Mgr. Aleš Březina, Ph.D.,
director, musicologist ▼
Ales Brezina studied violin at the Pilsen Conservatory and musicology at universities in Prague and Basel. Since 1994 he has been the Director of the Bohuslav Martinu Institute in Prague. He has published in Czech and foreign magazines and miscellanies a number of specialist studies about 20th century music, primarily concerning the life and work of B. Martinů. In 1998 he reconstructed the first version of B. Martinu’s opera The Greek Passion (the revision of the score and piano extract was published by Vienna’s Universal Edition), which was premiered at the 1999 Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria in a co-production with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (in January 2005 it was staged at Brno’s National Theatre, concluding the Czech Music 2004 project). Subsequently, it was prepared by the operas in Bremen and Thessaloniki.
Brezina is Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Collected Critical Edition of Works by B. Martinu, he has prepared a host of compositions by this author for revised or urtext publications at Czech, German, English, Austrian and French publishing houses. Especially worthy of mention from the recent period is the urtext edition of the opera Juliette, or The Key to Dreams, which also served for the preparation of this work at Paris’s Opera Bastille in February 2006. In the past ten years Brezina has given lectures at conferences in many European countries (Prague, Bregenz, London, Paris, Brussels, etc.) and in the USA. He has organised several international musicological conferences in Prague and Bregenz, and prepared the presented texts for publication at Peter Lang Verlag Bern and Peter Lang Verlag Berlin. He is also the co-author of and guide to two documentary films directed by Jiri Nekvasil: Bohuslav Martinů: Return from Exile (Czech Television 1998) and Martinu and America (Czech Television 2000). He has repeatedly collaborated with Austria’s TV ORF and the culture channel 3SAT, for which he has compiled programmes on B. Martinu and The Greek Passion (1999), The Golden Cockerel by N. Rimsky-Korsakov (2000), Juliette by B. Martinu (2002), and The Cunning Little Vixen by L. Janacek (2003). In addition, he has also translated the libretto of the opera Juliette, or The Key to Dreams into German (together with Dietfried Bernet, Bregenzer Festspiele 2002) and the opera The Greek Passion into Czech (National Theatre Prague 2006).
Since 1995 Brezina has been the programme director of Prague’s Bohuslav Martinu Festival, from which he has annually released a non-commercial CD. In 2005 he created the music dramaturgy of the Czech National Day and the Czech National Week at the EXPO 2005 world exhibition in Aichi, Japan. In 2004 he prepared the dramaturgy of the Czech Dreams project, an international music festival with more than 100 concerts in 17 European countries. (www.ceskesny.cz). For 2007 he was entrusted with the dramaturgy of the second edition of Czech Dreams.
Alongside musicological and organisational activity, Brezina has composed music for a number of films, theatre and television productions. Among the most notable are the films Knoflikari (The Buttoners, directed by Petr Zelenka, 1998), Musime si pomahat (Divided We Fall, directed by Jan Hrebejk, 2000 – nominated for the American Film Academy Award Oscar 2000 in the Best Foreign Film category, soundtrack by Sony BMG), Horem padem (Up&Down, directed by Jan Hrebejk, 2004 – nominated for the Czech Lion prize for the best music, soundtrack by Sony BMG) and the music for the German film Through this night starring Corrina Harfouch (directed by Dagmar Knöpfel, 2005). For the singer Sona Cervena, Brezina has written a melodrame A-ha!, which run, among other things, in a television documentary by Olga Sommerova, Moje stoleti (My Century, Czech Television 2005). At the present time, Brezina is completing the music for the films Kraska v nesnazich (A Beauty in Troubles, directed by Jan Hrebejk, premiere in September 2006) and Obsluhoval jsem anglickeho krale (I Served the King of England, directed by Jiri Menzel, premiere in January 2007). For 2007 he is preparing, among other things, the music for a full-length documentary film by Lukas Pribyl with the working title Zapomenute koncentracni tabory (Forgotten Concentration Camps). Released at NMC Israel in March 2006 was a CD of the distinct Israeli singer Chava Alberstein, Lemele, which Brezina arranged and produced. At present, he is preparing for Sona Cervena a fulllength opera on the trial of Milada Horakova, Zitra se bude aneb Hra na proces (Tomorrow Will, or Play on Trial) to the libretto by J. Nekvasil. The premiere is scheduled for February 2007.
