Sense of drama, good and evil, joy and sorrow, struggle and reconciliation. The work of Leoš Janáček
is seething with love for life and all it gives and takes. In many respects, the maestro’s work reflects his own turbulent life which was fatefully connected with the city of Brno. When he was eleven, he was sent to the Augustinian St. Thomas Abbey in Old Brno as a choir boy. St. Thomas Abbey accepted poor and talented boys who could thus continue their musical education and participate in monastery performances as well as in concerts. After his studies in Prague
, Leipzig and Vienna, Janáček’s professional life was tied to Brno for the rest of his days.
© Vít Mádr
In a couple of years, the poor choir boy became an important personality of Brno’s musical and social life – a choirmaster, conductor, teacher and founder of an organ school. Despite this success, it took him many years until he became renowned also as a composer. From the premiere of the opera Jenůfa in Brno’s National
Theatre in 1904, it lasted 12 years until it was presented in Prague and two more years until it reached the opera house in Vienna. Until then, Janáček has almost lost faith in himself as a composer but the success of Jenůfa gave him a new meaning of life and encouraged him in his further efforts. The majority of his most famous works was thus created in the last decade of his life – after he gained recognition on the world stage. Janáček’s warm relationship to Brno – the city where he spent his youth, rose to success and, despite all hardships, enjoyed his well-deserved recognition – is probably best reflected in his Sinfonietta. Immerse yourself in its tones and set out on a journey that traces the footsteps of this genius of Slavic music, who is considered one of the most acclaimed composers of the 20th century.
Janáček in multimedia
On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the birth of Leoš Janáček, a musical genius and one of today’s most frequently played composers, a multimedia application was created. It deals with his life and work in Brno and includes for example an interactive map and audio samples of Janáček’s works linked to particular places in the city. Feel free to download the application into your smartphone for free (www.gotobrno.cz/narozeniny-leos-janacek).