Bella, Johann Leopold (Ján Levoslav)

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Bella, Johann Leopold (Ján Levoslav)

Bella, Johann Leopold (Ján Levoslav), Slovak composer; b. Lipto-Szentmiklós, Upper Hungary, Sept. 4, 1843; d. Bratislava, May 25, 1936. He studied theology in Banska Bystrica, then went to Vienna, where he studied composition with Sechter (1863–65). He was ordained a priest in 1866 and served as church music director at Kremnica (1869). In 1873 he received a scholarship to study in Germany and in Prague. In 1881 he relinquished his priesthood, and subsequently was organist at the Protestant church in Hermannstadt, Transylvania, and music director of the municipality there. He went to Vienna in 1921, and in 1928 he returned to Bratislava. He wrote a great quantity of church music in the strict style. He also composed an opera, Wieland derSchmied (Bratislava, April 28, 1926), a symphonic poem, Schicksal und Ideal (Prague, March 19, 1876), some chamber music, songs, and piano pieces.


D. Orel, J.L. B. (Bratislava, 1924); (Prague, 1937); E. Zavárský, Ján Levoslav B.: život a dielo (Bratislava, 1955).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire