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Zdenĕk Lukáš

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Zdenĕk Lukáš

Biography

Zdenĕk Lukáš (21 August 1928, Prague - 13 July 2007, Prague) is a Czech composer. He graduated from the Theatre Institute in Prague, and was an elementary school teacher for five years. After leaving the profession, Lukas worked at the Czechoslovak Radio Studio in Plzeň, where he served as an editor and literary manager. He then founded and directed the mixed choir Česká Píseň (Czech Song). The choir attained a level of international fame under his direction, and continues to enjoy the fruits of Lukáš’s work.

Lukáš began composing during his high school years, while he studied music theory with Antonín Mádr from 1943 to 1946, and composition with Jaroslav Řídký. His early compositions have a definite late romantic flavour to them which was influenced by Czech folksongs, but began to compose in a more modern style when he met the composer Miloslav Kabeláč in 1962. Kabeláč provided an important pushing off point for Lukáš, and he began to establish his reputation as a composer. Lukáš worked with Kabeláč for eight years, continuing his music education through tutorial sessions, and he has often cited Kabeláč as an important and invaluable influence.

Since 1964, Lukáš has been a full-time composer with two exceptions: He took a teaching position at the Prague Conservatory of Music on a temporary basis, and was later director of a women’s chamber choir for the Czechoslovak State Ensemble of Songs and Dances. After the Soviet invasion of 1968, a watershed moment for most artists in Czechoslovakia, Lukáš became a little more introverted and directed his energies toward creating a personal style in regards to melody and rhythm. He often employs a scale with regular alternation of major and minor seconds so that the resultant octave has one extra tone (for example, A-B-C-D-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-A).

A prolific composer with over 270 works to his credit (including 6 symphonies, several operas, chamber music, and a plethora of choral and other vocal compositions) Lukáš continues to compose today, and works with choirs both in the Czech Republic and abroad.


Works for Winds


References

  • Randel, D.M. (Ed.). (2001). The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (10th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
  • Sadie, S. (Ed.). (2001). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishers