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Zdenek Fibich
Birth: Dec. 21, 1850
Death: Oct. 15, 1900

Composer. He is regarded as one of the outstanding Czech composers of the 19th Century. His opera "Sarka" (1897), based on a Bohemian myth, is a classic of the Czech repertory. Fibich was born in Vseborice, Bohemia, the son of a forestry official. Home schooled until age nine, he studied music privately in Prague, at the Leipzig Conservatory (1865 to 1867), in Paris and in Mannheim (1868 to 1870). Following an unhappy period as a choir trainer in Vilnius, Lithuania, he settled in Prague as a conductor of the Provisional Theatre (1875 to 1878) and choirmaster of the Russian Orthodox Church (1878 to 1881). These activities interfered with his composing and after 1881 he supported himself through his music and private teaching. Fibich's personal life was often turbulent. His first wife, whom he married in 1873, fell ill giving birth to twins and never recovered; she and both children died within a year. In 1875 the composer married one of his wife's sisters, famed contralto Betty Fibichova, who went on to sing in the premieres of several of her husband's works. They had one son. Fibich's greatest love was Anezka Schulzova, an aspiring young writer who came to him as a piano student in 1886. His monumental piano cycle "Moods, Impressions, and Reminiscences", a collection of 376 pieces published between 1891 and 1899, is a musical diary of their long affair. He finally separated from Fibichova in 1895 (though they never divorced), and Schulzova provided the librettos for his last operas, including "Sarka". He died from a kidney infection at 49. In the annals of Czech music Fibich is usually ranked right behind Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak. He is credited with composing the first Czech nationalist symphonic poem, "Zaboj, Slavoj and Ludek" (1873), which influenced Smetana's "Ma Vlast" and Dvorak's later efforts in the genre, and the patriotic "Sarka" is still popular in his country. But his style was German romantic (with shades of Wagner) rather than distinctively Czech; he was criticized for this towards the end of his life and it hurt his reputation after his death. Ironically, the best of his seven operas, "The Bride of Messina" (1884), has been hailed as the finest Czech tragic opera of the 1800s - even though it is also the most Wagnerian thing he ever wrote. More innovative were his nine stage "melodramas", a hybrid genre combining spoken word with musical accompaniment. They include "Queen Emma" (1883), "The Water Goblin" (1883), "Hakon" (1886), and the "Hippodamie" trilogy (1889 to 1891). Some of the declamatory effects in these pieces point the way towards Schoenberg's landmark "Pierrot lunaire" (1912). Fibich also composed three symphonies (1883, 1893, 1898), the tone poems "Othello" (1873) and "The Tempest" (1880), the concert overtures "A Night in Karlstejn" (1886) and "Komensky" (1892), the orchestral suite "Impressions from the Country" (1898), two string quartets, sacred and secular choral works, including the "Missa Brevis" (1885), and over 200 songs. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
Family links: 
  Barbora Hanušová Fibichová (1846 - 1901)*
  Ruzena Hanušová Fibichová (1851 - 1874)*
  Elsa Fibichová (____ - 1876)*
*Calculated relationship
Vysehradsky Cemetery
Okres Praha
Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 11132
Zdenek Fibich
Added by: Bobb Edwards
Zdenek Fibich
Added by: David Conway
Zdenek Fibich
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