Leos Janacek

Czech composer (Hukvaldy, Austrian Empire 1854 – Ostrava 1928)

After studying at the Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno, Leoš Janáček became music teacher in 1872. Two years later, he enrolled at the Prague organ school, then at the Leipzig Conservatory and he later moved to the Vienna Conservatory, after some time spent in St. Petersburg. Once he was back in Brno, he was also back to music teaching: he was a singing teacher and director of the organ school. He wrote a lot: critical works, theoretical reflections, musical analyses. In 1887, he created his first opera, Šárka.

Janáček was appointed Secretary of the Department of Folklore Studies in Prague. With Bartoš, he brought together and revised several popular melodies, and composed works related to this culture. He was also interested in Russian and Polish traditions and rejects monarchy.

In 1916, Janáček built his international reputation thanks to the revised version of his opera Jenůfa. He wrote his other masterpieces immediately after: Káťa Kabanová, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Makropulos Affair and From the House of the Dead. His works were marked by the enhancement of spoken voice and the violation of chaining rules in tonal language. In his music, dissonance is treated with a high degree of freedom, which is why he was inspired by Hermann von Helmholtz's acoustic works.

Six landmark date in the life of Leoš Janáček 

1874: he met Antonín Dvořák in Prague

1879: he improved his skills at the Leipzig Conservatory

1880: he studied at the Vienna Conservatory

1881: he created an organ school, teaches in Brno

1885: secretary of the Moravian Department of Folklore Studies in Prague

1916: creation of a revised version of his opera Jenůfa (1904), which brings him some success 

Six works of Leoš Janáček

1904: Jenůfa, an opera in three acts performed in Brno (revised in 1916)

1918: Taras Bulba, symphonic poem (rhapsody for orchestra) based on the novel by Gogol

1924: The Cunning Little Vixen, opera in three acts created in Brno

1926: The Makropulos Affair, opera in three acts created in Brno

1926: Sinfonietta, work for orchestra in five movements

1926 Glagolitic Mass, composition for soloists, double chorus, organ and orchestra