The Birth and Life of Janáček’s Opera Káťa Kabanová galerie

12 Mar 2020 10 May 2020

The exhibition coincides with the staging of Janáček’s opera Káťa Kabanová at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in spring 2020. It explains the circumstances surrounding the creation and first staging of Káťa Kabanová, which took place in Brno in 1921. It also presents the history of productions of Janáček’s operas at the Met, and the exhibition will also include a series of visually striking paper collages by the Brno-based artist Vendula Chalánková featuring characters from Janáček’s operas and portraits of Leoš Janáček and those close to him.

Opening night: MARCH 12, 7PM
In the Gallery
On view: MARCH 12 - MAY 10, 2020



Opening remarks by Michael Beckerman, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music and Collegiate Professor at New York University and Jiří Zahrádka, the curator of the Janáček archive of the Department of Music History at the Moravian Museum in Brno and a senior lecturer (docent) at the Institute of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University.

Followed by music performance by students of Mannes School of Music.

“The work flowed from my pen like the beautiful Volga river.”
The Genesis and Life of Janáček’s Opera Káťa Kabanová

Leoš Janáček and Káťa Kabanová
Leoš Janáček’s Work at the Metropolitan Opera
Leoš Janáček and Brno
Vendula Chalánková: Leoš With His Nearest and Dearest

The exhibition in the Bohemian National Hall’s gallery at the Czech Center New York, designed to coincide with the staging of Janáček’s opera Káťa Kabanová at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in spring 2020, introduces a number of different themes. First and foremost, it explains the circumstances surrounding the creation and first staging of Káťa Kabanová, which took place in Brno in 1921. Visitors will learn about Janáček’s search for a subject, how work on the composition proceeded, preparations for the premiere, negotiations with publishers and issues involved in preparing critical editions of Janáček’s operas. The exhibition will also commemorate Janáček’s muse Kamila Stösslová, who was the composer’s inspiration for Káťa Kabanová and many other works. In addition, it will present the history of productions of Janáček’s operas at the Met, beginning with the first performance of Jenůfa there during the composer’s lifetime and taking in later productions of the operas The Makropulos Affair, Káťa Kabanová and From the House of the Dead. Janáček’s special relationship with the city of Brno will be reflected in a small presentation about the latest Janáček-related activities happening there. And the exhibition will also include a series of visually striking paper collages by the artist Vendula Chalánková featuring characters from Janáček’s operas and portraits of Leoš Janáček and those close to him. This Brno-based artist also worked on a series of animated videos, Leoš Janáček in Three Minutes, which are available to view at the exhibition.

Doc. PhDr. Jiří Zahrádka, Ph.D. (b. Brno, 1970), is a musicologist, curator of the Janáček archive of the Department of Music History at the Moravian Museum, and a senior lecturer (docent) at the Institute of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University. After his studies at the Brno Conservatory, he read musicology and aesthetics at Masaryk University. The focus of his research includes the life and works of the composer Leoš Janáček. His other field is the musical life in Brno in 1850–1970. He is the author of dozens of scholarly articles, co-author (with S. Přibáňová) of the book Leoš Janáček ve fotografiích (Leoš Janáček in Photographs; Brno 2008), and was assisting John Tyrrell on his extensive monograph Janáček: Years of a Life (Faber and Faber, 2006, 2007). He is the main editor of Leoš Janáček correspondence. For several years, he has been involved as a critical editor of Leoš Janáček’s works: Šárka (Universal Edition 2004), Výlety páně Broučkovy (The Excursions of Mr. Brouček; Universal Edition 2004), Příhody lišky Bystroušky (The Cunning Little Vixen; Universal Edition 2010); Osud (Fate; Editio Bärenreiter, 2016), Věc Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair; Universal Edition, 2016), Glagolská mše – last touch version (Glagolitic Mass; with L. Faltus, Editio Bärenreiter 2011), Glagolská mše – version „September 1927“ (Glagolitic Mass; Editio Bärenreiter 2012), Sinfonietta (Universal Edition, 2017), Taras Bulba (Universal Edition, 2018), Zápisník zmizelého (The Diary of One Who Disappeared; Editio Bärenreiter, 2016), Mládí (Youth; G. Henle Verlag, 2015), Pochod modráčků

(March of the Bluebirds; C. Henle Verlag, 2016), V mlhách (In the Mists; G. Henle Verlag, 2016), compositions for violoncello (Editio Bärenreiter 2008; with J. Fukač and B. Havlík), women’s choruses (Editio Janáček 2002; with M. Štědroň Jr.), mixed choruses (Editio Janáček 2007; with L. Faltus), Sborník skladeb z pražských studií (Collection of Compositions from the Time of Studies in Prague; Editio Janáček 2001; with T. Straková). He is also author of several fine arts publications and books for children.

