Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Remembering Jan Rychlik

Jan Rychlik was born on April 27, 1916 in Prague, Austria-Hungary. An exceptionally educated artist, his interests were many and there were few subjects in which he did not possess an above-average understanding.
Rychlik became a composer through the fault of or thanks to the Second World War. When the Nazis closed the Czech universities and colleges and he was unable to complete his studies at the commercial college, he turned to the conservatory. There he learned the craft of music under the important Czech composer, Professor Jaroslav Ridky. As a professional musician, Rychlik played percussion in the dance orchestra of Karel Vlach, and soon began to compose his own dance songs, utilizing a modern jazz idiom. Rychlik was an accomplished jazz pianist, and also established himself as a skillful writer of criticism, advertisement and scientific writings, as well as public speaking. Ultimately, he scored more than 55 films and 8 plays, in addition to many concert works that included overtures, chamber music, and choral and cantata music.

Rychlik died on January 20, 1964 in Prague, Czechoslovakia at the age of 47. Although his career was cut short at this early age, his name ranks high among Czech composers, and his contribution to film music is equally prominent among Czech cinema. "These are, of course, sparkling, masterly polished jewels of chamber literature," Karel Srom wrote of Rychlik’s classical music. "And like the majority of Rychlik’s works, they too are full of sunshine and joyfully touch on the positive sides of human life." Jan composed the music for only one Euro-western "Lemonade Joe" (1964). Today we remember Jan Rychlik on what would have been his 95th birthday.

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