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Biography
Leos Janacek (1854-1928) was a Czech composer, pianist, folklorist, educator and critic known for his orchestral, operatic, choral, vocal, piano and chamber works, often written in a highly original, folk-inspired harmonic language virtually devoid of traditional thematic development.

His collecting of Moravian and Slavic folk songs at around 30 years of age would leave an indelible imprint on his work.  "Moravia alone is enough to give me all necessary inspiration, so rich are her sources," he once said.  In these songs he found a connection to the common man, a rich musical well from which to draw modal inspiration, and a fascination with their speech-derived melodic style.

As a composer, Janacek was slow to develop.  His first major work, the opera Jenufa (1894-1903), often called the "Moravian national opera" for its inspiration, and which he dedicated to his daughter Olga (who died of typhoid), took nine years to finish, and its debut was delayed by the opera's challenging subect matter.  When it finally premiered in Prague in 1916, it was an instant success and a springboard for the 60+ year-old composer's first international acclaim.  Other key operas include The Cunning Little Vixen (1921-23) and From the House of the Dead (1927-28).

Among his orchestral, choral, and chamber music, the Sinfonietta (1926), the rhapsody Taras Bulba (1915-18), the Glagolitic (or Slavonic) Mass (1926), and the two string quartets (1923 & 1928) are among Janacek's lasting contributions to musical posterity.
This biography was most recently edited by...
steven - 2 Nov 2010
Simeon - 28 Jan 2010
Simeon - 28 Jan 2010
Simeon - 28 Jan 2010
Simeon - 27 Jan 2010
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