Leos Janacek was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and all Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style. Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research and his early musical output was influenced by contemporaries such as Antonin Dvorak. His later, mature works incorporate his earlier studies of national folk music in a modern, highly original synthesis, first evident in the opera Jenufa, which was premiered in 1904 in Brno. The success of Jenufa (often called the "Moravian national opera") at Prague in 1916 gave Janacek access to the world's great opera stages. Janacek's later works are his most celebrated. They include the symphonic poem Sinfonietta, the oratorial Glagolitic Mass, the rhapsody Taras Bulba, string quartets, other chamber works and operas. He is considered to rank with Antonín Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana, as one of the most important Czech composers.
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