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Aleš Březina

Aleš Březina


Czech composer and musicologist Aleš Březina was born in 1965. He studied violin at the Pilsen Conservatoire and musicology at universities in Prague, Basel and Berlin. Together with the librettist and stage director Jiří Nekvasil he created for famous Czech mezzo Soňa Červená a full-length opera on the political show trial of Milada Horáková, Tomorrow There Will Be.... Since its premiere in April 2008 at the Kolowrat Theatre in Prague, the production of this opera has scored more than 70 performances in Prague as well as on many place in the Czech Republic; in Nitra, Slovakia; Wroclaw and Helsinki. This production gained Alfréd Radok Award 2008 for the best music. For Soňa Červená, Březina has also written a musical monologue A-ha!, which run, among other things, in a television documentary by Olga Sommerová, Moje století (My Century, Czech Television 2005). His other compositions include Requiem for children choir and small ensemble, Agnus dei for three countertenors and string quintet, Piano Trio 333  composed for Guarneri Trio Prague (world premiere Nov. 24, 2011 in Basel, Czech premiere March 21, 2012 in Prague’s Rudolfinum), and piano cycle Reperkuse  (premiere 2009, Prague). In September 2010, his full-length „visual music theatrical experience“ called Mucha’s Slav Epic  (libretto Šimon Caban) was premiered at the Municipal Theatre in Brno. Aleš Březina received his second Alfréd Radok’s Award in 2010 for his music for Karel Čapek's drama The Makropulos Affair staged by Robert Wilson at the National Theatre in Prague. In 2012 his music for Shakespeare’s King Lear staged at the National Theatre in Prague was also nominated for Alfréd Radok’s Award. Březina’s compositions for orchestras, melodramas and suites from his music for films and theatres have been played by Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in Zlín, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Guarneri Trio Prague, the North Czech Philharmonic Teplice and the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra. Aleš Březina has composed music for more than 20 films directed by  Jan Hřebejk, Petr Zelenka, Dagmar Knöpfel and Jiří Menzel. He was twice nominated for the Czech Lion Award, his music for Hřebejk’s film Kawasaki’s Rose earned him nomination for European Film Composer Award 2010. Sountracks were published by Sony Bonton Music and Milan Records in Paris. In theatres he has cooperated with Jiří Ornest, Jiří Nekvasil, Jan Hřebejk, Jiří Menzel, Šimon Caban, Martina Schlegelová and others.

His most recent compositions include the cantata Terešev 1361, music to Olga Sommerová’s documentary film Věra’68 about Czech famous gymnast Věra Čáslavská, music for production of Beaumarchais‘ The Marriage of Figaro (premiered in April 2012 at the National Theatre in Prague), Falling Leaves for piano and orchestra (world premiere in September 2012), and the new version of Requiem for soli, chorus and orchestra (premiered in November 2012).

Aleš Březina has been the Director of the Bohuslav Martinů Institute in Prague since 1994. He is Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Bohuslav Martinů Collected Critical Edition, he has prepared a host of compositions by this author for revised or urtext publications at Czech, German, English, Austrian and French publishing houses. 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 Bohuslav Martinů. He has lectured in Europe and USA and is a member of a number of Czech and foreign professional associations.

Update: July 2013