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Jitka Snížková (married name, Skrhová) was born September 14, 1924 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and died May 11, 1989. She was a Czech composer, music educator and musicologist, pianist and harpsichordist.

 

Born in Prague where she studied several years at Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University in Prague and in parallel at Prague Conservatory of Music to be educated as piano player and composer. She also studied composition with Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. Her first compositions were created under the influence of World War II (1943). In the 1950’s she played harpsichord and educated first students as piano players. Then she came to Prague Conservatory of Music and educated students in music composition. 

 

Her activities may be divided into several fields. Firstly, she contributed to contemporary Czech music by many compositions in three areas: songs, compositions for different music instruments (violin, piano, flute, organ etc., and their ensembles), and choruses. She used texts of the Czech poets and writers for her songs. One of the most important area – the choruses – was based on the Czech history and religion associated with some famous persons, e.g. Czech king Charles IV (cantate Vita Caroli), J. A. Comenius, Saint Adalbert, etc., as well as on family customs (composition “Home circle”). The instrumental works were composed for specific interpreters and/or small ensembles (Barevné stužky, Satiricon, Ritmicon etc.). Only twelve of them have been printed. In total, she composed 54 songs for single interpreters, 24 children choruses, 24 women choruses, 14 men choruses, 51 compositions for mixed choruses, 20 piano compositions, 8 for organ and 65 instrumental works for ensembles. 

 

Jitka Snížková was engaged in public activities. She was Secretary of the Mozart Society in Czechoslovakia since 1957, then Vice-chairman and few years before death as a Chairman of this Society. Her activities have been associated with Villa Bertramka, the house where W. A. Mozart lived during his stay in Prague and his museum has been established there.

 

Other areas of her interest was associated with the discovery of some compositions of renaissance composers and three issues from transcribed works have been published (Czech polyphonia, Carmina festiva or Carmina Carissima). Jitka Snížková participated at many musicological congresses and meetings in different countries in Europe. She wrote 49 articles elucidating music compositions or composers themselves mainly from the time of renaissance (15th -16th centuries). She spent plenty of hours at different archives and libraries by discovering and analysing old compositions.

 

Prof. Dr. Jan Škrha, son



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