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Burghauser, Jarmil

prague communist critical pseudonym

Burghauser, Jarmil, distinguished Czech composer, conductor, and musicologist; b. Pisek, Oct. 21, 1921. After training in composition with Kricka (1933–37) and Jeremías (1937–40), he pursued studies in conducting at the Prague Cons, with Dolezil and Dë–decek (graduated, 1944), and then at its master school with Talich (graduated, 1946); subsequently he took courses in musicology and psychology at the Charles Univ. in Prague, but quit his studies in protest against the Communist coup in 1948; it was not until 1991 that he presented his diss. and was awarded his Ph.D. He served as chorus master and conductor at the National Theater in Prague from 1946 to 1950, and thereafter devoted himself principally to composition and scholarship. Following the Soviet–bloc invasion of his homeland in 1968 and the restoration of hard–line Communist rule, he became suspect. Although he had done valuable work on the critical edition of Dvorák’s works, his name was not acknowledged in the new vols. In order to get his music before the public, he took the pseudonym Michal Hajku. From 1978 to 1989 to was choirmaster at St. Margaret’s church in Prague. Following the overthrow of the Communist regime by the “Velvet Revolution” in 1989, Burghauser became a leading figure in the restoration of the musical life of his country by serving as chairman of the Guild of Composers and as a member of the rehabilitation committee of the Ministry of Culture. In addition to his valuable work on the critical edition of Dvorak’s compositions, he also ed. works for the critical editions of the music of Janácek, Smetana, and Fibich. In his own compositions, he developed a style which he described as harmonic serialism. Under his pseudonym, he composed an interesting series of works in the style of earlier periods which he called “Storica apocrifa della musica Boema.”

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