KURZ, IVAN (b. 1947)

Ivan Kurz (pron. Koorts), a Czech composer born in Prague on November 29, 1947, has had a thorough musical preparation. In 1964-1966, he studied music theory privately with Karel Risinger. Then he was a student of the Faculty of Music of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts, in Emil Hlobil’ composition class (1966-1971). After a year of military service at the Army School of Music in Roudnice nad Labem, he completed his postgraduate studies with Václav Dobiáš at the Academy of Performing Arts (AMU) from 1973-1976. Since 1977, he is on the faculty of AMU in Prague where from 1991-1998 he had been Dean of the Musical Faculty.
Ivan Kurz, as a composer, considers expression as the substance of the musical message and the simplest means as the most effective one. He prefers a simple motivic basis, a trim concordant system, and clean-cut formal division to complexity and sophistication. Interesting is the range of Kurz'’s literary, natural and artistic inspirations. He is also interested in theology and philosophy. His work strives for simplicity and the achievement of a minimum of expressional elements used without reducing them by the spectrum of his message. This musical aesthetic ideal is in accordance with Kurz’'s great sense of plasticity of expresion and very strong contrast, that being a dynamic factor in the free form of Kurz’'s compositions.
Kurz believes that if a work of art is to be original, its creator, too, must be capable of taking an ususual view of things and unusualness in music cannot be bound up with musical style. He perceives musical style as something which comes about rather consequentially.