Ales Brezina is a member of a number of Czech and foreign professional associations, the Artistic Board of the Prague Spring festival and the National Theatre in Prague.
- Die Martinu-Manuskripte – in Joseph Willimann (Hrsg.), Schweizer Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft, N.F. 13/14, Paul Haupt Bern etc 1994, S.157-274
- “The two big states which make decisions about us.” Bohuslav Martinů between McCarthy's America and Communist Czechoslovakia, in: Michael Beckerman (ed.), Martinů's Mysterious Accident. Essays in Memory of Michael Henderson, Pendragon Press, New York 2007, pp. 61–71.
- “...eine übertriebene, gewollte Einfachheit.” Bohuslav Martinu als Rezensent des Pariser Musiklebens, in Felix Meyer (Hrsg.), Klassizistische Moderne, Amadeus Verlag Winterthur 1996, S.449-450
- Eine “phantastische Schule” des Komponierens für Streichorchester. Martinus Eingriffe in die ‘Partita’(1938) von Vitezslava Kapralova, in Joseph Willimann (Hrsg.), Schweizer Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft, N.F. 17, Peter Lang Bern etc. 1997, S.95-113. Reprinted in English version in: Czech Music, Year-book of the Dvorak Society, Londyn 2001
- “Je respire une dernière fois”. Propos sur Ariane de Martinu, in Ariane/Le Chateau de Barbe-Bleue, Le Programme de l’Opera du Rhin, Strassbourg 1997, pp.36-45. German version, Cologne Opera House 2006
- „It is God who speaks through your mouth, Manolios.“ Überlegungen zu den zwei Fassungen der Oper Die Griechische Passion, in: Programmheft zur Uraufführung der ersten Fassung der Oper Die Griechische Passion von Bohuslav Martinu, Bregenzer Festspiele 1999, pp.24-41
- „Tragedy and Compassion“ and „Recreating the Original“, in The Greek Passion, Programme, Covent Garden 2000, pp.15-18, p. 42
- “Die nächste Etappe unserer Reise liegt noch im Unbekannten.” Bohuslav Martinus Flüchtlingsdrama ‘Die griechische Passion’, in: Ulrich Mosch (Hrsg.), Entrez Denges et Denezy ...Dokumente zur Schweizer Musikgeschichte 1900-2000, Schott Musik International, Mainz, 2000, S.407-413
- Die Darstellung des ausländischen Musiklebens in der tschechischen Musikpresse zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: Ales Brezina (Hrsg.) Prager Musikleben zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts [=Jahrbuch der Bohuslav Martinu-Stiftung, 1/1996], Peter Lang Verlag 2000, S.27-37
- “…abych se mohl na zmeny predem dusevne pripravit.” Recke pasije – dve opery Bohuslava Martinu, in Hudebni veda, , XXXVII, Praha 2001, No.1/2, pp.137-153
- „... dass ich ganze Szenen aus dieser Oper durchlebe“. Bohuslav Martinus Juliette oder Das Traumbuch zwischen Traum und Alptraum, im Programmheft der österreichischen szenischen Erstaufführung der Oper Juliette oder Das Traumbuch an den Bregenzer Festspielen 2002, S.17-20
- “[...] the essential nobility of thoughts and things which are quite simple [...]. ” Martinus Versuch einer Erneuerung der Symphonie, in Symphonik 1930-1950. Gattungsgeschichtliche und analytische Beiträge, hrsg. von Wolfgang Osthoff und Giselher Schubert, =Frankfurter Studien Band IX, Mainz 2003, S. 224-242.
