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Hukvald, Czech Republic July 3rd, 1854 - Ostrava, Czech Republic August 12th, 1928
Leo¨ Janácek comes from a poor family and is sent very early to a Monastery in Brno thanks to a financial grant. He studies and becomes a teacher but also a music teacher. He improves his musical skills in an organ school in Prague and then at the Music Academies of St Petersburg, Leipzig and then Vienna where he composes his first musical works.
He writes his first opera Sárka in 1888. Soon, this Slavian culture lover expresses his nationalism by writing music and popular songs as Bartok will do in Hungary. These popular themes influence the writing of Jenufa, his greatest success however refused by the National Opera of Prague.
He travels several times to Poland and Russia. Concerned with the social problems, his musical works reveal his involvement like the Sonate for piano 1X 1905 Zulice written in memory of a worker killed in Brno or his opera comedy : The Excursion of Mr Broucek critics the Czech middle classes.
However, Janácek is mainly known in his region, the Moravia. His reputation will then grow throughout Europe in 1916, at the age of 62, as soon as Jenufa will be played at the National Opera of Prague.
The last ten years of his life are the happiest. In 1918 the Czech Republic is created. He has finally met, in 1917, his lady-love, Kamila Stösslova, 37 years younger than him.
Moreover, he composes a lot: four major operas: Káta Kabanová in 1921, The Cunning Little Vixen in 1926 which enables him to express his love for the nature, Makropoulos Affair in 1926 and From the House of the Dead in 1928, a Sonate for Piano and violin La Sinfonietta, the Glagolitic Mass and many other musical works.
As a great figure of the Czech culture, expressing an open nationalism, passionate educationalist and a great humanist, Leo¨ Janácek expresses in his music all his love of life and of mankind.