Meet Mr Záměčník

Opus Osm

From brass and woodwinds, to vocal music, children's operas ... compositions by Evžen Zaměčník cover a large variety of types and genres

Meet Mr Záměčník: He Even Wrote for ‘Ferda’

Evžen Záměčník is a composer whose works are so varied, covering such a wide range of musical forms, you can never be sure where you’ll meet him next. He has written for winds, orchestras, big brass bands, choirs, solo instruments, and more. Some of his works are even compulsory pieces for entrants in music competitions.

“His work is good, very good,” comments first violinist Milos Vacek of the Janáček Quartet. Mr Záměčník’s Meditation is part of their repertoire.

“He also wrote an opera for ‘Ferda,’” Mr Vacek adds.

Ferda is a black ant, the star of a much-beloved, long-running animated children’s television series. Mr Záměčník’s Ferda Mravenec children’s opera is still popular today.

Born in 1939, Mr Záměčník grew up during a tumultuous time in history, yet his music is characterized as melodic, optimistic, and often containing a touch of humor. Perhaps it was Mr Záměčník’s first opera that set him on his path. He wrote the one-act The Washtub Farce for his diploma work at the Janáček Academy in 1968. He continued his studies, including on a two-year scholarship in Munich, and for many years played violin in the Janáček Opera and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1982 he founded the Brno Brass Band and wrote several compositions for it, and from 1994-2002 he was the director of the Music Conservatory in Brno.

To get a taste of his style and variety, you can enjoy a YouTube clip of Mr Záměčník in 1994, conducting the Brno Brass Band in his Natrubková Studie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-rnOarP8iY&t=15s). For a complete switch, then listen to his Rondo Buffo performed by the Martinů Chamber Orchestra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twR1rl7jHzk).

You’ll see why Mr Záměčník’s compositions are known for their variety as well as their humor — and beauty. — oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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