- „Ich habe Bystrouska wegen des Waldes und der Traurigkeit meiner späten Jahre gefangen.“ Zur Entstehung der Oper Die Abenteuer des schlauen Füchsleins von Leos Janacek, im Programmheft der Bregenzer Festspiele 2003, S. 15-17
- Das Tagebuch eines Verschollenen, im Programmheft der Bregenzer Festspiele 2003, S. 29-31
- Editionsrichtlinien der Bohuslav Martinu Gesamtausgabe, in Hudebni veda 2004, XLI, 3-4, s. 411-432
Editions of works by B. Martinu
- String quartet No.6 (with Ivan straus), Editio Baerenreiter Praha (2006)
- La revue de ciusine (with Christopher Hogwood) Editions Leduc Paris (2006)
- Loutky (Puppets) I-III - Editio Baerenreiter Praha (2002, 2004, 2005)
- String quartet No. 5 (with Adam Klemens) Editio Baerenreiter Praha (2005)
- String quartet No.4 (with Ivan straus), Editio Baerenreiter Praha (2004)
- Suite concertante (2nd version) – Schott Mainz (2003)
- Sonata No.3 for violoncello and piano - Editio Baerenreiter Praha (2003)
- Jaro v zahrade (Spring in the Garden) - Editio Baerenreiter Praha (2003)
- Symphony No.3 (with Sandra Bergmannova) Boosey and Hawkes, London (2003)
- Allegro symphonique – Baerenreiter Kassel (2002)
- Juliette or The Book of Dreams – urtext edition DILIA Praha (2005). With the original libretto in Czech and French as well as its translations into English and German
- The Greek Passion - reconstruction and urtext edition of the 1st version, UE Wien (2001)
- 4 Songs on Czech Folk Poetry, Editio Baerenreiter Praha (1999)
- String quartet E flat major – reconstruction and world premiere performance, Zurich 1993 (with the Drs Quartet)
- Juliette oder Das Traumbuch– German translation for Bregenz Festival 2002 (with Dietfried Bernet), published in the programme brochure of the Bregenz Festival 2002, Oper im Haus Juliette oder Das Traumbuch, Textbuch, int the vocal score of the opera. Recorded at CD Bregenzer Festspiele Koch Schwan 2002
- The Greek Passion – Czech translation of the 2nd version (1957-59), published in the programme brochure of the National Theatre Prague 2006 and in the vocal score of the opera. Recorded at a non-commercial CD from this production.
Dokumentary films on B. Martinu
Navrat z exilu (Out of Exile, Czech TV 1998)
Directed by Jiri Nekvasil, screenplay by Ales Brezina and Jiri Nekvasil. Czech and English versions.
Martinu a Amerika (Martinu and the USA, Czech TV 2000)
Directed by Jiri Nekvasil, screenplay by Ales Brezina and Jiri Nekvasil. Czech and English versions.
Co vsechno chcete vedet o sexu a bojite se to prozit (All you want to know about sex but are affraid to live through, 1988)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk, screenplay by Petr Zelenka, music by Ales Brezina. Awards: MAXIM, student award for the best school film at the FAMU film school in Prague
Visaci zamek (Czech TV 1995)
Directed by Petr Zelenka, music arrangement "Cigara" by Ales Brezina
Mnaga – Happy end (Czech TV 1997)
Directed by Petr Zelenka, various music arrangements of „Made in Valmez“ by Ales Brezina. Released on the CD Mnaga Happy End.
Past (The Trap, Czech TV 1998)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk, music by Ales Brezina
Posledni kvartet (CT 1998)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk, music arrangement of „Slzy Mozartovy mamy sedivy“ by Ales Brezina
Knoflikari (The Buttoners, 1998)
Screenplay and directed by Petr Zelenka, music by Ales Brezina
Awards - Czech Lion – award of the Czech film academy for the best film of 1998
- Golden Tiger Rotterdam 1998
Musime si pomahat (Divided we Fall, 2000)
screenplay by Petr Jarchovsky, directed by Jan Hrebejk, music by Ales Brezina
Awards: - Czech Lion – award of the Czech film academy for the best film of 2000
- American Academy Award Nominee (Oscar) - Best Foreign Language Film, 2000
- Sundance Film Festival Official Selection 2000 Soundtrack available at Sony BMG Czech Republic.
Vlci ve meste (Wolves in the City, Czech TV 2001)
directed by Petr Nikolaev, music by Ales Brezina.
