The famous composer Leoš Janáček is one of the most significant people in the history of Brno. You can take a walk through the places related to his life.
Leoš Janáček was born on 3 July 1854 in Hukvaldy in north-east Moravia as the ninth of thirteen children. When he was 11 years old, his father sent him to the Abbey of St Thomas in Brno to study music. He went on to graduate from a secondary school and a teachers’ institute in Brno before leaving for Prague to study at an organ school. He studied music in Leipzig and Vienna. Back in Brno, he entered local social and cultural life. He founded an organ school which became a conservatory after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, conducted orchestras, wrote music reviews, taught music, and, above all, composed. Among his most famous operas are Její pastorkyňa (Jenůfa), Příhody lišky Bystroušky (The Cunning Little Vixen), Káťa Kabanová, Věc Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair), and Z mrtvého domu (From the House of the Dead). He is also renowned for his orchestral compositions, especially Sinfonietta, Glagolská mše (The Glagolitic Mass), and Taras Bulba, an orchestral rhapsody. Most of these works premiered in Brno, where Janáček spent most of his life. Leoš Janáček died in 1928 in Ostrava.
Some major institutions in Brno have been named after Janáček, such as Janáčkova akademie múzických umění (the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts) and Janáčkovo divadlo (the Janáček Theatre). Far beyond Brno, there is even a crater on Mercury named after this famous composer.
The Tourist Information Centre of Brno has been working on a project named ‘Janáčkovo Brno’ (Janáček’s Brno), which will include activities to bring life to public spaces in the city and to raise broader awareness of Janáček as a globally renowned composer. One of the project components is a six-kilometre educational path leading through the city centre, named ‘Po stopách Leoše Janáčka’ (Following in Janáček’s Footsteps).
Parts of tour
Abbey of St Thomas and Mendel Square (Augustiniánské opatství a Mendlovo náměstí) and Leoš Janáček
Most of Janáček’s life is very closely related to Old Brno
Vegetable Market (Zelný trh) and Leoš Janáček
Janáček came here for musical instruments and inspiration
Česká Street and Leoš Janáček
Česká Street holds many other places related to Janáček
Slavia Hotel and Leoš Janáček
Prominent Czechs from Brno used to meet at the Slavia Hotel
Community Hall (Besední dům) and Leoš Janáček
Community Hall was an important cultural centre for Brno Czechs
Residence of the National Theatre Brno (Budova Českého národního divadla v Brně)
This building was once located on Žerotín Square
Vesna and Leoš Janáček
Janáček cooperated with this educational institution
Leoš Janáček Memorial and Chleborád Villa (Památník Leoše Janáčka a Chleborádova vila)
The place where Janáček spent the last 18 years of his life
Stadium Hall (Sál Stadionu) and Leoš Janáček
The hall where Janáček’s famed Slavonic Mass premiered
Lužánky Park and Leoš Janáček
Lužánky was Janáček’s favourite place for his regular walks
Mahen Theatre (Mahenovo divadlo) and Leoš Janáček
Several of Janáček’s operas premiered here in the 1920s
Slavonic Teachers’ Institute (now the Faculty of Architecture of Brno University of Technology) and Leoš Janáček
Janáček attended the institute as both student and teacher
Brno Central Cemetery (Ústřední hřbitov města Brna) and Leoš Janáček
Janáček’s final resting place is in the circle of honour
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