts on behalf of Australian contemporary music. In this capacity he introduced a number of important works dedicated to him, in particular concertos by Larry Sitsky (Nos. 1, 2, 3 & 4), James Penberthy, Ian Cugley, Don Kay, Colin Brumby, Edward Cowie and Eric Gross.

His wife Beryl Sedivka is a noted pianist who often performed with him.


  • An Assessment of: “Bach’s Chaconne for Unaccompanied Violin - a Study in Interpretation” by Graham Wood, ds., Hobart, 1974

Honours and awardsEdit

  • Member of the Order of Australia 1987[7]
  • Honorary Fellow, Trinity College of Music, London
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Tasmania[6]
  • Honorary Professor, Shanghai Conservatory of Music
  • Memorial Gold Medal, Prague Academy of Musical Arts
  • Honorary Fellowship in Music Australia
  • Honorary Citizen, Royal City of Slany (Czech Republic)
  • Honorary Professor University of Tasmania 1995[6]
  • Distinguished Service Award Australian Strings Association 1998.

Bernard Heinze Memorial AwardEdit

The Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award is given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to music in Australia.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1995 Jan Sedivka Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award awarded

Don Banks Music AwardEdit

The Don Banks Music Award was established in 1984 to publicly honour a senior artist of high distinction who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia.[8] It was founded by the Australia Council in honour of Don Banks, Australian composer, performer and the first chair of its music board.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 Jan Sedivka Don Banks Music Award awarded



  • Philippe Borer, Aspects of European Influences on Violin Playing & Teaching in Australia, M.Mus. diss., 1988 (on Jan Sedivka's violin playing and teaching philosophies see Chapters III and IV) https://eprints.utas.edu.au/18865/
  • Lyndal Edmiston, “The teacher as catalyst in the learning process”, in Festschrift Jan Sedivka, ed. by D. S. Mercer, Hobart, The Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, 1982
  • Jan Mařàk–Viktor Nopp, Housle, Prague, Hudební matice Umělecké besedy, 1944, p. 61
  • Elisabeth Morgan, “String Teaching: an extended perspective”, in Festschrift Jan Sedivka, ed. by D. S. Mercer, Hobart, The Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, 1982, pp. 100–109
  • Elinor Morrisby, Up is down, a life of violinist Jan Sedivka, Melbourne, 2008
  • Marina Louise Phillips, An assessment of the contribution to Australian string pedagogy and performance of Jan Sedivka, PhD diss., 2001


  1. ^ UTAS Alumni News Archived 2013-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ University of Tasmania: UTAS tribute for Jan Sedivka, musician and pedagogue 1917-2009
  3. ^ Companion to Tasmanian History
  4. ^ Mařàk – Nopp, Housle, p. 61
  5. ^ "Lyrebird Press". Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  6. ^ a b c University of Tasmania Conservatory of Music
  7. ^ It's an Honour: AM
  8. ^ "Don Banks Music Award: Prize". Australian Music Centre. Archived from the original on 18 August 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2017.