Mezinárodní hudební festival Janáčkovy Hukvaldy

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About Leoš Janáček


"Born on July 3rd, 1854 in the school, in the room where from one window you can see the church and from the other one the brewery", as the ninth child of a Hukvaldy schoolmaster Jiří Janáček, an artist was born in Hukvaldy who paid tribute to that beautiful part of Moravia by all his unique work.

Janáček's father Jiří Janáček had come to Hukvaldy in 1848. The family of a Hukvaldy schoolmaster was poor in worldly goods, though they were blessed with many children and so the schoolmaster had to work very hard. Which did not prevent him from looking after the cultivation of public life, just like his father who had established the tradition of the Janáček Family as teachers: he founded a readers' and singers' club, provided good advice to his fellow citizens in gardening and beekeeping and the entire neighbourhood knew him as an excellent musician.

On the choir gallery of the churches in Hukvaldy and neighbouring Rychaltice, the choolmaster's son Leoš enjoyed his first music experience, as he was gifted with descant voice which was pure like water in little wells scattered all over the game park surrounding the castle hill.

Romantic nature, the old castle ruins emblazoned with legends, tough reality of life and love of music cultivated by his father, those were gifts of his home which in 1865 an eleven-year old Leoš carried off to Brno which became his second home. Later on, as a mature man, when he used to return to his birthplace, he would come to draw his inspiration from the spring of pure music which was preserved not only in his arrangements of folk songs and dances but also encoded in his masterpiece compositions.

At the break of his life, Janáček's visits to his birthplace were more and more frequent, namely after he had purchased a small house in Podoboří, a valley between the castle hill and the Babí Hůra hill. To make the affiliation feeling absolute, Janáček bought a piece of a field and a forest situated on a steep slope of Babí Hůra. He was a conscientious landlord and a proud Hukvaldy citizen. He was really grateful to his native region for the gift of original imagination and hearing as roots of his art and expressed it, as follows: "The inward environment of the childhood time is, perhaps, of most crucial importance for the artist's work. That is the root of originality of a piece of art. ...There the right motif is born, in a moment when it seems that stars are falling down from heavens."

quotation: Alena Němcová, Za Leošem Janáčkem na Hukvaldy