Renaissance Revival building by T. von Hansen
A number of Janáček’s compositions premiered here
Janáček, a member of the music society Beseda brněnská
Community Hall was an important cultural centre for Brno Czechs
This Renaissance Revival building, designed by the architect Theophil Hansen and built between 1870 and 1873, hosted a large number of the cultural and social activities of the Czech citizens of Brno. It served as the headquarters of Český čtenářský spolek (the Czech Readers’ Society) and of the Beseda Brněnská musical society, for which top Czech artists, including Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, gave concerts.
Leoš Janáček was the choirmaster of the Beseda Brněnská in the 1870s and 1880s, and he played the piano and conducted large-scale musical productions at concerts here. In 1905, Janáček witnessed a tragic event here when the young worker František Pavlík was beaten to death by the police during a demonstration in support of the establishment of a Czech university in Brno. Strongly affected by this event, Janáček composed his piano sonata 1. X. 1905, also known as ‘Z ulice’ (‘From the Street’).