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Jana Skarecky is a Canadian composer of Czech origin. She was born in Prague, in the Czech Republic, on November 11, 1957. She came to Canada with her family in 1968, having begun her musical studies in Prague. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree (Honours Composition) from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where she studied composition with Barrie Cabena, and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Sydney, Australia, where she studied with Peter Sculthorpe. She also studied piano with Erhard Schlenker and French horn with Felix Acevedo. She holds an ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

 

Ms. Skarecky’s compositions include works for choir, solo voice, solo instruments, chamber groups, and orchestra. Her compositions have been performed in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Her music has an expressive lyricism, and has been influenced by Gregorian chant as well as Czech folk song. She loves writing for the voice, both solo and choral works, and setting poetry to music – for example, “Green and Gold” for soprano and piano (poetry by P. K. Page), commissioned for the Wider Boundaries of Daring poetry conference (Windsor), and the choral work “Song of Life” (poetry by Hildegard von Bingen) commissioned for Then, Now, & Beyond… a Festival of Music by Women (Ottawa). She has set to music poetry by Margaret Avison, John Gracen Brown, and Viggo Mortensen. Her one-woman opera for mezzo-soprano celebrating the life and work of Canadian artist Emily Carr (libretto by Di Brandt) continues to be enthusiastically received by audiences.

 

Jana Skarecky is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. She has been Chair of the Association of Canadian Women Composers and on the National Council of the Canadian League of Composers. 

 

In addition to Ms. Skarecky’s work as a composer, she is active as a visual artist, painting with acrylics. She often composes and paints in parallel, finding that the two media interact and lead in new directions. She teaches piano and theory, and examines for the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has sung with the Contemporary Singers in Sydney, Australia and with the St. Mary Magdalene’s Gallery Choir in Toronto. She is the translator of The Foundations of Modern Harmony by Karel Janeček from Czech into English.

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