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Zděnek Šesták, (pronounced ZDEN-yek SHES-thahk) is a Czech composer born Dec 10, 1925 at Cítoliby (pron. TSEE-thaw-lee-bee) near Louny (pron. LOW-nee) in the North Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. He attended the Prague Conservatory where, from 1945-1950, he studied composition with Emil Hlobil (HLAW-bil) and Miroslav Krejčí (KRAY-chee). Concurrently, he studied musicology with Hutter at the Faculty of Philosophy of Charles University in Prague. It was in the 1950’s that he embarked on a career as a composer and as a scholar specializing in 18th-century Czech music. He has written about the Kopriva (KAW-prrshee-vah) family of musicians (Václav (VAHTS-love) Jan (YAHN) Kopriva and his son Karel (KAH-rrel) Blazej (BLAH-zhay) and has overseen the publication and recording of works by composers from Cítoliby


While his first compositions were inspired by 20th century masterpieces, in the 1970’s he sought a non-compromising style of expressive chords and clearly defined themes. In his approach, he rejected the randomness of improvisation, preferring concise forms and prorportional balance, and became convinced of the ample opportunity for creativity within strict formal boundaries. Many of his works have a philosophical and/or spiritual dimension. Only music which has emotional background is viable for Šesták. Be it a large or small composition, Šesták’s musical expression is deeply felt and arouses an impression of importance, urgency and genuineness of his message.