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FRANTIŠEK LÝSEK

(*2.5.1904 Proskovice +16.1.1977 Brno)


František Lýsek dedicated his life to children's choirs and choral music. He was the founder of modern children's singing in the former Czechoslovakia, and based on his lifelong teaching activities, he developed a didactic conception of children's choirs and musical education in which theory was perfectly integrated into practice. While teaching in Jistebník nad Odrou he formed the Jistebník Little Singers (1929-1938), in Baťov he set up the Baťov Children's Choir (1938-1945), and as a university lecturer in Brno he led the Brno Children's Choir from 1945 to the year of his death in 1977. Professor Lýsek's work lives on in the audio, film and television recordings of his choirs, his academic monographs and studies (particularly Cantus choralis infantium, 1968 and Vox liberorum, 1976), all of which bear witness to his immense contribution to Czech culture. He also left a living legacy in the form of the eleven thousand children who sung in his choirs, the hundreds of teachers who were his students at Brno University's Department of Musical Education, and many others who were influenced by his ideas of musical education at numerous seminars both in Czechoslovakia and abroad. Nowadays we can see a renewed relevance in Lýsek's lifelong quest to make music, in the sense of active musical participation, accessible to everybody, especially children. He believed that "all good things begin their development in childhood". František Lýsek was also a diligent collector of folk songs and dances from the region of Lachia. He recorded over 1250 of these melodies, which are now the property of the Brno Institute for Ethnography and Folklore Studies and are regularly brought to life by Ondřejnica, a group of Lachian folk musicians founded in 1977. Out of the numerous a capella arrangements of folk songs from Bohemia and Moravia, Lýsek gradually compiled two collections which were published by the Brno-based Pazdírek company with the titles Forget-Me-Nots (1937) and Dandelions (1941). After the war, both collections were re-published as part of the Melpa series, by Melantrich of Prague and Pazdírek of Brno, in 1945 and 1947. In 1950 a third collection, Daisies, was added to the first two, published by the Czechoslovak Composers' Association. This collection contains arrangements of folk songs which Lýsek selected from Ludvík Kuba's collections The Slavic World in Song. Due to the fact that Lýsek's collections have long been sold out in the shops, and in the light of continuing interest from choirmasters, the František Lýsek Foundation has published this collection of the most popular of Lýsek's arrangements for children's choirs. Many of the songs have earned a firm place in the core repertoire of school choirs and beginner's choirs.

Links
http://www.musicologica.cz/slovnik
http://www.nadace.sky.cz