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Petr Eben
Birth: Jan. 22, 1929
Death: Oct. 24, 2007

Composer, Organist. Lauded as one of the finest Czech composers of the 20th Century, he won international fame for his powerful choral and organ works. Much of his music is set to liturgical texts or based on religious themes. Eben was born in Zamberck, Bohemia, into a mixed Jewish and Roman Catholic family. He began music lessons at age six and showed early promise as a keyboard artist. During World War II he was arrested by the Nazis and spent nearly three years in the Buchenwald concentration camp; this experience left him obssessed with the nature of good and evil in the world, which he attempted to resolve, personally and creatively, through his Catholic faith. Returning to Czechoslovakia after the war, he studied at the Prague Academy of Music and from 1955 taught music history at that city's Charles University. One of his earliest works, the "Missa Adventum" (1952), obliquely expressed his anger with the ruling Stalinist regime. As a primarily religious composer in a secular police state, Eben was sometimes harassed by the authorities but enjoyed a certain immunity due to his growing reputation abroad; he was even permitted to live in England for a year (1978 to 1979) as professor of composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He celebrated the downfall of Communism with his famous "Prague Te Deum" (1990) and wrote some of his most ambitious music over the next decade. He also performed widely as an organist, renowned for his improvisational skill. In 1991 he was awarded France's Order Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Eben's unique style applied contemporary free tonality with archaic modes and drew inspiration from Gregorian Chant, old Slavic folksongs and Baroque counterpoint. His 200 compositions include the "Ordinarium Missae" (1966) and "Missa Truverska" (1968), the cantata "Bitter Earth" (1959), the oratorios "Apologia Socratus" (1967) and "Sacred Symbols" (1997), "Windows" (1976) for organ and trumpet, the massive organ-cycles "Faust" (1981) and "Job" (1987), "Mutations" (1980), "Homage to Dietrich Buxtehude" (1987), and "Biblical Dances" (1991) for organ, two organ concertos (1954, 1988), "Night Hours: A Symphony" (1975), the ballet "Curse and Benediction" (1983), "Suita Liturgica" (1995) for chorus and organ, and the opera "Jeremiah" (1997). Eben's complete organ music was recorded on five discs and issued from 2000 to 2006. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Vysehradsky Hrbitov
Prague
Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Oct 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22450182
Petr Eben
Added by: Anonymous
 
Petr Eben
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Lutetia
 
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- Jackie Howard
 Added: Jan. 22, 2014

- David Wend
 Added: Jan. 22, 2014

- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Oct. 24, 2013
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