Cerna slecna – slecna Cerna (The Black Lady - Lady Black, Czech TV 2002)
Diected by Petr Nikolaev, screenplay by Daniela Fischerova, music by Ales Brezina
Award: Czech TV Prize nominee Telerama 2003
Directed by Jan Hrebejk, screenplay by Petr Jarchovsky, music arrangments and production: Ales Brezina. Soundtrack available at Sony BMG Czech Republic.
Horem padem (Up&Down, 2004)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk, screenplay by Petr Jarchovsky and Jan Hrebejk, music by Ales Brezina. Awards: Czech Lion 2004 - several nominations, a.o. for the Best Film Music; Official selection of the Czech Republic for OSCAR in the category The Best Foreign Language Film 2004. Soundtrack available at Sony BMG Czech Republic.
Durch diese Nacht sehe ich keinen einzigen Stern (Through this night, 2005)
Screenplay and directed by Dagmar Knöpfel, music by Ales Brezina
Krasny cas (Beatiful Times, 2006)
Directed by Andrea Sedlackova, music by Quintin Sirjacq and Richard Wagner, music arrangements and production by Ales Brezina
Ucastnici zajezdu (The Excursion Participants, 2006)
Directed by Jiri Vejdelek, music by Oskar Petr, music arrangement and production by Ales Brezina. Soundtrack available at Sony BMG Czech Republic.
Kraska v nesnazich (Beauty in Troubles, 2006)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk, screenplay by Petr Jarchovsky, music by Ales Brezina. Soundtrack available at Sony BMG Czech Republic.
Obsluhoval jsem anglickeho krale (I served the King of England, 2006)
Directed and screenplay by Jiri Menzel, music by Ales Brezina
Zapomenute koncentracni tabory (Forgotten Concentration Camps, 2007)
Documentary, directed by Lukas Pribyl, music and music selection by Ales Brezina
Chava Alberstein – Lemele (NMC Israel 2006)
music arrangements and production by Ales Brezina
Mgr. Zoja Seyčková,
information specialist, deputy director ▼
Zoja Seyčková attended a grammar school in Prague (graduating in 1982) and studied information and library science at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Charles University in Prague (state exams in 1989). In 1982 she began working in the technical library at the company ČKD Polovodiče. Following maternity leave from 1994 to 2000, she worked in the information department of the Information Centre of Foundations and Other Non-profit Organisations (http://www.icn.cz, now www.neziskovky.cz) as a librarian and head of the “Database of Financial Sources for Non-profit Organisations” project. She also worked as head of the library at the private University of New York in Prague.
Since 2001 she has been working at the Bohuslav Martinů Institute, where she is responsible for the library and updating of the website. She has participated in several workshops focused on publishing music materials. At a workshop in May 2003 she gave a paper titled “Processing and accessing copies of Bohuslav Martinů’s autographs at the Library of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation”. She participated in the creation of a new version of the website www.martinu.cz and coordinated a project aimed at displaying the online catalogue of the Library of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation and the catalogue of Martinů’s works on www.martinu.cz.
On the basis of analyses carried out by musicologists at the Bohuslav Martinů Institute, she created databases for scientific description of Martinů’s correspondence (Martinů’s letters to other persons and letters written by other persons to Martinů) and scientific description of autographs of scores and other music documents written in Martinů’s hand.
Furthermore, she has organised excursions for groups of visitors, schools etc. (for example, within the Open Day), participated in preparations of press conferences for the Bohuslav Martinů Fest annually held in Prague (liaising with journalists and the festival participants), and monitored press reviews. Over the long term, she has trained and coordinated the activities of musicology and library science students gaining specialist experience at the Bohuslav Martinů Institute in work with databases.
Since 2004 she has been an editor of the Bohuslav Martinů Newsletter, which is published 3 times a year in English.
Since 2005 she has been the secretary of the Czech National Section of the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML), participating in foreign conferences annually held by the IAML. At a conference in Gothenburg in 2006 she gave a paper in which she introduced the “Online Catalogue of Bohuslav Martinů Compositions”.
She is the PR manager and information specialist of the “Further Education of Music Editors” project (implementation 2006-2008) supported by the European Social Fund.
Language skills: English, Russian, German (passive), French (rudimentary).
