Director of Central European Studies & Exchanges
Professor of Music Theory & Ethnomusicology
BA, Ashland College; MA, PhD, Ohio State University
Dr. Thomas (Tomáš) Sovík (b. 1953 in Youngstown, OH)
Sovík is currently a Professor of Music Theory in the College of Music at University of North Texas, with a dual appointment as Director of Central European Studies & Exchanges.
Following seminary studies, Dr. Sovík earned degrees at Ashland University (B.A. 1974) and the Ohio State University (M.A. 1975 & Ph.D. 1985).
After holding positions at the University of Northern Iowa and with Yamaha Music International, he joined the UNT College of Music faculty in 1987 and served as the first chair of the Division of Music History, Theory, & Ethnomusicology (1990-97). He subsequently held the position of Dean of Fine & Performing Arts at Mississippi University for Women (1998-99), returning to Dallas for surgery and therapy after being run down by a drunk driver.
Since his return, Dr. Sovík has received UNT's coveted 'fessor Graham award for his "Outstanding Teaching & Dedication to Students" and, in 2004, was promoted to the rank of Full Professor.
He is currently a member of the President's Council. In addition, he serves as the campus representative of the Texas Faculty Association (organized in 1985 to protect the rights of higher education faculty and support staff).
Dr. Sovík has authored numerous translations, articles, and papers on such disparate topics as university administration and management, the history of music theory, American popular music, technology applied to distance learning, traditional Japanese medicine, and military history and ethics. He is a regular participant at international conferences and colloquia with over 80 academic presentations in the United States, Canada, Guatemala, and the Czech Republic, and has presented keynote addresses at such gatherings as the Millennial Conference of Unitas Fratrum Scholars, the Southeast Conference of the College Music Society, and the UNT New Student Convocation.
Dr. Sovík's primary research field is the "History of Music Theory in Central Europe during the Medieval and Renaissance Eras." His on-going "30-year project" is the translation and commentary on Glaucidius of Moravia's The Arts of War, Peace, Leadership, and Governance, with Practical Instructions on How to Live Well and to be Loved Even by the Most Vile and Putrid of Your Enemies. A preliminary study of Dr. Sovík's work was recently published in Kosmas: Czechoslovak and Central European Journal.
Dr. Sovík's secondary research field is "Popular Music in American Culture," with enrollment in his popular music classes typically exceeding 1,500 students during the course of any academic year. These classes are delivered in both the traditional and large-lecture formats as well as by regional interactive broadcast and in national web-based instruction, and by both podcast and videocast; in 2008, the course was purchased by McGraw-Hill Education for international distribution. His most recent publication in this field has been "Women in Rock" in Women and Music in America Since 1900: An Encyclopedia (Oryx Press).
As one of the university's most dynamic personalities, he directs and serves as emcee for "The $5 Vaudeville" – a massive, campus-wide talent contest produced by students enrolled in his popular music classes.
Service to the University:
In 1990 Dr. Sovík founded the on-going student-exchange program between the University of North Texas, the Janáček Akademie of Music & the Performing Arts, Masaryk University, and the Brno Technical College (all of Brno, Czech Republic), and since that time has served as the Director of Central European Studies & Exchanges.
As tour director and organist, Dr. Sovík led over two dozen visits to the Czech Republic; these visits provided the opportunity for 1,226 faculty and students to offer 100 academic presentations and, in March 2007, to offer the 100th concert.
Dr. Sovík's short-term visitors from the Czech Republic have included composers Jindřich Feld, Ivo Medek, and Arnošt Parsch, flautist Arnošt Bourek, and the Children's Renaissance Collegium of the Pavel Křižkovský School for the Performing Arts.
In Spring 2004 he coordinated a Texas-wide tour of the Czech historical dance company "Mimi fortunae," made possible through a grant provided by the Czech Educational Foundation of Texas; subsequently, this organization established a $600,000+ endowment to support a "CEFT Residency in Czech Music and Culture" at the University of North Texas. The first fruit of that endowment was the November 2006 residency of the Wallinger Quartet (Czech Republic); subsequently, the Petr Mička cimbalom orchestra toured the state of Texas with Dr. Sovík in October 2007. As our resident artist in 2008, the University of North Texas is pleased to welcome Czech pianist Radoslav Kvapil.