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Zdeněk FIBICH

(*21.12.1850 Všebořice †15. 10. 1900 Prague)

Czech composer

His family provided him with an excellent education. He studied with Zdeněk Kolešovský and Bedřich Smetana in Prague, from 1865 to 1867 in Leipzig at the Conservatory with Ignaz Moscheles. In 1868, he lived in Paris where he taught and gave concerts, from 1869 to 1870, he studied in Mannheim with Vincenz Lachner. From 1871, he worked as a teacher and composer in Prague with short interruption between 1873-74 when he lived in Vilnius. From 1876 to 1878, he worked as a Kapellmeister and choirmaster in the the Czech Provisional Theatre, and from 1878 to 1881, he worked as a choirmaster in the Eastern Church in Prague where he wrote many choral compositions. He taught privately for 18 years. He published The Introduction to Piano Playing, 30 volumes, 1883-99). From 1899 to 1900, he worked as the dramatic advisor in Opera of the National Theatre. Fibich represents a typical Romanticist in Czech music. He was inspired by Liszt, Schumann, Wagner and Romantic literature. In 1873, he wrote symphonic poems Othello, Zaboj, Slavoj and Ludek, and Toman and Wood Maid in 1875, balads for voice and piano and many Romantic piano pieces especially the cycle Moods, Impressions and Memories (4 volumes, 1892-98) inspired by his personal love experience (with Anežka Schulzová). He restored the form of concert melodrama after Jiří Antonín Benda (balads Christmas Day, 1874, Water Sprite, 1883 and Revenge of Flowers, 1877, and others) and he created a scenic melodrama in the original trilogy Hippodamia based on Vrchlický´s text. In 1893, the cycle was performed in the National Theatre in Prague. He also wrote scenic music and operas that were previously premiered in the National Theatre: Bukovin (arranged by O. Hostinský, 1874), Blaník (1881), The Bride of Messina (libretto by Hostinský based on the text of Vrchlický, 1884), Storm (libretto by Vrchlický on the drama of Shakespeare, 1895), Hedy (libretto by A. Schulzová about the episode of Byron´s Don Juan, 1896), Šárka (libretto by A. Schulzová, 1897), The Fall of Arkun (I–II, libretto by A. Schulzová, 1900).

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