Leos Janacek 
3 July 1854 - 10 August 1928 (age 74)

Janacek is one of the important Czech composers, his main work being 9 operas. The bulk of his best creative work was composed in the last 15 years of his life.




Portrait of Janacek


Nationality: Czech
Born: Leo Eugen Janáček, 3 July 1854, Hukvaldy, Moravia
Father: Jiří Janáček, schoolmaster and church organist
Mother: Amalie Janáček (neé Grulichová)
Siblings: one of 14 children
Wife: Zdenka Schulzová, his 15 year old pupil
Children: daughter Olga, died aged 20
son: Vladimir, died in infancy
Muse: Kamila Stösslová.
Died: 10 August 1928, Ostava, Czechoslovakia
Cause: Pneumonia
Grave: Central Cemetery, Brno, Czech Republic.

Janacek's best known works

    Operas (9) including:
  • Sarka
  • Jenufa
  • The Cunning Little Vixen
  • The Makropoulos Affair
  • Katya Kabanova
  • Taras Bulba
  • Sinfonietta
  • Violin Concerto
    Choral & Instumental
  • Glagolitic Mass
  • Cantatas, choral, sacred and folk pieces
  • Piano music

The majority and the best of his creative output was in the last 15 years of his long life. This is attributed to three main causes:
- In 1916 the Prague production of his opera Jenufa brought him fame not only in his country but also internationally.
- In 1918 Czechoslovakia was founded and Janacek became a national hero and celebrity.
- In 1917, when he was 63 he became infatuated with Kamila Stösslová, a young married woman half his age. They exchanged a vast quantity of correspondence. She is credited with being his major inspiration until his death.

Sinfonietta - First movement

The Cunning Little Vixen
- animated version of the opera

Glagolitic Mass - 2.[Kyrie]
The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sir Andrew Davis

String Quartet No.1, "The Kreutzer Sonata"
The Australian Chamber Orchestra

Taras Bulba
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras

Mládí (Youth) wind sextet I-II

Links - Where to go for more information


Answers.com several reference sites including Wikipedia

The Leos Janacek Foundation

Two good articles about the women in his life and their influence on his work:
An article by Norman Lebrecht

A Guardian article on Kamila as his muse

The Janacek Society (in German)

leosjanacek.co.uk By far the best web resource about Janacek and his works by UK writer and organist Gavin Plumley (currently unavailable)

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