Michael Beckerman is Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music and Collegiate Professor at New York University. He is the author of six books including New Worlds of DvořákMartinů’s Mysterious Accident, and Janáček as Theorist, and has written widely on Czech topics, film music, Mozart, orientalism, music of the Roma, and most recently, composition in the camps and the question of the relationship between form and musical meaning. Beckerman has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, has appeared on many episodes of Live From Lincoln Center, and has lectured throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has been the recipient of many prizes and honors, including two ASCAP Deems Taylor awards; an honorary doctorate from Palacký University in the Czech Republic; the Janáček and Dvořák medals and other awards from the Czech government; a Distinguished Alumni award from Hofstra University; and a Golden Dozen teaching award from NYU. He was recently made an honorary member of the Czech Musicological Society and will receive the Harrison Medal from the Irish Musicological Society. He has taught at Columbia University, Washington University, the University of Chicago, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Central European University, Charles University in Prague, and New York University where, from 2004-13 he served as department Chair. From 2011-15 he served as Distinguished Professor of History at Lancaster University in England and he was the Leonard Bernstein Scholar in Residence of The New York Philharmonic from 2016-18, as well as serving as Vice-President of the Dvořák American Heritage Association, actively contributing to its programs furthering knowledge and understanding of Dvořák’s legacy and Czech musical culture.  

The exhibition was organized by the Department of Music History at the Moravian Museum in Brno, the Brno Tourist Information Centre, The Metropolitan Opera and Czech Center New York with support of Dvořák American Heritage Association.

Music Program:

Leoš Janáček - Moravská lidová poezie v písních (Moravian folk poetry in songs)
Koníčky milého
Mládí Wind Sextet: Allegro

Mládí Wind Sextet: 
Yeji Park, flute
Jiadi Pei, oboe
Michael Raia, clarinet
Louis Arques, bass clarinet 
Tylor Thomas, bassoon 
Alexander Trufanov, horn

Flutist Yeji Park graduated from Hanyang University where she received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance in South Korea. Yeji Park participated in The Seoul Arts Center Orchestra Festival as well as received the first prize of the 8th Annual Music Competition of Korea Mozart, the first prize of The Music Education News the 43rd Competition, and second prize of The Seoul National Symphonic Orchestra Competition. In addition, she participated in the Music Education News Winner Concert. Yeji Park currently attends the Mannes School of Music where she is studying to receive her Masters Degree under Judith Mendenhall, principal flutist of the American Ballet Theater Orchestra. 

Jiadi Pei, a semi-finalist of International Youth Competition Memory of E.A.Mravinsky, has performed as the oboist in the sextet, as well as the principal oboist of National Youth Orchestra of China in Carnegie Hall, cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhou, China. She also participated in the recording of Radio “From The Top”. Ms. Pei is currently pursuing her B.M in the Mannes School of Music and has participated in numerous music venues, including orchestra and opera. Born in 1998, GuangDong China, Ms. Pei started to learn the piano at the age of five and the oboe at the age of eight. She attended to the precollege of Manhattan School of Music and the precollege of Central Conservatory of Music. Ms. Pei’s teachers include Sherry Sylar, Julia Derosa, Katherine Needleman, and Jingchun Jin.

Clarinetist Michael Raia is currently studying at The Mannes School of Music pursuing his Masters of Music in Performance. Since moving to NYC, Michael has had many wonderful chamber music performances, including appearing with Decoda, participating in The Orchestra of St. Luke’s Mentorship program with his quintet, and is looking forward to playing with The International Contemporary Ensemble this spring.  He also had the opportunity to study and perform in concerts and summer festivals across Europe, Asia, and North America over the past years.  His primary teachers are Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima.

Clarinetist Louis Arques is a woodwind virtuoso from Grenoble, France. Moving to New York City in fall 2016 to pursue his MA at the New School College of Performing Arts with Professors Neidich and Krakauer, he has rapidly become one of New York City’s most in-demand chamber and orchestral soloists– String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Mannes Orchestra (Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall), Bridget Kibbey’s Trio, Quintet of the Americas, co-founder of NewOrch and co-artistic director of Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra. Louis is a frequent New Music collaborator, including composers Elizabeth Hoffman and Robert Cuckson. He also performs early music on Von Vittorelli’s replicas of eighteenth century instruments. Together with guitarist-composer Richard Boukas he formed the acclaimed Brazilian music Diálogos Duo. He also plays Afro-Cuban music with Sonido Costeño and Jazz in venues including Birdland. A Vandoren artist, he taught in France for ten years including the Paris Conservatoire and recently joined the faculty of the Diller-Quaile School of Music.

Bassoonist Tylor Thomas from Alaska, is currently pursuing a Professional Studies Diploma in Bassoon Performance at Mannes School of Music where he received his Master’s Degree studying under the tutelage of Kim Laskowski, associate principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic. As a chamber musician, Tylor has been an Orchestra of St Luke’s Chamber Mentorship fellow since 2016, where he performs throughout the NYC public school system, exploring cultural diversity with kids through music. During the past three summers, Tylor has also been an intern and performer at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, where he works closely with the Imani Winds, a major inspiration of his. During this past year, Tylor was a fellow in the Global Leaders Program, an international teaching artistry program, where he taught, performed, and advocated for music in Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Singapore. Outside of Mannes, Tylor also works with the New York Youth Symphony in their chamber music department.

Alexander Trufanov, who plays French horn, was born in Moscow, in 1998. At 9 years old he was accepted into The Gnessin School of Music (a school for educating of young generations of professional musicians). He studied with V.S.Shish, current professor of the Moscow conservatory and A.K. Kuznetsov, actively playing in competitions and stepping into the main roster of All-Russian Young Orchestra under the baton of Y. Bashmet in 2014. In the same year, together with the friends he also founded a chamber group called “Ensemble Januarius” for performing compositions of his own and colleagues’ oeuvre. The band successfully had functioned for several years, performing across Moscow region, and exploring a vast repertoire, including works of J.S.Bach, P.I.Tchaikovsky, W.A. Mozart and many contemporary Russian, American and British composers. In 2016 he has been accepted into Mannes College of Music for a bachelor degree, studio of Professor Eric Ralske, the principal of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York. As a conductor, outside of Russia, he got a chance to premiere its music in Italy (Mezzano, Trentino), the United States (Massachusetts,California, New York), including recent premiere of his work “Insomnia” in New York at Mannes School of Music and “Pluto” in Morgan Hill, California. Now, Alexander is pursuing his studies as a Junior-year student, actively playing in orchestra, as well as in chamber groups.

Dorothy Griffin, guitar
Dorothy Griffin is a classically trained guitarist based in New York City. Currently she is studying with Frederic Hand, pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance at Mannes School of Music, College of Performing Arts at The New School. Dorothy is a fellowship recipient of the Lanciano (Italy) International Guitar Seminar 2020 and will be studying there this summer with esteemed faculty Michael Newman, Laura Oltman, João Luiz, and Isabella Abbonizio. She received the Award for Excellence in the Arts and Letters, presented at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She serves as media assistant at the New York Guitar Seminar and teaches guitar at community music schools in New York City. Dorothy has received certification to teach in the Suzuki training program. Dorothy has participated in a wide variety of chamber music ensembles throughout high school and during her years at Mannes, with solo and ensemble performances in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and at various locations across the Metro D.C. area and New York City vicinity.  She has performed in Master classes for Cuban legend Leo Brouwer, Benjamin Verdery, Martha Masters, Simon Powis, João Luiz, and David Leisner. She will represent Mannes playing for the French Maestro Judicaël Perroy in his upcoming class February 29.

Kristyna Kustkova, soprano
Kristýna Kůstková graduated her studies in Czech Republic and is currently a Master student at Mannes School of Music and also cooperates with Italian pedagogue Antonio Carangelo. From the age of seven until the year 2012 she was a member and soloist of the Children’s Opera Prague, with which she performed on all scenes of the National Theatre Prague, participated in numerous tours, the recording several CDs and also music educational programmes for Czech Television. In 2016 she made her debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute at the Moravian Theatre. She also presented herself as Musetta in the project of the Conservatory of Pardubice in East Bohemian Theatre and as Pamina. In 2017 she sang on the Closing night concert of Dvořák 's Art Songs in the Bohemian National Hall of the Czech Center New York with members of The MET Lindemann Young Artist Program and presented herself as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) in the Project of Run OpeRun Prague. She also appeared on baroque recital with Adam Plachetka with Baroco sempre giovane, an ensemble she often cooperates. She has also been successful in competitions, winning several 1st prizes in Czech Republic, f.e. the absolute winner in the Contest of Conservatories, 1st Prize in Antonín Dvořák International Competition in the category Promising Opera Singer and 2nd prize in the category Junior with four other special prizes. She was also awarded the Prize Young Talent of Pardubice Region.



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Information summary

  • Event title: The Birth and Life of Janáček’s Opera Káťa Kabanová galerie
  • Date: 12 Mar 2020 10 May 2020
  • Venue: Czech Center – New York

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