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Alliance Publications

Composer Jeroným Zajíček (born November 10, 1926 in Krásné Brězno, Czechoslovakia, died October 5, 2007 at Lyons, Illinois) became an American citizen in 1957. From 1964-1996, he taught composition and conducting at the Chicago City College in the Loop. He studied composition with Karel Jirák at Roosevelt University in Chicago (1955-1958) and Paul Pisk (1959-60).
“Pater Noster” was composed in April of 1990 as a personal response to belated news (40 years later) of the tragic death of a friend, Josef Toufar, a seminarian, someone he had looked up to during his student Gymnazium days in Hradec Králové, Czechoslovakia. Zajíček fondly recalls their playing in the orchestra together. Josef played the contra-bass, while he played viola. He admired his compassionate ways of regularly visiting the sick in the hospital.
As a parish priest, Toufar just seems to have been in the wrong place in 1950 when the communist regime waged an extremely vicious war against the church and clergy. State Security randomly selected the village of Číhošt’, where Toufar was stationed. They secretly planted a mechanism in the little church so that a 3 foot crucifix on the altar would move during his sermon, unbeknownst to him, thus creating the sensation of a supernatural phenomena. They called it, “The Miracle of Číhošt.”
Toufar was arrested by authorities who locked him up, demanding that he admit to fixing the crucifix so that it moved. He was severely beaten, receiving damage to his liver, skull, arms and legs. They wanted to make a film of him showing how he did this deed which was totally set up. However, after operating on him for hours, Toufar died of internal bleeding on February 25, 1950. Inspite of this, a short film was made of this “Miracle of Číhošt'” using a look-alike in Toufar’s place, but people recognized the imposter. Hearing this news, Zajíček responded by writing his composition, “Pater Noster,” a truly fitting tribute.
Zajíček left his country in 1949 to serve as music program director of the Czech section of Radio Free Europe in Munich, and then emigrated to the USA in 1952. His father was executed in 1954. He was neither able to receive the truth behind political events nor return to his native land until after the 1989 November Velvet Revolution. When he did return, this is the news that awaited him.
“Sonatina for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon” was composed in 1966 and performed with academic trios utilizing both the bassoon and the violoncello equally well on the third part.
His other compositions include: Variations for Piano (1956-57); Piano Trio (1957); Clarinet Sonata (1957); Sinfonietta(1958); Violin Sonata (1961); String Quartet (1962-63); Concertino for Flute and String Orchestra (1963-1964, Chicago, Feb. 26, 1967); Intrada and Processionale for Brass, Timpani and Organ (1970), Cello Sonata (1975) and songs including “Pater Noster” (SATB a cappella) and “Rikadla” published by Alliance Publications.