Rest_In_Peace's current selection is:
by composer Karel Husa, performed by North Texas Wind Symphony
Karel Husa (1921 to 2016) was a Czech-born American composer, conductor and academic. Karel Husa was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), on August 7th 1921. He learned to play the violin and the piano in early childhood, and after passing his final examination at high school enrolled in the Prague Conservatory in 1941, where he studied with Jaroslav Ridky, also attending courses in conducting led by Metod Dolezil and Pavel Dedecek. After the Second World War, he was admitted to the graduate school of the Prague Academy, where he attended more courses led by Ridky, and graduated in 1947. He continued his composition and conducting studies in Paris, notably with Arthur Honegger and Nadia Boulanger. He studied conducting at the École Normale de Musique de Paris and at the Conservatoire de Paris, where his conducting teachers included Jean Fournet, Eugène Bigot and André Cluytens. Husa's "String Quartet No. 1" received its premiere in June 1950, and won him international attention, as well as the 1950 "Lili Boulanger Award" and the 1951 "Bilthoven Festival Prize". Other performances in the aftermath of this event included those in Brussels and Salzburg (both 1950), Darmstadt (1951) and the Netherlands (1952), as well as at various other concerts in Germany, France, Sweden, England, Switzerland, Australia and the US. Compositions written during his time in Paris included "Divertimento for String Orchestra", "Concertino for Piano and Orchestra", "Évocations de Slovaquie", "Musique d'Amateurs", "Portrait for String Orchestra", "First Symphony", "First Sonata for Piano" and "Second String Quartet". Throughout this period, his work was primarily influenced by Vitezslav Novak, Leos Janacek, Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. Taking US citizenship, from 1954 to 1992 Husa was a professor at Cornell University, eventually holding the Kappa Alpha chair in music. Composers who studied under him included Steven Stucky, Christopher Rouse, John S Hilliard, Jerry Amaldev, Christopher Kaufman, David Conte and Byron Adams. He was also a lecturer at Ithaca College from 1967 to 1986, and served as the first director of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra from 1977 to 1984. He also composed "Music for Prague 1968", a work in memory of the 1968 Soviet bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia, which became one of his most celebrated compositions. His "String Quartet No. 3" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, and in 1993 he was the recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his "Concerto for Cello and Orchestra". In 2012, Husa received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Louisville. Married to Simone for 64 years, they had four daughters together. Karel Husa died in Apex, North Carolina, on December 14th 2016, aged 95. His widow and daughters survive him.
Posted: 10th January 2017
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away every year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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