Julius Fucik was born in Prague and studied bassoon, violin and composition at the Conservatory there, the latter with Dvorak. From 1891–94 he played in the band of the 49th Austro-Hungarian Regiment stationed at Krems, before returning to Prague where he played the bassoon for a variety of orchestras, first at the German Theatre, then the symphony orchestra of the National Ethnographic Exhibition and finally the National Theatre in Zagreb.
Fucik also maintained an active career as a chamber musician, playing in the Czech Wind Trio, and – more importantly from a compositional point of view – as a bandmaster, first in Sisak and then, in 1897, he became bandmaster of the 80th Austro-Hungarian Regiment.
It was during this time that he composed a number of
marches, not least the ever-popular March of the Gladiators. He also wrote a large number of dances, including some particularly memorable waltzes, and overtures.
In 1910 he took up a new post as bandmaster of the 92nd Regiment at Theresienstadt, which was stationed in Prague during the winter months, touring Bohemia during the summer. He retired in 1913 and later married and moved to Berlin. He then set up a publishing company, Tempo Verlag, but war intervened, followed by his untimely death from cancer.
© Eunice Block