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Břetislav BAKALA

(*12.2.1897, Fryšták - ✝1.4.1958, Brno)

Czech conductor, pianist and composer

He studied conducting at the Brno Conservatory with František Neumann, composition with Leoš Janáček at the organ school, from 1922 to 1923 he continued his studies at the Master school at the Conservatory. From 1920 to 1925 and from 1929 to 1931 he worked as a conductor of the National Theatre in Brno. From 1925 he worked for a short time as an organist in Philadephia in USA, from 1926 he became a pianist and conductor of the Czech Radio Orchestra in Brno (from 1937, he was the chief-conductor). In 1951 he began teaching at the newly founded Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. From 1956 he worked as a director and conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra Brno. Bakala's interest was concentrated on the works of Janáček. In 1921 he staged the premiere of The Diary of a Man Whom Disappeared, in 1930 he conducted the premiere of the opera From the Death House in Brno. He finished this opera in cooperation with Osvald Chlubna. He studied also Janáček's seldom performed operas The Beginning of a Novel (1931) and Fate (1934). He made the piano abstracts of his works. He edited the arrangements of Moravian folk songs. His wife, soprano Marie Bakalová-Šíšová (1904-1992) was a member of the Brno Opera (1918-1925) as well as a concert singer.