Jirásek, Ivo, Czech composer; b. Prague, July 16, 1920. He studied composition with Šin in Prague and was a student at the Prague Cons. (1938–45) of Krejčí and A. Hába (composition) and Dědeček (conducting). After working as assistant to Kubelik and the Czech Phil, in Prague (1945–46), he conducted at the Zdenăk Nejedlý Theater in Opava (1946–53), where he then was director of its opera company (until 1956). From 1969 to 1978 he was active with the copyright union in Prague. In 1980 he was made a Merited Artist by the Czech government. His output was greatly influenced by French music, but it also owed much to Stravinsky and Berg.
dramatic: Opera: Pan Johanes (Mr. Johanes; 1951-52; Opava, March 24, 1956); Svitánί nad vodami (Daybreak Over the Waters; 1960-61; Plzen, Nov. 23, 1963); Medvéd (The Bear), after Chekhov (1962-64; Prague, Jan. 25, 1965); Klic (The Key; 1967-68; Prague, March 15, 1971); Danse macabre (1970-71; Prague, Sept. 27, 1972); Mistr Jeronym (Master Jerome; 1979-80; Prague, March 26, 1992); Zazrak (Miracle; 1981). Ballet: Faust (1982–85). ORCH.: Ciaconna (1944); Concertante Sym. for Violin and Orch. (1958); Small Suite (1964); Variations (1965); Festive Overture (1971); Mother Hope Symphony (1973-74; Prague, March 16, 1974); Mozartiana, concertino for Chamber Orch. (1978); 4 Dramatic Studies (1985); Evening Music for English Horn and Strings (1985); Concertino for Harpsichord and 11 Strings (1985); Little Concert Music for Synthesizer and Orch. (1988). CHAMBER: Violin Sonata (1946); 3 string quartets (4 Studies, 1963-66; Ludi con tre toni, 1977-78; Meditation on a Theme by Bohuslav Martinû, 1989); Sonata da camera for 13 Strings (1966); Serenades for Flute, Bass Clarinet, and Percussion (1967); 3 Pieces for 4 Instruments (1971); Partita for Winds (1972); Prague with Fingers of Rain, suite for Dulcimer (1974); Spectra for Bass Clarinet and Piano (1975); Sonata for Viola and Percussion (1976); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1979); Permutazione for Flute, Cello, and Piano (1981); Carnival in Rio for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (1986); Preludium, Fugue, and Chorale on a Theme by Domenico Scarlatti for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (1987); Oh, quels beaux jours!, sonata for Solo Cello (1991); Soirée dansante, wind quintet (1993). VOCAL: A Hospital Ballad, cantata for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1944; rev. 1957); You, My Home, song cycle for Baritone and Orch. (1960); Love, cantata for Bass, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1960); Year in a Rusty-Colored Forest, 8 songs for Men’s Chorus and Chamber Ensemble or Piano (1966); Music for Soprano, Flute, and Harp (1967); Stabat Mater, oratorio for Soloists, Chorus, Organ, and Wind Orch. (1968; Prague, March 3, 1969); Song of the Planet Named Earth, cantata for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1975-76; Prague, April 2, 1977); Portrait of a Woman for Soprano, Flute, Bass Clarinet, Vibraphone, and Piano (1975–76); 4 Psalms for Men’s Chorus (1991); Time, 3 songs for Soprano and String Quartet (1992).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire