JANÁČEK, BEDRICH (1920-2007)

Bedrich Janáček (born May 18, 1920, Prague and died June 3, 2007 Lund, Sweden) studied at the Prague Music Conservatory with the famed organ virtuoso Bedřich Antonín Wiedermann. Following the re-opening of Czech high schools in 1945, he continued to study with Wiedermann at the Master Class and graduated with a Diploma in 1946. From then on, until 1948, Bedrich Janacek taught organ at the Prague Music Conservatory. In August 1948, due to severe changes in political events, he emigrated to Sweden.
In his new country, Janáček became active as a concert organist playing in most European countries as well as having two concert tours to the United States during 1968 and 1970. He worked as a church organist for several churches in Sweden, including the Cathedral Parish in Lund from 1965-1985 until his retirement.
His compositional output includes a wide variety of original works and arrangements for organ solo, organ with instruments and orchestra. As a composer, he devoted himself primarily in the organ but also wrote music for organ and wind instruments and choir. He had publishers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, England, Germany and the United States. Two hymns by Janáček are included in the 1986 Swedish hymnal, No. 155 ("The Lord lives, believing it") and 399 ("We carry so many of us").
Bedrich Janáček was the one who rescued countryman Bohuslav Martinů's single organ "Vigilia" (1959) by revising and completing it. At the re-opening of the Cathedral of Lund in 1963, Bedrich Janáček wrote two motets, and at the opening ceremony of the Holy Spirit Church in 1968, a cantata for chorus, soloists, orchestra and organ. A fine example of early organ compositions "Two Chorale Preludes" was published at Oxford University Press, 1966.  He has recorded albums including the record labels, Deutsche Grammophon, Motette, Christophorus and Proprius.