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Václav Jan Křtitel TOMÁŠEK

(*17. 4. 1774 Skuteč — †3. 4. 1850 Prague)

Bohemian pianist, composer and teacher

V. J. K. Tomášek was an influential teacher and pianist, and in 1824 he opened his own music institute in Prague. He educated a number of outstanding pianists and composers, such as J. Voříšek, A. Dreyschock, and E. Hanslick. He soon became a leading personality on the Prague music scene. As a composer, he left behind a great number of valuable symphonic (Symphony in D major) and concerto works (Piano concerto in C major), as well as remarkable religious music (Missa solemnis in C major, Requiem in C minor, Te deum). He also tried his hand at composing musical plays and operas, but he mainly concentrated on piano pieces and solos. It is the songs with German lyrics by J. W. Goethe that represent his independent path towards romantic chamber airs. The ideas behind Tomášek's style are rooted in Classicism, but in many ways they presaged the birth of romanticism. In this regard, his short piano compositions are of great importance, as in them he preceded the greatest masters of this genre, Voříšek, Schubert, and Chopin.

Text: Musica Bona