Mgr. et Mgr. Marek Pechač,
After graduating from the grammar school in Benešov, Marek Pechač began studying musicology at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Palacký University in Olomouc. He finished his master’s degree with theses “Reflection of Richard Wagner's Work in 1880s in Czech Lands”. Within his studies, in 2008 he spent one semester in Jyväskylä, Finland. He also graduated in Management in Culture at Masaryk University in Brno. He participated in the conferences “Zdeněk Fibich, A Late-19th-Century Central European Composer” (Olomouc, 2010) and “IAML Conference” (Vienna, 2013).
He has been working at the Bohuslav Martinů Institute as a musicologist from 2010 and a coordinator of the Complete Edition of BM works (2013 - 2014). At the present time, he also works as an editor and coordinator of the Bohuslav Martinů Complete Edition project.
Language skills: English, French and German
Mgr. Jitka Zichová,
After completing her studies at the Grammar School in Sladkovského Square in Prague in 1996, she began attending the Prague Conservatoire. She studied the oboe in the class of Professor František Xaver Thuri, graduating in 2002. At the same time, she studied at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Charles University (Czech Studies, 1996-1999). Subsequently, she attended the Institute of Musicology of Charles University, from which she graduated in 2007 with a master’s degree after having written her thesis on the topic “Miroslav Venhoda, new madrigal singers, Prague Madrigal Singers and creation for these ensembles”, in which she also paid significant attention to Bohuslav Martinu’s works.
Since graduating, she has performed both as a solo oboist and with numerous orchestras (the South Bohemia Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Ceské Budejovice, Praga Sinfonietta, the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra), chamber ensembles (Czech Madrigal Singers, Prague Church Soloists) and choirs (Pueri gaudentes, Prague Singers, University Artistic Ensemble of Charles University Prague).
She has worked on transcriptions and corrections of scores by, for example, O. A. Tichý, F. X. Thuri, etc. (including production of performance materials), participated in the preparation of the scores of several chorales for the complete edition of A. Dvorak’s works. She has also devoted to production activity, especially when it comes to organising sacred music concerts and festive church services (the Podblanice Autumn festival, Svatá Hora u Pribrami, the Royal Premonstratensian Canony at Strahov, the Roman Catholic Parish in Stribro, St Henry – Prague 1, the All Saints Church – Prague Castle).
She has been working in Bohuslav Martinů Institute from 2010, at present as a coordinator of Bohuslav Martinů Complete Edition and musical editor.
Languages: English, German.
Mgr. Martin Ledvinka,
After attending the Technical Lyceum, School of Communication Engineering in Prague, Martin Ledvinka began studying musicology at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Charles University, where he is now working on his thesis about 1960s Czech television opera. In 2009 and 2010 he was an editor of the A Tempo internet culture journal, since 2010 he has been a correspondent of HIS Voice magazine. From 2011 he has been working at the Bohuslav Martinu Institute as a musicologist focusing on research into sources for the Bohuslav Martinu Critical Edition.
Language skills: English, German
Mgr. Pavel Žůrek, PhD.,
After graduating from the Grammar School in Ostrava-Mariánské hory, he briefly worked as a guitar teacher at the Eduar Marhula Primary Art School in Ostrava. He studied musicology at Masaryk University in Brno, where at the present time he is studying for a doctorate. Moreover, he spent a semester at the Vienna University and worked as an assistant researcher at the Academy of Early Music of the Institute of Musicology of Masaryk University.
As an expert employee of the Department of Music and the Department of Old Prints of the Moravian Library in Brno, he participated in the project “Processing and re-cataloguing of autograph and printed sheet music from the collections of the Department of Music of the Moravian Library” (Research Plan MK00009494301, Historical collections of the Moravian Museum, 2004-2010). As an external employee of the Department of Music History of the Moravian Museum in Brno, he worked on the project of creating digital databases of music collections (Preparation of thematic catalogues of historical music collections maintained in Bohemia and Moravia, 2000-2004, MK0/DA, and Building of the database of autograph and printed music sources maintained in collections in Bohemia and Moravia, 2006-2011, MK0/DD). Moreover, he has written specialist studies for the journal Opus musicum.
He works as a source researcher at the Bohuslav Martinu Institute.
Language skills: English, German, Latin