Janácek, Leoš (Eugen)

Janácek, Leoš (Eugen)

biographical name


Leoš Janácek.—Eastfoto

(born July 3, 1854, Hukvaldy, Moravia, Austrian Empire—died Aug. 12, 1928, Ostrava, Czech.) Czech (Moravian) composer. Son of a church musician, he worked as a teacher and choral conductor until age 40. When his marriage ended in 1887, he began his first opera and spent the next year collecting folk songs. In 1894 he began his first mature opera, Jenufa, in a folk-influenced style; completed nearly a decade later, it had a successful premiere in Brno (1904), and he retired to compose full-time, becoming music's most extraordinary late bloomer. Major works of his last two decades include the Glagolitic Mass (1927) and the operas Kát'a Kabanová (1921), The Cunning Little Vixen (1924), The Makropulos Affair (1925), and From the House of the Dead (1928). A late love affair inspired the Kreutzer and Intimate Pages string quartets (1923, 1928).

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