Joseph Cadek

Joseph Cadek

founder of Cadek Conservatory

Mission Statement

The Cadek Conservatory of Music will provide the highest level of musical instruction for students of all ages from infants through senior adults in private, group, and ensemble settings. The Conservatory supports the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's mission of an engaged University by providing musical activities to all ethnic and racial groups within the Chattanooga Metropolitan area.


The Cadek Conservatory of Music was founded in 1904 by Joseph Ottokar Cadek and was dedicated to training individuals in the fine arts and fostering musical awareness in the entire community. By 1927, the year of his death, Professor Cadek's high ideals in teaching and his courageous efforts in developing the community's interest in music had resulted in a level of artistic growth which was unusual in the South at that time. Since it's beginning in 1904, the service which the Conservatory has rendered in the cultural development of this community has firmly established its reputation of integrity and excellence.

The Conservatory became affiliated with the University of Chattanooga in 1935, forming the University's music department. It established the degrees bachelor of music and bachelor of arts with a music major, and became a member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

In 1945, Harold J. Cadek was appointed director of the Cadek Conservatory of Music and chairman of the University of Chattanooga Music Department. Upon the death of Dean Cadek in 1973, Dr. Peter Gerschefski, Head of the University or Tennessee at Chattanooga Music Department assumed the directorship of the Conservatory. Dr. Paul Shurtz was appointed director in 2002.

In 1978, Cadek Conservatory gained full membership as a Non-Degree Granting Institution of the National Association of Schools of Music. In 1986, it was granted associate membership in the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, and was promoted to certified membership in 1989.