KŘIČKA, JAROSLAV (1882-1969)

Jaroslav Křička was born in 1882 in Kelc, Moravia, bordering Bohemia in the Czech Republic. He studied music composition at the Prague Conservatory with Karel Stecker. His first professional experience was gained in Dnipropetrovsk, Russia, where he was active as a teacher and concert organizer. After his return to Prague, he served as the conductor of several choral organizations, eventually becoming choirmaster of the Czech Philharmonic Choir. He also served for many years as professor of composition at the Prague Music Conservatory, where he influenced an entire generation of Czech composers.

While Křička composed several successful symphonic and chamber works, he was most at home with vocal forms. In addition to song cycles and small choral pieces, he composed several Masses, sacred and secular cantatas, and operas. He had a great flair for the effective use of humor in music, and is still regarded as an important figure in the rejuvenation of Czech musical comedy and operetta. Perhaps his most significant contributions, however, were his numerous operas and song cycles for children, which are considered classics in the Czech Republic. "Rolnicka" is the opening work from the song cycle, opus 58, for children's treble voices singing a cappela.